Cyclamens and Swords Publishing
Publishing fine poetry, prose and Art
Helen Bar-Lev
Bernard Mann
David Collett
Donna Langevin
Geoffrey Heptonstall
John Grabski
Katherine Burkman
Lilian Cohen
Lisa Okon
Mike Leaf
Slava Bart April 2012
Slava Bart April 2012

Slava Bart was born December 2nd, 1983, in Kokshetau, Kazakhstan. In 1994 Slava’s family immigrated to Israel. Formed by a childhood in Kazakhstan, his memories of Russia were full of all the things which did not exist there: electricity, gas, water, food, culture… so that writing in Russian felt too much like trying to create something out of nothing, and Hebrew did not appear attractive because Israel somehow felt like a continuation of Kazakhstan. 

A Journey on Three Gossamer Strings

It’s the simplest thing in the world: you wait for favorable weather, climb the highest point in your vicinity, raise your abdomen as high as you can by standing on your front legs, and release three strands of the finest gossamer you can manage, so that they join at the top and the breeze lifts you off the leaf and, ah, what a feeling, you are flying, climbing the warm currents, the Earth rolling below you, and you can imagine that you are turning the globe with your eight little legs.

It’s sunset, the air is warm and rosy, and you can see the inky shadow of the planet cast against its own atmosphere. How long will your flight last? Where will the wind and the winding gossamer take you? You don’t know, and the anticipation is full of worry and wonder.

Drifting, you begin to dream: the distant lands you will discover, the cobwebs you will weave, the writhing meals you will devour, the ladies you will woo…

And for a while the blur below you merges with your dreams, when suddenly you realize that the rushing green has changed to a rushing blue, that for some time now you have been flying dangerously low over restless water and that you can’t see the shore. So is that it – over before it began? Will you land on top of a ripple, dance with your reflection on the sheeny film until your feet are mired in it worse than in a sea of glue, drown before you even sink and only then descend into the bottomless ink, to be swallowed by some soulless leviathan amid a ton of phytoplankton?

But you are not even given the opportunity to contemplate your fate, because the rough wind keeps throwing you up and down, coldly teasing you with pending death, so that you can only feel unbearable nausea and dumb, helpless fear, as you dangle there, staring at doom with eight unblinking eyes.

But after a while in a world where the fourth dimension is not time but terror, you suddenly feel alive again, you feel again every one of the myriad tiny hairs coating your body as they bristle with a new sensation and you can see what seems to be an endless field of ashen black all shimmering with dew, spreading on all sides of you, as if some supernatural conflagration had consumed not only the earth, but the sky as well, where your gossamer sail trails lifelessly behind you as you try to hold on to something in the void, hoping that the bubble of air will last long enough for you to reach one of those distant drops of dew.