Vladivostok: inventing Siberia

There are prayers for the wanderers and travellers,
prayers for those at sea,
when we strain through the fog
for the white sail on the eastern horizon
or the life line of rails stretching endlessly to the west,
searching for a Russia, inventing a Siberia,
until we can see for ourselves.

Siberia is iconic wilderness hidden in fog,
and the still living lake, Siberia’s jewel,
has low, early cloud lying on the water like snow,
and Russia is a dangerous idea,
a sensory ethnography built of centuries of isolation,
a rebranded myth of power brokers who continue
to control and corrupt,
remaining power brokers by any other name.

Looking for Siberia, while fog obscures and obfuscates,
the wanderers can show us
and the travellers hope for clear sky.

Note: Wanderers are dissident artists using critical realism to
expose Russian life in the 1860s and 1870s.

© Sandra Renew 2013

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