Poems in words are okay, but JUMBO THE ELEPHANT is poetry!



Marina Tsvetaeva
translated by Becca Menon

I’m happy to live the standard, simply:
Like a calendar – a pendulum – like the sun.
A worldly, scrawny pilgrim who never whimpers,
Wise – like all things God has begun.

Understand:  Spirit goes with me – Spirit, my guide! –
Enters without a trace, like a flash or a ray.
I live the way I write:  spare as a cord.
As the Lord commanded but friends never sway.

Я счастлива жить образцово и просто:
Как солнце — как маятник — как календарь.
Быть светской пустынницей стройного роста,
Премудрой — как всякая Божия тварь.

Знать: Дух — мой сподвижник, и Дух — мой вожатый!
Входить без доклада, как луч и как взгляд.
Жить так, как пишу: образцово и сжато, —
Как Бог повелел и друзья не велят.

Other available translations appear to me to have overlooked Tsvetaeva’s formal and spiritual concerns.  So I take the liberty of interpolating a title from a word in this untitled poem from November 22, 1918.


A Becca Menon Poetry Sampler

Comfort Comes

Comfort comes in the calyxes of quiet

Where the mind takes rest from the thoughts that hide it.

Inside the psalmist’s blessing, the lesson:

The cup overflows with emptiness.

Let comfort come like soothing to body,
like cool in the hand of smoothest stone,
like care that assuages the spirit’s aloneness.

Let comfort come like the prayer of a goddess,

a great sacramental surrender, a promise

that quiet will blossom, that comfort come.

“The Wife of Pain”

“But First You Must”

These pieces first appeared in:
Poetry Life and Times | PLT at Artvilla
Iraq Literary Review..Winter 2011 – Scribd
Kritya.in :: Home

~ “Braiding The Strands,” an excerpt from the forthcoming work of rhythmic fiction, “The Wondrous History of The Queen of Sheba” appearing in Peacock Journal (below) received a
nomination, October 2018. ~

~ Mother, Can You Hear Me? essay on poetry in Per Contra ~

~ “The Fairy Begs For Bacon” (with Audio), Kosmos Journal Quarterly, Fall 2018 ~

~ “Whatever You Do” as well as an excerpt from my translation of the antifascist Nietzschean murder mystery, “A Riddle,” by Isolde Kurz
in Orbis International Literary Journal #182 ~

~ Translation of Isolde Kurz’ sonnet “Sleepflakes”
in Ezra Journal of Translation Winter 2018 Issue ~

~ “The Ogre’s Daughters” in The Literary Nest  ~

~ 3 excerpts from a forthcoming verse novel, “The Wondrous History of The Queen of Sheba,” a translation of a sonnet by Isolde’s Kurz, & the Artist’s Statement On Beauty, a new poem, “Providence’ Salve” in Peacock Journal ~

~ “The Wife of Pain” reprint with audio in Wordgathering, Journal of Disability Poetry & Literature ~

~ “Buddha Nature” on NatureWriting ~

~ “Weeds” in Poetry Life & Times ~

~ “Stewing” in The Road Not Taken: The Journal of Formal Poetry ~

~ “To Work in the World” & “Lyric” in Mezzo Cammin ~

~ “Bodhi” in Poetry Life & Times ~

~ “Exhaustion” with audio in Antiphon Poetry Magazine issue 19 ~

~ 3 Poems as well as an Artist’s Statement “On Beauty” (a new poem)
in Peacock Journal ~

~ The Pleasure-Time of Good Queen Bess” Society of Classical Poets ~

~ A reprint of “But First You Must” in E-ratio Poetry Journal ~

~ “Flunking the Turing Test” in Poetry Life & Times ~


with thanks to a friend

 “Truth,” said the crone – spitting left, spitting right –
“is a plant that grows towards the light;”
she hawked, choked, then went on curtly,
“but always has roots in the dirt.”

~ Becca Menon Paperbacks & Kindle on Amazon ~
~ Becca Menon @ Smashwords: e-books for most devices ~


for a friend who is anxious in his sleep

Though afflictions and troubles test your mission,


you pay divine tuition:

as Jacob learned in angel arms,

the meaning of blessed

is accepting harms.