I am descended from warriors and hunters.
I can walk on thin, unsteady ice.
I can fly to the cheerful starry bonfire.
I can extinguish like a red coal in the ashes of darkness.
Someone’s happy, another’s sad.
I slip their mind.
I’m bombarded with a chorus of voices.
I’m a river in spate, bursting my banks.
I am safe in my bed, the torrent easing.
In the most precious depths of our soul,
there is frozen ground or a crooked mirror.
I make people laugh, then sink into sadness,
good and evil in a single soul.
On clear days I am both young and old.
My soul gazes at the land, each blade of grass.
A happy thunderstorm
rumbles in the sky,
but inspiration only lasts a moment.
It is a waste of time brooding on my sins.
Better to let honour drive my best efforts in life.
My soul rushes thoughts into the abyss of the sky,
only for them to dash back to earth in a vicious circle
I am descended from Warriors and Hunters is a poem from Contemporary Kazakh Poetry, Published by NBT in partnership with Cambridge University Press
Written by Kadyr Myzra Ali