October 28, 2013

Kindness to Horses

The hooves stomped faster,
singing as they trod:
— Grip.
Grub. —

the street skidded.
Onto its side, a horse
and immediately,
the loafers gathered,
as crowds of trousers assembled up close
on the Kuznetsky,
and laughter snickered and spluttered.
—“A horse tumbled!”
—“It tumbled — that horse!”
The Kuznetsky cackled,
and only I
did not mix my voice with the hooting.
I came up
and looked into
the horse’s eye...

The street, up-turned,
continued moving.
I came up and saw
tears, — huge and passionate,
rolling down the face,
vanishing in its coat...
and some kind of a universal,
animal anguish
spilled out of me
and splashing, it flowed.
“Horse, there’s no need for this!
Horse, listen, —
look at them all, - who has it worse?
we are all, to some extent, horses, —
everyone here is a bit of a horse.”

she was old
and didn’t want to be nursed,
or maybe, she took in my speech with a scoff,
the horse,
out of nowhere, suddenly burst,
heaved to its feet,
and neighing,
walked off.
Wiggling its tail,
with its mane shinning gold,
It returned to the stall,
full of joyful feelings.
She imagined once more
that she was a colt,
and work was worth doing
and life was worth living.

Vladimir Mayakovsky, 1918

Black Gold (1947, Phil Karlson)

thanks to Misho Antadze for the poem.

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