Mathura

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,

slowly you

watch the streets fill

with wolves returning home

from a night in the forest.

In an Empty House

i

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,

or melancholy.

ii

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.

Being Moved

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

without regrets.

Stand very still and

you’ll learn to dance,

like wisps of poplars,

or a shadow of a spruce.

Borsec, May 2011

Nostalgia

for Andrei Tarkovski

motherland

my broken vessel

I seek light

but find only you

stony fields

red mud

a linden grove

like a breast full of milk

fragrant and blossoming

holds me in its lap

this moment

is this moment

my bee-child

fragrant and thriving

you’ll become a spring

and along the charring roads

meet darkness

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

within you

they tell you

was never real

and we all know

what you’re thinking

but none of us

ever feel that

really

we are

a sign of the times

we all are

time

is everything

and we haven’t got

time

so

we believe

in disbelief

more

than in ourselves

(translated from Estonian by Ilmar Lehtpere)

În vînt

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)

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