Category Archives: ENGLISH

The Racket

Standard

Once in a blue moon,

beauty settles into my soul

like a swallow in its nest:

gracious and quiet and fertile.

Mere seconds later,

hordes and hordes of selfish people

with steel-toothed hounds and motorized wheels

come rushing by,

hurling themselves at the air, at the landscape, at other people’s souls,

a merciless stampede

raising the dust;

an unleashed army of carnal restlessness, a cacophony of hubris and outrage,

charging headlong, chasing the next empty minute, the next self-righteous cause,

cutting open words they don’t understand

and letting them bleed to death.

In their tow, the bee is sucked out of its flower,

the sweetness of honey is said to become unpalatable

and cross-pollination impossible.

I let them pass,

envy not their rapid advancement,

their heedless lack of regrets.

In God’s love, I am nourished.

Watch for timelessness instead

Standard

a watch is a little

glass prison

for time –

 

where the seconds

serve a life sentence

without the possibility

of parole.

 

people like to wear

captive time

around their wrist.

when all the seconds are numbered and can never escape,

they call the watch good.

 

measuring

heartbeats,

counting down

to the end.

 

I’d like to start a petition

to free time

I’d like to see it

fly

and watch

for timelessness instead.

 

Copyright A. Sepi 2020. All rights reserved

 

 

River Revival

Standard

Trying to stay in shape during social distancing.

A river, a grove, a few less trodden paths on a sun-flooded morning. Glimpses of real beauty. And a little piece of heaven.

Copyright A. Sepi 2020. All rights reserved

 

Hold them in your hands

Standard

Dear friends,

My poems have now become a thing. A something you can buy and hold in your hands.

You can turn them into paper airplanes and give my words wings, you can write comfort food recipes on their back, or you can put them on your bookshelf for the benefit of generations to come (and to the dismay of whoever it is that must dust them)…

Here they are, eager to keep you company in your self-isolation.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B086PMZJKM?ref_=pe_3052080_397514860

If you’re the digital type and prefer the magic of electrons, there is also a Kindle version.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Ballad

Standard

We’re so fucking great

Masters of our fate

We’ll conquer the stars

We’ll colonize Mars

 

Make a million bucks

Drive SUV trucks

We’ll upgrade our lives

We’ll get trophy wives

 

Your pocket’s your Savior

Be snide to thy neighbor

C’mon, be a winner

The pauper’s the sinner

 

Forget all the ancients

Make profits off patients

We’re so fucking bold

We’re breaking the mold

 

A virus so small

Is breaking us all.

 

Copyright A. Sepi 2020. All rights reserved

 

 

The Days

Standard

Remember these days

these brief days

when we walked in groups of one

we gave thanks to the ones who toiled

and our lives touched each other even though our hands didn’t.

 

Remember these days

these brief days

when daddy was no longer at work (yay!)

because people mattered more

than production:

we discovered we had lungs (so fragile)

and the air became breathable.

 

Remember these days

these brief days

with the deafening chants of birds, their speeches, their courtships, their pleas

finally audible,

and how we watched them build nests from our dining room window,

the whole family gathered around the table for once,

the playgrounds locked, quiet,

the streets devoid of the screams of neglected children;

the strange intimacy.

 

Remember these days,

these brief days

when we looked at each other with fear and awe

and doubt and hope and kindness

– but we looked! –

and were on the verge of rediscovering

humanity;

 

A book and a stroll meant the world to us,

we sang on balconies

while deer with unnatural eyes and glistening antlers

wandered into Nara and took the empty metro nowhere.

 

Remember these days

these brief days

when the trees stood erect and reached into the sky while the stock markets fell

(not the other way around)

when the river exhaled a soft haze at dawn before the buzz began,

the buzz of a thousand and one insects.

 

Remember the days

when the engines of destruction stood still for a minute

while food continued to grow out of the dark soil

and we were afloat in the poetry of necessity.

 

Remember these days

for they will not last forever

and maybe, one day, who knows,

they shall be missed.

 

Copyright A. Sepi 2020. All rights reserved

 

 

 

Covid-Spring

Standard

the heavy, menacing tread of the lone jogger,

the scented solitude of the wild cherry blossom

down by the water.

 

a silence overpowering, thunderous.

undaunted gulls shrieking about trivial things,

ripping through it –

ear-piercing, alive.

 

two-dimensional human shapes in the distance

revealing the magnitude of the landscape:

floodplains and clouds huddling over and thickets and brown grasses and beavers

hidden from sight

the musical chirping of warblers,

the regular knocking of woodpeckers.

a sprig, a bursting bud, a thin green leaf timidly exploding

as spring self-isolates amid

this prodigious heaving and gasping,

this fear of inhaling

punctuated by the scampering dogs.

 

industrious zeal grinding to a halt.

 

how slow the river flows.

how pale the grey sands.

it feels like Good Friday without the church bells.

 

Copyright A. Sepi 2020. All rights reserved

 

 

Kala Alm*

Standard

Panta începe abrupt. Mușchii se opintesc. Se contractă, se întind. Înaintez anevoios în sus: dreptul, stângul, dreptul, stângul… La fiecare pas, talpa bocancului scârțâie, alunecă puțin în spate în zăpada moale, aproape zloată.

Lanternele rămân stinse. În albastrul de cobalt al nopții, doar stelele licăresc, neverosimil de multe. Când lăsăm în urmă ultima casă, ne afundăm în întuneric. Și ridicăm instinctiv ochii spre cer. O explozie de cioburi sclipitoare, scăpărând nestinse, picură încet peste noi, peste spinările înzăpezite de munți ca niște dinozauri împietriți sau, poate, doar adormiți. Deasupra și roată-roată, noaptea, această pânză largă înmuiată în tuș negru, înfășoară planeta. Pe ea stă scrisă migălos, cu scânteieri de lumină atârnată în vid, caligrafia trecutului, a galaxiilor ce poate nu mai sunt.

Din când în când, coboară sănii în viteză, chiuind. Copiii se aruncă demonstrativ din calea lor, în zăpadă. Apoi se face iar liniște. De-o parte și de alta a drumului: pădure. Brazi uriași, un soi de zgârie-nori vegetali, urcă și urcă și urcă amețitor spre boltă. