Elena Divarova



You, King–Portalkeeper,

open the portal,

so that King passes –

the King – the Lord…



otvori porti,

da mine tsaryat –

tsaryat gospodaryat...)


We sing and go round in two symmetrical circles. This is us – the children from the neighborhood. With arms raised, we make an archway – a portal through which the next child will pass, who, in his or her turn, will be a King for a few moments. We do not realize the ancient sense, but we carry it in ourselves, and follow the idea of ​​the circle, because the circle is a universal model, it is the Sun, the bread, the snake having bitten its own tail, it is the time that is and is not. All together, we repeat the old rhymes and chants; the words change, one replaces another, there is hardly a word left the way it used to be – in these games having originated a thousand, two thousand, three thousand years ago... But the aim is the same. To be a part of the circle, to pass through the portal – on the other side, in the other world, to change, to rebirth, to raise again.

…a scoop, a pan,

a pot, a lid,


(…lazhichka, panichka,

tendzhera, kapak,

po-hlu-pak!) –

the next circle finishes, the next round, two by two, we make a hoop with our two pairs of arms, we close it and open it, close it and open it...

Time is, and it is not. We sing, we foretell it and we count its annual circles which twist in the square – wedding round dances, festive round dances, winter and summer ones. We are the same people who, thousands of years ago, used to turn the wheels of the round dances, of the chariots, of the mills. We are the same children. We collect and spin our lives: “...a scoop, a pan, a pot, a lid, co-ver-it!” And we cover the time! It is what you put in the pot. If you do not put anything – there is no time. No portal, no King. And the kids are running again, hurrying to play, holding hands and making a circle, making a world, crowning. They do not know how important this work is. Do they not know? They sing, they count, they foretell, they give birth to the time which disappears and appears again in the word, in the hoop of two pairs of arms. Pipe and bagpipe, adze, plumb, spindle, hook and stripe, two steps, three. (Kaval i gayda, tesla, otves, vreteno, kuka i kanatitsa, dve stapki, tri.) Time! The moment boils – it comes and goes, the spindle spins, “Here you are, crow, a milk tooth, give me an iron one, brand new!” You return from there to where I'm headed, and the children grow up, they become parents, they make songs, build, knit and give birth. “Open the portal, so that King passes!” You, Ruler of moments, Lord of here and beyond, open the portal now, let us cross the river of oblivion, and having grasped the other’s hand, to get out, into the light together. Open our hearing to hear that song which, they say, was able to return the dead. Call us and we will deny the illusions, and we will come to you, we will sit quietly at your feet to listen and hear how the next circle grows; we will sit quietly at your feet to listen and hear who we are and why we are; we will sit quietly at your feet to listen and hear the chants and the foretellings, your steps, for as you pass through time, you overcome it, you overcome death, and here – you are. 

Translation – Elka Dimitrova


The project “International Festival of Poetry “ORPHEUS” – Plovdiv 2018” was realized with the financial support of “The Cultural Programme for the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2018” of the National Culture Fund.


Bulgarian Presidency
of the Council of the European Union

© 2018 International Poetry Festival „Orpheus” – Plovdiv
Международен фестивал на поезията „ОРФЕЙ” – Пловдив