I heard your voice sometimes when I was drunk
With poetry, with whiskey or with love,
I heard your voice that towered above
This cold, drab world, O bright and splendid Sun!
I heard your voice--a conscience that would rise
And bring to light injustices and ills--
I heard your voice sometimes when I was still
That rose like a flame above the lies,
That burnt in anger, in revolt and rage,
And filled my pages with defiant songs,
I heard your voice that is all but gone
In this indifferent Information Age,
Where all the experts found their niche,
Where all the rats have crawled inside their holes,
And all the literati sold their souls
For one-night stands and moments of prestige--
And who am I to judge?  I'm still at ease,
Not suffering from some terminal disease,
The birds still chirp, the dogs still mate and bark,
The lovers over there in the park
Still lovingly embrace, still kiss and laugh,
The seasons change... And yet it's not enough
To break up the monotony of time,
I heard your voice that spoke in a rhyme
And felt a longing never satisfied,
I heard your voice that has all but died
And merged with vanity and all the daily noise--
Hey you out there, rattle off your words,
You poet laureates, charlatans, buffoons,
Yes, sing, you clowns, may your drivel stir
My spirit from the darkest depths of gloom,
And I will take this pen and write "O Sun!"--
The only sun that brings the morning light--
Until I go back into the night,
My final night when all the work is done.

                                                February 19, 1996
                                           --Alexander Shaumyan