Two poems: To the bear, Snow

Two poems: To the bear, Snow


To the bear


“After your paw was shot off,

Didn’t Nature become one-handed,

Didn’t Nature become half-handed?”

“Through the rifle muzzle

Aimed at you,

Looking back out of the taiga forest


Do you think us improved?”


Translated and edited from Vella’s poem “The Bear Feast” by Alexander Vaschenko and Claude Clayton Smith for inclusion in The Way of Kinship, an anthology of Native Siberian literature.


A Poem by Yuri Vella


On the ground the first snow white, white, white

Out steps a human being, grey, grey, grey

Sees everything under cover of snow:

A house, gate, sleigh suddenly ready to dash into journey

He sees clouds, grey blue fluffs

In the sky hover light flakes

Melt on the face

Settle on the shoulders

As if glad with contact

So already white, white, white

Same human being grey, grey, grey