Instant

Do not get used to miracles,
But always be amazed!
Do not get used to the heavens’ light
But drink it with your gaze!

Look closer at the fleeting clouds,
Listen to songbirds tweeting,
Stoop down and take a drink from streams,
For nought will be repeated.

At every instant, as you go,
Let your surprise be constant.
All will be so – and yet not so
In just another instant.

Copyright© Vadim Shefner, 1964 (Translated by Dorian Rottenberg)
Photo of urban Nigerian sunset scene by Namnso Ukpanah on Unsplash

Vadim Sergeevich Shefner (Russian: Вади́м Серге́евич Ше́фнер); born December 30, 1914 was a Soviet and Russian poet and writer who started publishing poetry in 1936. His first poetry collection was published in 1940. He turned to humorous and philosophical science fiction in the early 1960’s, but continued publishing non-genre fiction and poetry till his demise in January 5, 2002.

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