Flee to Far Shores

by Bogi Takács


- based on folk songs of the Carpathian basin -

Mother's Lament The beasts of the forest shall bury you, my daughter, the birds of the sky shall sing your funeral rites, for you have gone from me, to lands afar; leaving the jealous stares and gossiping glances behind, crossing the coffin-deep seas that roar like churchbells and lay their wave-crests upon you for a funeral shroud; you've asked me to mourn you before you left with your voice soaring high and breaking in song. Lover's Lament Please do not look back when you go down the gorge, do not turn, do not gaze longingly at my face; it's enough for me to know you will be among strangers and smile upon them while my heart calls out to you. My sun never shines through the clouds, only a few stray threads of light ever poke through; I tread the earth of this desolate unchanging land, begging the heavens to be more considerate of us. Daughter's Lament I'm leaving you, leaving my parting gifts behind - my skirt swirls, tracing memories of a more modest age, whispering my true name and my blessings, offering bountiful health and good fortune; I need to go so that I can send back some coin, feed the family with more than the air-thin promise of labors well-compensated; I know I will need to work until it gets so dark that birds fall out of the sky. Songs, in alphabetic order: * Aj sirass édesanyám (Transylvanian Hungarian) * Elmegyek én titőletek (Hungarian Romani) * Menni, menni, muszáj menni (Hungarian Romani) * Mikor a szoroson (Transylvanian Hungarian)

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Bogi Takács is a Hungarian Jewish author, a psycholinguist and a popular-science journalist. E writes speculative fiction, poetry and pieces that defy categorization. Eir works have been published or are forthcoming in venues like Strange Horizons, Stone Telling, Apex, GigaNotoSaurus and more.

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