Two poems by Eugenia Hepworth Petty

I Know What Land This Is

I know what land this is
These seeds of thistle
Chestnuts strewn among last year’s leaves

Frost regained consciousness at night
The sun is buried
The path is overgrown with thorns

How difficult is it to believe in the colorless flame of hands
I will stop to pray in the dead field
and the stars will fall around me

This cento is derived from poems in the anthology A Hundred Years of Youth: A Bilingual Anthology of 20th Century Ukrainian Poetry, Olga Luchuk and Michael M. Nayden editors; Litopys Press, 2000:
Ivan Franko, For the Album of Mrs. O.M.
Mykola Vorobiov, The Chase
Mykola Vorobiov, Cage—Balcony—Frost—Dream
Ivan Malkovych, Southern Ukraine
Volodymyr Svidinsky, Untitled
Vasyl Ruben, Untitled

If stars would fall across the sky

If stars would fall across the sky
like planes
like flesh
falling shrapnel   ribbons
white cloths tied to stakes

night could fall again like snow

In a village near Lvov I watched a dog
eating the entrails of a pig
the dirt black with blood

Now my friend treads the fields near Rozypne
trying not to step
on spleen

the sunflowers bursting like yellow giants

About the author

Eugenia lives in America’s Pacific Northwest with her poet husband and a clowder of cats. Small collections of her poetry include: On a Planet Called…

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Issue 22 · April 2015

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