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Ilya Shambat

Ilya Shambat started writing poetry at age 11 and within a year was reciting poetry before large audiences. He came to America at 12 and finished University of Virginia at 18. In his adult life Ilya has done many different things, from working in the computer industry to doing a Taoist trip and seeing the entire country. He has translated three books of classical Russian poetry. At 26, he met Julia H., a visual artist, and wrote a book of poetry for her.

Ilya Shambat


You are a cloud
But you never rain
You put me down
And then love me again

Flowers give their love
And reach for the sun
Light of the meadow
Appears and is gone

There is a timepiece
Caught in the sand
Waves wash it over
Then merge with the land

As they caress it
They fill it with salt
Hoping to bring
The time to a halt

Then recreate
From the vanishing sea
Everything great
That the human can be

There to manifest
Love that they hold
And let your cloud
Augment manifold.


So much the sweetness and softness of air.
Breathe lightly upon me I cannot speak.
Your soul is a summer wind
Sprinkled with petals and feathers
Running through forests and meadows
Running through caverns and rapids
Running through mountains and deserts
Carrying sunlight
Carrying pollen
carrying raindrops
And carrying love into hearts.
Breathe lightly my love
I can only feel you
Wafting across me
Rubbing against me
Flying around me
Enfolding, caressing my heart.
Bring me the world
Sweet breeze
Bring me world by the molecule
Bring me the top of the atmosphere
Bring me the bloom of the rainforest
Bring me the salt of the ocean
The girl and the boy making love under glancing moon.
Play, play with my flames
Sweet breeze
Send sparks flying
Let my fulminations become
A tapestry shining and tearing
And reaching for you
Carry me through the mind of humanity
Carry me to the soul of eternity
Carry me all around the globe
And together we'll drape it in love.


Summer skies are your eyes
Crater lakes are your eyes
Mixing a thousand essences
And perfectly clear.
You nourish with depth
You heal with richness
You strengthen with empathy
You dissolve all of life
And you are perfectly clear.

Each moment with you is an orchid in bloom
A flutter of butterfly wings
Each moment with you is a lapping ocean
Running through hearts and dissolving
All that the mind brings in.

A fish in the brook will swim
All his life upstream
To find you.
A stork in the sky will fly
All autumn
To be near your warmth.
Light from a star will run
For years across the void
To caress you.
I will love you
Until the end of time.

Cars get in wrecks watching you
Children stop crying around you.
I can't keep my eyes off of you
Or my thoughts from your being
Or my heart from yours.

What if my passion were incoherent
What if I dealt only gestures and motions
What if I knew no words
To tell you my love?
I would invent a new language
I would make a new country
I would start a new religion
To tell you my love.

Time disappears into a black hole
When I am around you.
Earth vanishes from beneath me
When I am around you.
Disaster can't touch me
When I am around you.
Around you, the only thing real
Is you.

Your hair is a million meteors
Raining sky fire
And lighting the earth
Your lips are streams of lava
Burning through the land
Your neck is an avalanche
Running down the mountain
Your breasts are the bosoms of Planet Earth
You are peace and war
You are time and eternity
And your eyes are crater lakes
Where I'd like to take a swim.


Last Updated: June 28, 2003