Blesok no. 26, May-June, 2002

Beauteous Church

Atanas Vangelov

Beauteous Church

Be still, thou awful beast!
Howl not, ravenously, thou starving wolf!
Broken heart, thou ancient ache,
be thou my altar in a beauteous church!

So I may see there, in the darkness deep
So I may languish long in the scent of incense
for all the grieving of this land
for all who were and didn't want to be.

And let it flow, from the wellspring, up,
let it bind our every wound
let it everywhere resound

annunciation true for all the weary
for all, who, under your reign
found no joy for their pain.


The descendents, startled by the news,
I see them humbled, in endless order.
He descends, an angel in flight
to a beauteous church on cursed ground.

What tribe were we? What breed?
What evil thought blurred our sight?
The angel on the barren wall
trembles: clear is the speech of the beam.

Sight divine. Word of God
all of Nebregovo gathers together
in the ancient call of an ancient faith.

No revenge now, no waving of the sword
the beauteous church rises
from the splendid beam with which it blazes.


From horrible, hidden, heavenly wrath,
from soil that heaves and opens;
directed simply by an absent truth
he doesn't suddenly come. He is – here:

under the moss entered the first bud
the first pale petal of a rose;
it is what started to thud:
in the soul is a soul of ardor and dread.

Of such a silent wind you will be the prey,
of such a meek gale without a clear goal
(when even the night is clearest day)

forced by a dark thirst, a bloody beam:
all who you loved, you, he took it all,
and now, simply, he says: “here I am again!”

Song of Praise for the First Humanization of God

And now, finally, to hell with lakes and woods!
From where are smoke and rustling silk in the sky?
To read from plastic, from tractor tires,
to take the stone and instead of wings
to use the experience of the snake,
from which we ran, for which we strove
mixing silly distance and closeness, height and depth
and hazy hope with such a tangible time.

Did I learn anything from the dream but the loss
of the Promethean wrath that bravely saved us
and did I see anything through deceitful binoculars
of the whore hope but decrepit iconostases
before of humbleness mortal as a bull's eye,
of the Vardar as of the Seine, of the Crna as of the Vistula
of ourselves as a souls before divine peace?

It is all different, cruel and obstinate so
that it will not just trot after us
like a faithful dog and the course of a poetic ache,
and when it stops, stiff as a stubborn mule
half way, before yet another poetic evening,
they use us here: pallor, endurance and modesty,
but not comfort: can you utter the essence?
Not like our unacknowledged lover – faith.

And still, where, towards what original fierceness
does this effort of man lead us to walk the skies
as on slick muddy soil and all bloody
to lie with her – the virgin mistress?
Destructive soul, you that once were
kin and so close to the dust as to yourself
enter into everything and like an explosion be
that thunder that shook the artist's sky!

To the first intrauterine nights! Back!
Let the earth and fire mix, lava gurgle
from the first dawn in place of tons of anemic plasma
that I return, inevitably, to start faithfully
and take the first step without subterfuges and doubt
across the sky and bellow as across my own soul:
I pray at the threshold, my despised home,
to life, to him, though sunk neck deep in sin.

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