Vladimir Bashev


Do you love me…I can’t hear you
Speak up! ..I can’t hear anything
(from a telephone conversation)

And I couldn’t hear my sweet babe
At all clearly either

The battered old receiver
Had gathered a whole ocean
Of waves in furious motion
Blown up by frantic winds
Scurrying in every direction.

Instead of you
Some bloke had a try
In clearest terms to treat
The expected quantity of rye
And how much wheat
I begged him to give way
He stopped dead
finished calmly: OK
We’ll discuss it in May.

Just then Burgas butted in
Asking about cement
Shouted that because of us
They’d lose the moment
Plovdiv wanted fork lift trucks,
Tirnovo iron bars,
Some bloody garden bores
Started to scold me
About flowers.
What could I do?
I had no choice.
Before the world I had to
Bluntly raise my voice.
In the cause of love
And I shouted
With all my strength
With all the passion of the south

Can you hear me
My darling
I need, NEED, NEED your love

My cry stilled the ocean’s might
The atmosphere grew warmer.
The kid’s really in the right
Cried Silistra to Varna.

They died away
And in a short
But sympathetic silence
Your voice
Cut across miles and
Rang in my ears again.
And I realized

How infinite romance
Had captured
A thousand wires and cables
Had  transformed them
With our intimate secret fables
To the great joy
Of everybody

Vladimir Bashev

translation by Christopher Buxton