A morning vision
A jerk, you wake from a dream.
So still, so desolate is everything,
like death or solitude. Slowly you
take your place in the park of yews
where bench are vacant for new arrivals,
where monuments stand startled,
and then witness the upsurge of vision.
Even the dark and rolling hillsides
are no longer able to resist
the speeding morning,
watch the streets fill
with wolves returning home
from a night in the forest.
In an Empty House
It has been for some time now that I’ve been walking
along these empty corridors, these empty rooms
of an empty house that once teemed with life.
If you would ask me how long I have been here
or with whom, I wouldn’t know,
I wouldn’t even know if I’m still in this world or
in some other. Memories peel off from the walls
like washed-out paint that can no longer resist
the incessant humidity of time. It happens
sometimes that, in desperation,
I thumb through the diaries, looking for names.
Prince Joseph, Sigmund Freud? But I can’t remember.
Ceaucescu? Perhaps. But surely there was someone here
looking to cure their malady of barren disposition,
slowly and importantly strolling the Main Street,
the thin umbrellas of their rank held high above their heads.
Nowadays ceilings crush in,
the subconscious trickles through the roof of mind
and leaks into the reality around us
where a fin de siecle is also a fin de un idée, de un rêve.
Where there once was Speranza
there is now only a “do not enter”, and a bar around the corner
where no guest dares to be around too long.
Well, sometimes even hopes become fulfilled
and decay brings blissful calm.
It grows like an all-encompassing, all-exalting undergrowth,
But then trudge up a hill and find
another empty house. It is a shepherd’s shack,
with a perfect view over the valley. Spend your life here,
descending to the village only for water
and not even for the desolate redemption
of a Sunday gospel, and it would be a different life,
a life in the mountains, like something inescapable,
like the sleeping countenance of graveness.
By the middle of autumn snow covers it all,
there is nothing then
that would still be defined by something other
than the thing itself:
a glass full of stinking water,
the book you read on a hillside,
the summation of all your unfinished lines
that mean almost nothing
but are still love’s lines,
while the woods spy on you from behind,
like a bear from its cave,
and that’s all there is to it,
that’s all there is.
Just go where the trees grow,
upright in the wind and the snow,
waiting to bud, bear fruit and die.
They’ll tell you that all questions are simple,
but very few questions need to be asked,
budding, bearing fruit and dying,
in the sun and the shade,
in the rain that is the only love
Stand very still and
you’ll learn to dance,
like wisps of poplars,
or a shadow of a spruce.
Borsec, May 2011
for Andrei Tarkovski
my broken vessel
I seek light
but find only you
a linden grove
like a breast full of milk
fragrant and blossoming
holds me in its lap
is this moment
fragrant and thriving
you’ll become a spring
and along the charring roads
in a distant place
my dear one
you won’t be
my bloodied martyr there
you’ll be something other
than a white candle flame
to be sure
but the longing
they tell you
was never real
and we all know
what you’re thinking
but none of us
ever feel that
a sign of the times
we all are
and we haven’t got
than in ourselves
(translated from Estonian by Ilmar Lehtpere)
Pur si simplu mergi unde cresc copaci,
drept în vînt si în zapada,
asteptînd sa înmugureasca, sa rodeasca si sa moara.
Ei o sa-ti arate ca toate întrebarile sunt usoare,
dar foarte putine trebuie sa fie rostite,
mugurii, fructele si moartea,
în soare si în umbra,
în ploaia care-i ca lacrimile,
fara un sens,
dragoste fara regrete.
Stai cît mai linistit si
o sa înveti sa dansezi
ca nuielele mestecenilor
sau ca umbra unui brad.
(Traducere din engleza de Florin Dan Prodan)