Ukraine : The Silence of the Bees

Painting by Jan Stanisławski



By Gabriel Rosenstock

This is a bilingual tanka (5-7-5-7-7 syllables) in Irish and English in response to a painting by Ukrainian-Polish artist Jan Stanisławski (1860 -1907) (featured above).
beacha ina dtost
na créatúir bhochta ina staic
gan fáil ar neachtar
   blátha ina lasracha
   cíor mheala dhubh an chogaidh
the bees are silent
stunned little ones, all rattled
nectar is nowhere
      meadow flowers burst into flame
      the black honeycomb of war


About the Author

Gabriel Rosenstock is a bilingual poet (in Irish & English), haikuist, tankaist, playwright, novelist, short story writer, essayist, translator, writer for children and champion of ‘forlorn causes’ – the phrase is Hugh MacDiarmid’s. He is a Lineage Holder of Celtic Buddhism and a member of Aosdána (the Irish academy of arts and letters). Among his awards is the Tamgha-i-Khidmat medal (Pakistan) for services to literature.