Winter Baby

You were a winter baby. Born in an ice white flurry of snow. We brought you home in our old camper van, strapping you into the baby seat that we had chosen together. I fussed about you being too hot and too cold, as everything needed to be perfect for you, my first and only child. Simon turned on the radio and we listened to a young girl who sang like an angel; and we felt blessed too. Turning to Simon as he smiled at me, there was that sense of deep knowing, that in that one single moment my whole life was complete, and as I gazed into your sweet, new-born face, I knew that you were my life; my beautiful, beautiful boy…

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Lost in Translation &Feeling Like Love

Lost in Translation?

I was surprised to read the rumor that assumes translators are either lazy, or are writers who don’t wish to be noticed! I have no idea as to where that notion came from. The difference between a well translated text and an appalling one are so vast. Having seen this from both sides, while working for a Russian magazine, I would like to add my own insights to the discussion.

Late one night the deputy editor of the magazine, Status, which I work for, emailed in a state of advanced anxiety and frustration. The magazine had decided to try some new translators (Russian to English), and some of the pieces were so badly done, they were unreadable. The editor had done her best to restore some of the English, but as it was not her first language, she was struggling to make progress and the deadlines were imminent. Normally I would need to adapt the texts only slightly to make them more readable in English, and the Russian journalists were happy for me to do this; but this time they were so badly done they had to be carefully reconstructed as the quality of these excellent writers’ work had been ruined.

I felt really bad for my Russian colleagues, as no writer should have to cope with a situation like that, on a professional, glossy magazine. What I learnt from this experience was the amazing difference a good translator can make. Their work is largely unseen and unappreciated, and yet the better the job is done, the less you realize they have done it.

I  also understood form this experience that to respect someone else’s voice in a piece of writing, while translating, means that the translator must put their own ego on the shelf; in order to showcase someone else’s work. I have to ask in all honestly, how many writers’ would actually capable of doing this, without leaving behind traces of themselves and their own style? I doubt any of the writers I know personally, could resist the temptation to try and ‘improve’ the work. I must therefore conclude that translation is a highly specialised job carried out by very special people.

From a writer’s point of view, my concerns about translation are issues of trust and control. Having obsessed about the words, you wonder how, in another language, they will adapt and be perceived. And you will never know. It is impossible to predict reader reaction in your own language, so how much more risky that seems in someone else’s! My deepest concern is that, I write about different types of relationships in my poetry. My worst case scenario would be for a poem which is romantic or mildly erotic in English to seem slightly sleazy in another language – because I don’t the words or understand the cultural connotations that go with them.

My other concern is of rhythm; I have no idea if it gets lost once a piece has been translated. Some of my poems, such as ‘Feeling Like Love’ rely quite heavily on rhythm to give meaning, and I will never know if a poem like that, would give the same reading experience in another language; therefore translation involves an element of mystery and magic!

Feeling Like Love

She remembers the sheets,

That wrapped and entrapped them,

Coiled and curled,

Swathed across wet skin;

Drenched hot and cold,

In love and lust;

In strength and weakness,

In giving and receiving,

Hot, hard and needing,

Like nothing else exists –

Like everything;

Desperate,

Endless,

Inescapable,

Feeling; like, love.

First published in Contemporary Literary Horizon 2014

Themes of Time and Memory

I have always been fascinated with relationship time and memory. Memories seem suggestible, subjective and are colored by emotion. Can we ever fully trust them? Are they able to persist in their own reality?

What if memories could be record by the state for monitoring and social control? What if you were offered the possibility of reliving your most precious memory – would you take it? And at what price? These are some of the questions I am attempting to answer as I write my new Sci-Fi novella, Memory Stalker…

The original idea for this came from my poem Pure Perfection:

Pure Perfection

It happens without warning,

The perfect moment, second, instant,

Fleetingly before it vanishes;

Grasping at its shadow,

Feeling its tenuous texture,

Luxuriating in the surreal essence,

Of past experience.

If only you could preserve it;

Then revive its sleeping princess,

With a stealthy lover’s kiss,

Back into your consciousness,

As if it were never lost,

Abandoned or forgotten,

Only, waiting to be recaptured.

In times of deep distress,

Of disinterest and disaffection;

Relive those precious moments.

Awaken the taste of madeleine cake,

And resuscitate your past,

Time remembered, time forgotten,

Memories intricately reconstructed.

Remembrance of lives once lived,

Of innocent, childhood tales,

And seductive lovers past,

Both saved and savored,

Sweet and persuasive.

Time can captivate and fascinate,

In its pure perfection.

First published in the Screcch Owl 2015

First Eve

First Eve

♥ 

I adored it

When called me

Your very first Eve,

Entering your

Mystical kingdom,

Where I imagined

I would reign supreme!

Relying on my sensuality

To enchant and seduce you,

Imagining my poor,

Pawned innocence,

Could keep you content.

