Joseph Brodsky Poems >>
To The Negotiations In Kabul

You, the brutal-hearted sky-scraping mountain tribes!
Lamb and horseflesh - is all your menu describes;
Long beards and handcrafted rugs, your loud guttural names;
Never before have seen a sea, not to mention a piano - in your eyes.
Legendary for your profiles, fingers attired in gold,
Joint bridge of the nose, riffle shots to deliver a word:
Never mind the envelopes, in the absence of the addresses!
Protected by their very backs from the rains and tempests;
Living shrouded up in the mountains in kishlaks,
Shrouded in the clouds, just like in turban, Allah.
 
Looks like the time has come for you, abreks and hasbullahs,
Part with your snugy robe; prepare yourself for a surprise,
Get out of your saklya, be ready to dilute,
Your currency free life out there - so close to the absolute ---
With a fair quantity of fare-complexion species
From multi-storied too, full of dazzling lights cities,
Where one can hop in the Mercedes and -- there quickly
Forget the bloody feud completely;
And where transparent clothes that can sail
From the hip down - is your only veil.
 
All in all, Ibrahims, the mountain chain from Ararat
To Everest is the food for photo apparatus;
As for those snow peaks not excluding blue air --
They would greatly pass for travel agencies exterior.
Details should not fall into dependency of a landscape!
Everything goes down the drain including that landscape,
If bras and justice - everywhere you turn.
There -- is better than there, where the lord is cone;
And where the neck of the riffle, at the daybreaks,
Is the one for your hand to fondle, sheikhs.
 
An eagle soaring high in the skies, looks down with discontent
At the serpent signature on the agreement
Concluded by you, the bigots, bred and fostered by Islam,
And ambassadors, dressed to the hilt in gabardine,
Grinning for the camera from the first seat.
And then, there is nothing at all; there is none to see,
None to see there none to see there except for
The fact that there is none else, thanks to trachoma or
That eye that was ripped off by avowed foe
And none to see but - gloomy woe.