©2004 Vladimir Orlov
A   notion   of   sublimated   freedom   is
so   dear    to   the   hearts   of   writers.
Is   it   ephemeral   or   factual,  they   wonder.
They   keep   deliberating,  doubting,  hesitating
and    waiting   for   Judgment   Day.

The   poetic   meaning   of   freedom
is     obscure   enough   to   be   by-passed.
A   rush   of   some   forgotten   emotion
now   flashes   through   my   servile   mind
of   someone   who   failed   to   inherit   freedom
and   now   strives   for   its   elusive   poetic   form.

Appeal   to   evidence   is   awkward,
if    tolerated    at   all.
Poetry    indulges   our   hidden   propensity
for   the   invisible   which   seems  so   real.
Poets    share   much   more
than    their   in-built   wishful   thinking,
their   desire   for   the   impalpable
and   what   they   think   is   divine.
They   share   a   jarring   longing   for
simple   human   freedom  they   can   hardly
come   by   in   real   life.


©2004 Vladimir Orlov
He   came   to   Russia   to   survey
If   he   could   do   his   business   there.
But   soon   he   discovered   he   had   to   defray
The   Asian   eccentricity    that   looked    unfair.

He   came   to   resemble   a   vessel   in   distress
Discharged   by   buccaneers   right   in   the   raving   ocean.
He   complained    that   the   taxation   press
Wasn’t   quite   of   his   free-market   notion.

He   cried   that   the   agreed   and   liquidated   damages
Got   too   prodigious   to   be   further   agreed   upon.
He   whispered   the   haunting   Russian  “roofing”  images
Were   one   big   pagan   image   of    the   Rubicon

Which   nobody   of   his    native   business   set
Would   have   ever   passed,   even   in   a   business    match.
He   was   not   a   gambler,   but   now   he   would   bet
He’d   rather   go   home   with   all   possible   dispatch.

“A   tough   but   civil   interview”
Not    unkindly   was   he   granted.
And   quarter   losses   had   to   be  kept   in   view,
And   be   accounted   for,   and   thoroughly    appreciated.

The   August, 1998,   default   on   the   state   debt  “GKO”
Was   the   last   lucrative   equity   he’d   bought.
It   now   lashes   him   with   the   torn   bonds   of   woe
And   plenty   of   inspiring   and   edifying   thought.


©2004 Vladimir Orlov
The   Kremlin   Walls
Built   up   to   enclose
God’s   envoys   in   the   halls
A   single   touch   of   1917   froze

With   no   hope   they   will   be
Warm   again,   even   though
Someone   is   so   eager   to   see
Them   thaw   and   glow.

But   that'll   hardly   be
If   the   ice   is   still
Within,  with   no   sign   to  see
It'll   ever   leave   the   hill.

The   Kremlin   Tombs
So   hopelessly   firm
Are   like   devastating   bombs
Made   by  a   secret   firm.

And   they   are   yet   to   churn
The   soft   butter   which   the  hill
Is   made   of. But   where   is  the   turn
Which   leads   to  at   least   a   single   mill?
[click to view introduction]