The Gardener and the Thistle
By Vassily Borisevitch, Liège, 1962 (Translated by Dr Nikita J Eike)
A weed you are, thistle in the meadow,
A soldier on guard with bow and arrows,
Ambush for the hand tilling fields left fallow,
Droplets of blood mark your seat in the meadow.
With purple tufts as turban most bizarre,
You stand on your stem like a chubby khedive,
If your flowers are fierce weapons of war,
Needles and quills are the fruits you tithe.
Eager to grow, you may stand high
Leave the meadow without goodbye,
And flowers will grow without a sigh.
Thistle the foe! Your feud, my woe! I must go by!
I, the Thistle, do grow hither thither, hustle-bustle,
I am an emblem, not a hedgerow,
I offer fruits of empty spaces between my bristles,
For wee creatures to take shelter wherever I grow.
I stand tall in the sun as salute to my King,
At His word, I pray in silent blossoms and grow.
Thorns of silver in the wind bristling,
To shield the winged creatures of the meadow.
You call me a scrub, a sight to mourn,
Warrior, I am, the victor of the meadow,
You call me thistle, weed, and thorn,
But to the King, flower I am for in His eyes, I glow.