Perun-Perunika

by Gašper Bivšek


Perun-Perunika

As upon the sky

a thousand suns would shine,

all shadows falling

into one. Narrow, black.

 

 

1.

He wears no chequered shirt,     

no pants of flax and no black

boots,  no straps of skin,

no muscles wreathing

up the bones; no bones.

No serpents bursting

patterns from the heart. No heart.

And still his traces show,

without footsteps, through soft snow,         

through green grass and blood soaked soil

with sawdust littered.                                

They show through moss, through stubble

and through stone and through frontage    

and through beasts                                       

and through me ... not through vine.           

 

2.

She wears no priestly robes,                            

and has no wooden altar, no jewels,

no plumage in her hair;

no hair. She brings no treasures and

no Jordan´s water, no willows`

incense, no stench spreads

from her lungs. She has no lungs.

And still her spirits graze

through skeletons of fields,

upon spring water

on those hellish days when all evaporates.

They graze through moss, through stubble

and through stone and through frontage

and through beasts                                           

and through me ... not through vine.              

 

3.

Perun-perun perunika,

you see man-woman, mother,

coming from the woods.

You see his flocks,

you see her herds...

With a sound of three throats

I send my voices and my limbs,

myself entire, to salute him.

And I watch her through the mist,

from the stuffy room of liquor,                                     

how she drips with drops of absinthe,

how from the sea the drops do frown,

how in the sea the drops then drown.

 

4.

Perun-perun Perunika descends

from flocks, over whose weary

lids most precious goods are layed.          

Nibbled tree stumps sprouting roots,               

his concrete wings

caress the greenery of woods;

and in his trail

carpets of death

for scouts with cancer weave.

In the eyes his nights hold               

black sky and black birds:

ravens, thrushes, magpies, crows;

crammed with gluttons,

pecking at the crumbs.                            

 

5.

Perun-perun Perunika stomps

from the herds, whose

saddles under linden trees were buried.

Banners flapping in the wind,                                     

disfigured hooves of hers                                            

gnaw narrow riverbeds;                                      

in front of her collapsing

endless chasms                                                                                           

for the aprons of modest ones.

In the eyes her nights hold

bright caves and white beasts;

sheep, horses, bulls and goats;

crammed with headsmen                                           

gulping clyster.

 

6.

In the armoured lies the vine,                                              

there is stairway leading to it,                                                    

and all that was and all that is,

caught in the fragments of these stairs;

in sand which bore the concrete.                                   

I am rounding in the sand;

its tongue licking my edges;

I earth among the molehills,                                            

I fossilize among the roots.

Blooming I drip sooth...                                                   

that which remains                                                           

only an orange-dot on bark

and smoke, smoke, smoke.

 

 


Perun = Storm god in the pre-Christian Slavic pantheon. Venerated particularly by the Eastern Slavs, especially the Russians. A clear counterpart to the Latvian Perkons and Lithuanian Perkunas, Perun ("striker," from the Indo-European root perk-/perg-) was also identified with Thor by the Scandinavian Varangians who settled in Russia, and with Zeus by Russian scribes familiar with Greek mythology. Ultimately, Perun's identity can perhaps be traced back to the Vedic thunder god Parjánya. Some scholars maintain that Perun gradually displaced the more ancient Rod as the high god of the East Slavic pantheon.

According to the Kievan Primary Chronicle, Perun was the chief deity of the pagan gods worshipped by the Russians until their Christianization in 988 by St. Vladimir I, Grand Prince of Kiev. Idols of Perun depicted him as a large man with a silver head and golden mustaches. A warlike deity, Perun was typically represented as carrying a club (sometimes a hammer), a battle-axe, and a bow, from which he loosed arrows of thunder and lightning. Sacrifices of cockerels and goats were often made to him; bulls and bears were offered up during major rituals. The oak tree was considered sacred to Perun, and he was sometimes worshipped in oak groves. After Russia's conversion to Eastern Orthodoxy, Perun's identity was absorbed syncretically into that of the prophet Elijah (Il'ia), whose chariot of fire racing across the sky recalled the lightning bolts associated with the old god.

