Photo - Aliona Pazdniakova
"In villages God does not live only
in icon corners, as the scoffers claim,
but plainly, everywhere. He sanctifies
each roof and pan, divides each double door.
In villages God acts abundantly-
cooks lentils in iron pots on Saturdays,
dances a lazy jig in flickering flames,
and winks at me, witness to all of this.
He plants a hedge, and gives away a bride
(the groom's a forester), and, for a joke,
he makes it certain that the game warden
will never hit the duck he's shooting at.
The chance to know and witness all of this,
amidst the whistling of the autumn mist,
is, I would say, the only touch of bliss
that's open to the village atheist".