Thursday, 31 December 2015


Too early to think of spring,
we can at least hope for crisp snow days,
for skies as dense and soft as cotton wool.
The old year sighs with relief,
puts up its feet: on the cusp of a hill
the sunlight shades into promises
and the silhouettes sharpen
across the overlooked, the too easily forgotten.

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Весела Коледа/Merry Christmas

Wishing everyone a merry Christmas and happy New Year from Colourful Star

We're now into the second year of our collaboration, publishing more than 50 paintings and poems since this time last year. In fact, 2015 has seen us making our 100th post and you can see all the paintings in one go on our Colourful Star 100 page. We're also delighted to have had our Colourful Star collaborations published elsewhere too - by Ink Sweat & Tears magazine and by the international poetry site Iris News - and to have people visiting the project, not just from Bulgaria and the UK, but from across Europe, the USA, India and China too.

We're already making plans for next year when there will be new projects, new developments, and we'll also keep publishing new collaborations every Friday.

In the meantime have a very happy and - of course - colourful Christmas!

Marina, Vasilena and Tom xx

Friday, 18 December 2015

Среща в превод/Meeting in translation

За Васил Гандев

A book like a shaken hand
by shelves brimming with titles
which, for the moment, reside
beyond the cusp of my Cyrillic.

Let me do what I can to pull
some equivalent details into light:
how we are together in this flat,
your words and my presence

like something accidental –
or out on the balcony where a splay
of firework comes to seem like fate.
I can hear you, like a whisper

of cicadas, like a streetlamp’s hum,
and even in this noise I’ll find you.

Friday, 11 December 2015

На върха/On the summit

На върха

Всички те бяха отбор алпинисти.
От строга комисия бяха подбрани
Те бяха отбор алтруисти,
Върха да превземат призвани.

Преди да потеглят пиха наздравица.
Имаше още прегръдки и речи.
И всеки нарами тежката раница,
Че нямаше шерпи - водачи.

При първия зъбер отпаднаха три
Нагоре отпаднаха още и други.
Достигнаха последния лагер малцина,
А за финалния преход нямаха сили

Но един от тях стисна зъби
И до края да стигне успя.
Там гордо своя вимпел заби
и своята песен запя.

Да си на върха беше страхотно.
Там можеш да пипнеш с ръка небосклона
Но на върха е много самотно
Че останаха другите нейде по склона.

On the summit

They were all team climbers.
Chosen by a strict committee,
they were all team climbers,
called up to conquer the summit.

Before setting out, they drank their health.
There were even embraces and speeches
and they all shouldered heavy rucksacks
without sherpas or guides.

On the first crag three dropped out;
further up, others dropped out too.
Only a few reached the last camp,
but they didn’t have strength for the final climb

One, though, gritted his teeth
and succeeded in reaching the top.
There he proudly drove in his pennant
and sang his song.

To be at the summit was great.
There you can touch the sky with your hands
but the summit is very lonely
when the others remain on the slopes.

This week's post brings together one of Marina's paintings with another poem written by her grandfather, the poet Васил Панайотов Гандев.

Image: Marina Shiderova; translation: Tom Phillips

Friday, 4 December 2015

Капката/The droplet

Тя капна на крайпътното дърво.
И от връхното листо
Надолу бавно запълзя
Към мечтаната земя.
Но, да стигне и до ствола не успя,
Че по пътя я изпиха жадните листа
Тя - мъничката капка от дъжда
Гдето вечерта валя.

It fell on a tree at the roadside
and from the highest leaf
slowly crept down
towards the dreaming earth.
But it didn’t succeed in reaching the trunk.
On the way the thirsty leaves drank it­ –
this tiny droplet of rain
while the evening poured.

This week's post brings together one of Marina's paintings with a poem written by her grandfather, the poet Васил Панайотов Гандев.

Image: Marina Shiderova; translation: Tom Phillips