Thursday, June 29, 2023

Of Dragons and Unicorns

Three-Headed Dragon, Libetsk, Russia
—Poetry by Alexieva Petrouchka, 
Los Angeles, CA
—Public Domain Photos Courtesy  
of Alexieva Petroucha
Змеюв Род
(in Bulgarian)

Мойта пра-баба, стара пророчица,
ведма, знахарка и врачка добра -
както си баеше беше ми казала,
че нейната баба змей я е крал.

Дошъл на герана, вода ѝ поискал -
грабнал я, литнал с големи криле,
после се върнали, сватба ѝ вдигнал –
и тъй род го има за векове.

Той силен, тя блага като медена пита;
той пазел селото, тя лечител била –
на врага с люта сеч, а на госта с постилка
и така всеки знаел на Змея дома.

Нямал прошка за злия, имал хляб за добрия,
с огън и меч побеждавал врага.
Още има зад хълма Змеюва нива,
и нас още ни има во веки
за гордост на тая свещенна земя!

* * *

(in English)

My grandma was old hexa and healer;
She knew the herbs, she healed the wounds.
She was doing her magic and spells
When she said that a dragon once stole
Her distant grandma when she was a maid.

He came for the water to the village well.
He grabbed her and flew her far-far away.
Then came back and married her in a lavish
This is the way began my kin—
For centuries ahead to be.

He was strong; she was sweet like a 
honey-bread pita;
He protected the village, she cured the 
To the invaders he threw fires and fought
them with swords;
To strangers in need, she gave shelter and 

So, everyone knew their place. Today,
The valley still carries his Dragon’s name.
People make legends and sing cheerful songs.
But we are alive and we still stay;
We never give up, in his Dragon’s way.  

* * *


I wish I was a three-headed fiery dragon
And could solve all my problems at once.
As you know, all my brothers travel at night
Due to traffic control. That’s right!

The first head could lie down
On a heavenly cloud
Avoiding my insomniac time.
So, I could get my beauty sleep
Way above the commoner-crowd.

Meanwhile, the second head
Could blow flames on the neck
Of the people who only exist
To inflict pain on the others. I have a list
And I’d give them a glimpse of
How the furnace below really is.

A note of delight: Dante was right
About hell, but my list is longer.
My flames might be faster and stronger—
Because I carry at once three hells.

I almost forgot! I would have a third head!
It would be flame-buoyant and wild.
The two heads could stay sober and dry.
In fact, I don’t mind turning my domain
Into a beer-marathon den.

Folks, I would have no problem hosting
Everyday Barbie-cute in my back yard.
Oh, pardon my spelling. What I was telling?
I meant “b-b-q” and…you’ve got the clue.

I swear! I’m not going to steal sexy maidens.
Oh, Holy heavens! This is an outdated fashion
For this Internet age, but I’ll party with no
And keep on my deck
Boys from fire-fighting descent.

They’ll point out a hose. Of course,
It would be great if, on every event
I could get free swimming lake there,
Just bursting my breath in the air.

No, no, no! I’m not going to flap my wings
And silently disappear!
My happy and dizzy third head
Would weave its long neck and cheer:
"Oh, what the heck!
Hey man, toss me another barrel of beer!"
Fantasie: Riding a Unicorn

In my mid-night lavender dreams
Crispy-white unicorn comes.
It emerges from the shimmering mist
Showered with stardust from above.

I am touching his twisted horn,
Gliding palm on his waterfall mane,
Whispering “Where were you born?
Are you coming from heaven, my friend?”

I am riding with wings of a fairy,
One little star lands in my heart
Crossing paths with a sparkling rainbow.
Fireflies lighten my way in love.

* * *


I am riding my crispy-white unicorn
With sparkling star on his horn.

Where am I going?

Silver moonlight from above
Is painting a path
Among blossoming meadows
Of my dreams and desires.

I am riding my unicorn
Through the mist;
Barefooted, with veils on my hips,
Softly wearing my morning tiara,  
Cleansing gently my soul
In the whispering creek.

Where am I going?

I am riding
Towards the morning.
Don’t wake me up, please…


Today’s LittleNip:

Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.

—Neil Gaiman,


Surprise—a bit of Bulgarian to wake us up this morning! Welcome back to the Kitchen, Alexieva Petrouchka! In addition to her fiery poems today, Alexieva has sent us some information:

Note regarding Dragons: Dragon’s myths are part of the cultural belief system. They appear to be one-headed (as in Asia and Northern Europe), two-headed (as in parts of Europe), and three-headed ones, broadly popular among Slavic verbal folk traditions, as in Bulgaria and Russia (for example). Dragons could be bad or good. The big folk heroes fight them and win. Dragons steal beautiful maidens and live with them. They might become protectors of villages. Or might become human-like.

Note regarding Unicorns: The legend of the unicorn is 10,000 years old. Some versions exist in China, Africa, South America, Greece, and in parts of Europe. It is said that the unicorns come down to earth from heaven once a year to fulfill one wish. A wish could be fulfilled by touching his twisted horn, and if the person has a pure heart, the wish will come true. The unicorn with huge wings is named Pegasus, a symbol of writers and poets.

Photo Credits/Links:
1.  A statue of a three-headed fire breathing dragon in Lipetsk region, Russia (about 15 meters tall)
More info:
 2.  Fantasie

Thanks, Alexieva!




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