But deep in the burning heart

Of your abandoned desires,

You had already lost,

The love of your life;

It was never me, whom

You craved in your darkest dreams-

Your vanquished heart,

Having already been stolen

By a deceiving demoness,

Who had disappeared

From your enchanted life,

In a tornado of torturous abuse.

I can no longer believe,

That I was ever truly yours;

I suspect that you lied and deceived me:

I could never be, your very first Eve,

When your disintegrating heart,

Had already dissolved,

After losing your demonic lover, Lilith:

If I were, somehow, able to decipher your pain,

Must you mourn her for all of eternity?

First published at The Screech Owl 2015

Point of Infinity

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Point of Infinity

♦ 

You told me you saw,

The sea in the windows of

My beautiful house –

And I believed you.

Yet; you leveraged my love,

Beyond the point of infinity,

Past the horizon, where,

All seas collide

And passion dies.

Never for me

That perfect moment

Under the cherry tree,

Which flowers but once

Every hundred years;

You told me you saw

The sea in the windows of

My beautiful house,

But, I no longer believe you.

First published in Contemporary Literary Horizon in English and Romanian 2014

Wild Montana

When I was younger there always seemed to be a western on TV in the background.  As a little girl if I had been good all day, I got to stay up for an extra hour before bedtime to watch Bonanza or The High Chaparral. It was an innocent time, when no-one even questioned why our heroes were shooting at the Indians… that’s just the way it was; and someone had to be the bad guy.

As a teenager I moved on to Alas Smith and Jones, and what fun they had cracking safes and robbing trains! Eventually I becoming a fan of the coolest guy to ever wear a cowboy hat; the amazing Clint Eastwood, who is said, never to have had that poncho washed for the entire spaghetti western series… just to keep in character.  imagine how  uncomfortable that was, in all of that heat?

So my love of guys in cowboy hats continues to this day, but it all began with a certain mister Gable and one of my all-time favourite movies, Boomtown with Claudette Colbert and Spencer ‘nice- but totally resistible’ Tracey. But enough of this waffle! Here is my own cowboy themed poem Wild Montana…

Wild Montana

Here in the present,

Living in the past,

Last week,

Thursday,

Back there again,

Waiting,

For the sarcasm to start.

Her spiteful eyes, gleaming,

Vicious mouth screaming,

Wife, life, wife.

My lover, he says,

He’s leaving for Montana.

Abandoned yet again!

My life is secretly suspended,

While waiting for his calls.

Not long now, he murmurs,

But, she glares back,

Feverish with fury,

Destroying the last seconds,

Whilst he’s still with me.

I think of Montana,

Wild and untamed.

Seeing photos he sends me,

I feel a little closer,

Knowing,

He’s out there –

Drinking and riding,

Wild horses and women,

Like Clark Gable –

Without a cowboy hat.

He calls me, desperately;

Needing money to escape,

Will he really leave her?

Naturally, he says.

And for a split second,

I believe him,

Buying back into the old dream,

Of wild, untamed Montana:

It feels a lot like love,

But it’s as real as his cowboy hat.

First published in contemporary Literary Horizon 2014 in English & Romanian

Dreaming of You

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Is there such a thing as Poetry Noir? 

Dreaming of You 

I needed to be

Bonnie and Clyde,

All guns blazing

Someone at my side,

To judge the stakes

And take the risks,

I had already

Suffered myself –

Putting it on the line,

Like a two dollar,

Fantasy crime, novel,

I’d rashly bought,

A shabby bargain,

At cost price.

When you traded in

Our loyalty;

Abandoning me,

With nothing more

Than telling the sorry tale

Of your selfish

Betrayal,

In the shattered light,

And jagged fragments of night,

Your love destroyed,

Every sense

It touched,

Torching it to the ground.

Stranded in the shadows

Of dark afterglow,

I dreamt of

Our last stand, and

The sweet violence, still

Smouldering in the fire;

In my burnt out shell,

I still fantasize,

Of the bond

Between us;

Reality insists on

A tragic ending – and yet,

I’m still dreaming of you…

Sonia Kilvington

First published in Contemporary Literary Horizon 2014 in English & Romanian

Dangerous Love!

After many years of writing poetry, my first collection in English and Romanian has been published as part of the ‘Bibliotheca Universalis’ one of of 50 bilingual poetry, essay and short story collections. I believe my own book, Dangerous Love, is number 25 in this impressive collection of work from around the world, including – Mexico, America ,Argentina, UK, Italy, Spain and Romania – to name but a few! The collection has been developed, nurtured and created by the editor in chief of ‘Contemporary Literary Horizon’, Daniel Dragomirescu, who’s literary journal aims to offer  “All the world in a journal” and indeed it does!
Cover Poetry For further information on “Contemporary Literary Horizon’ and a glimpse of the new copy for May/June

visit  http://contemporaryhorizon.blogspot.com/