Zhanna P. Rader, US



Light Verse 

Of Mirrors and Sparrows

A mirror jailed a sparrow
After it let him in.
The sparrow pecked his way out
While fighting with a twin.

He then flew towards a treetop,
The twin—into the glass,
From where the poor thing never
Could run away, alas.

Lost deep in mirror’s blue well,
He has been seen no more…
Unless these feathered fellows
Are just some foolish lore.


(For those who could not understand
My verse at first inspection:
There was a single sparrow and
There was his own reflection.

Please read it for the second time,
And you will clearly see
My observations, cased in rhyme,
Under the mentioned tree…

Have I just spoiled my sparrow story?
If that’s the case, then I am sorry.)



Of Phones, Chainsaws and Bellies
(Writer’s workshop)

We, writers, were offered three words:
“Telephone,” “chainsaw” and “belly”
With a pledge of some verbal awards
For a tale with this word vermicelli.

Now: “William’s chain-sawing a beech.
His cellular-phone rings. It’s Jane.
She’s sun-burnt her paunch at the beach.”
Well, no, that is simply too plain.

“Tom’s sawing, let’s say, a chestnut.
His phone rings. Off-guard at his job,
He chops, with the chainsaw, his gut…”
But no, that’s just much too macabre.

“Telephone,” “chainsaw,” and “belly”
Are somewhat alike: They make noise;
They rhyme, say, with moan, caw, and smelly,
With all that our senses annoys.

A good choice of nouns this is, really.
Just use them both wisely and freely
And write your most brilliant creation…
Sharks! Gone is my imagination.



Disclaiming My Writing

You see, though Russia was my birthplace
And I spoke Russian in the first place,
I now write English verse and prose—
A doubtful venture, I suppose.

I’m sorry that I use so poorly
Some adjectives (they’re quite unruly)
And that I mix my prepositions,
As well as make some word omissions.

When cooking meals or running errands,
I ponder articles and gerunds
For making poetry and stories,
But cannot rid myself of worries.

For when I write, all rules escape me,
While words and phrases overtake me.
I hope that you’ll be understanding:
My style, alas, is not commanding.

When I recite my stuff aloud
To entertain a noble crowd,
I hope my nervous tongue won’t freeze.
And do excuse my accent, please.



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