 "Perun." Encyclopedia Mythica from Encyclopedia Mythica Online.

 

Perunika
1. Perunika=iris; Iris is a genus of between 200-300 species of flowering plants with showy flowers which takes its name from the Greek word for a rainbow, referring to the wide variety of flower colors found among the many species.
2. Perunika (PERUNKA, PER(K)UNOVA, PERENA, L(J)EL(J)UJA, LJELJA, GORKA, VERONIKA, OGNJENA MARIJA (Fairy Mary))
Perun's wife, goddess of lightning, weddings, motherhood, and protector of marriage and justice on earth. Later, under Christianity, her importance was degraded and she was regarded as an evil goddess, described as an evil and ugly woman named Irudika (who was in turn a daughter of Poganica).

“Perunika” LELUYA: mythology from LELUYA

© translated by Matic Večko

Perun-perunika

Kakor da bi na nebu

sijalo tisoč sonc,

vse sence padajo

v eno. Ozko, črno.

 


1.

Nima oblečene karo srajce,

ne lanenih hlač, ne črnih

škornjev, ne jermenov kože,

ne mišic, ki bi se pletle

po kosteh; ne kosti.

Ne kač, ki bi brstele

vzorce iz srca. Nima srca.

Pa se vidijo njegove sledi

brez stopinj v mehkem snegu,

v zeleni travi, v zemlji

krvavi z žagovino postlani.

Se vidijo po mahu, po strnišču

in po kamenju in po fasadah

in po živalih

in po meni … po trstiki ne.

 

2.

Nima oblečene svečeniške halje,

ne lesenega katedra, ne nakita,

ne peres v svojih laseh;

ne las. Ne nosi zakladov,

ne vode iz Jordana, ne kadila

iz vrbovja, ne zaudarja

iz njenih pljuč. Nima pljuč.

Pa se pasejo njeni duhovi

med skeletnjaki polja

in po studenčni vodi

na peklenske dni, ko vse hlapi.

Se pasejo po mahu, po strnišču

in po kamenju in po fasadah

in po živalih

in po meni … po trstiki ne.

 

3.

Perun-perun perunika,

mama, vidiš ženo-moža,

ki prihaja iz gozda.

Vidiš njegove jate,

vidiš njene črede …

Z zvokom treh grl

mu pošiljam v pozdrav

svoje glasove, svoje ude,

sebe popolnoma vsega.

In gledam jo iz megle,

iz zatohle izbe žganja,

kako kaplja s kapljami pelina

in kako se kaplje morja bojijo,

kako se v morju kaplje utopijo.

 

4.

Perun-perun perunika vstopa

iz jat, ki lega jim

na trudne veke najdražje blago.

Korenijo obžrti štori,

njegova cementna krila

božajo zelenje gozda;

za njim se tkejo

smrtne preproge

za rakave izvidnike.

V njegovih nočeh v očeh

je črno nebo in črne ptice:

vrane, srake, kosi, krokarji;

vse polno lakotnikov,

ki kljuvajo drobir.

 

5.

Perun-perun perunika topota

iz čred, ki so jim

sedla pod lipe zakopali.

Plapolajo prapori v vetru,

njena zmaličena kopita

glodajo ozke struge;

pred njo se vdirajo

večna brezna

za predpasnike skromnežev.

V njenih očeh v nočeh

so svetle jame in bele živali;

ovce, koze, biki, konji;

vse polno krvnikov,

ki goltajo klistir.

 

6.

V blindiranem počiva trstika

in je stopnišče, ki vodi do nje,

in je vse bilo in vse je

v odkruških teh stopnic;

v pesku, ki je spustil cement.

Kroglim se med peskom;

z jezikom mi liže robove,

prstim se med krtinami,

kamnim med koreninami.

Rožast cedim saje …

kar ostane na koncu

je oranž-pika na skorji

in dim, dim, dim.

© Gašper Bivšek, Skorjevec (Študentska založba, 2007)