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My Russia has two faces, the sad one that breaks my heart and the cultured, noble face of Muscovite who queue for hours, in horrid cold, so to get into city’s museums…

Amazing cultural heritage awaits you there – from sledge in which Napoleon fled from Russia in 1812, having underestimated the fatal impact of Russian winter’s frost to Egyptian mummies and  Grasser’s playful Moresca dancers…

Officially one of the ugliest monuments in the world was built in honor of Peter the Great, who oversees the river, having turned his back to the Cathedral in which Pussy Riot performed the infamous ‘punk prayer’…

Russian spiritual leaders from the times long bygone – rebuilt in statues of sand – just shake their heads to all of that and sigh into the wind of changes…

My Russia

legless beggar in Moscow’s subway

moves around on a wheeled stand

made of wood

he can not afford a wheelchair

the military uniform he is wearing

is covered in blood stains

his eyes are alert, his jaw bone – strong

you can imagine him as a captain

or even a colonel

once upon a time in Afghanistan

maybe it was curses of Afghan mothers that got him

maybe he was just dressed up as a soldier

by the underworld barons

of Russia

in pain, dropped on her  knees

blind old woman, her head covered with black scarf
is hiding from the cameras and patrolling guards
high above her head she holds a picture of a tired Jesus.

Roma accordion player
wrenches subway’s heart

with his music


a homeless man is crying in his sleep

at the entrance to the platform
in my head, Buddha says to Nietzsche:
“Karma is inevitable,
But I feel their pain as  my own..”
Nietzsche shakes his head, saying
“These are little people,
their suffering is – irrelevant. ”
I close my eyes and pray
to believe that
God does know what He’s doing.

Copyright ©Lena Ruth Stefanovic 2012. All rights reserved.