Andrey Gritsman

Light in the Cathedral

Translated from Russian by the author.

The Ruins of Holyrood Chapel by Louis Jaques Mand Daguerre

Light from nowhere to nowhere.
Wreck of statues on the tiled floor.
Dark crypt is empty.
Judas silent in the corner.
And He is invisible in the chapel,
there is cold and echo of emptiness.
There is nobody to wait for.
Crosses deserted in the dusk.
Still light fell on the floor reveals
the fragments of the marble dream.
Cathedral under repair.
Shadows. And you and I
are alone there.

In Russian

Андрей Грицман


Свет в никуда и ниоткуда.
Обломки статуй на полу.
Пуст темный склеп. Иуда
молчит в углу.

А Он незрим в приделах храма,
где хлад и гулкость пустоты.
И ждать там никого не надо.
Пустуют в темноте кресты.

Свет падал ниц и там являлись
осколки мраморной мечты.
Ремонт заброшенного зала.
Тень. Рядом – я и ты.


About the writer:
A native of Moscow, Andrey Gritsman emigrated to the United States in 1981. He is a physician who is also a poet and essayist. He has published five volumes of poetry in Russian. He received a 2019 Best of the Net anthology nomination. He received the 2009 Pushcart Prize Honorable Mention XXIII and was nominated for the Pushcart Prize several times (2005–2011), and also was on the Short List for PEN American Center Biennial Osterweil Poetry Award. His poems, essays, and short stories in English have appeared or are forthcoming in over 80 literary journals.

Image: The Ruins of Holyrood Chapel by Louis Jaques Mand Daguerre (1787-1851). Oil on canvas. 83 x 100.9 inches. 1824. Public domain.