“The heart is the only broken instrument that works.” - T. E. Kalem
Magpie Tales has presented to us this week with an image of a grave at the Novodevichy Cemetery in Moscow. It is the grave of Aleksandr Nikolayevich Bakulev (1890 - 1967) who was a Soviet surgeon, one of the founders of cardiovascular surgery in the USSR, and his wife, Valentina Petrovna Bakuleva (1904 - 1990). The image of the hands holding the ruby-red heart is both apposite, given the métier of Bakulev, and striking in terms of artistic appeal. The image of heart and ruby was a strong prompt.
My heart last night was bled
The drops of blood, gout by gout extracted,
Falling like pomegranate grains
On barren soil.
Seeds of precious ruby
On rocky, drought-stricken land were thrown –
Pearls cast before the swine,
Such wasted toil.
My curious exsanguination
Casually observed by silent spectators,
Puzzled by my libations, mindless of the labours of
My midnight oil.
And yet the heart will fill again,
The pallid body will with rose blooms be coloured,
Ready for yet another sacrifice –
Again and yet again,
Until my final breath expires,
Until I shuffle off
This mortal coil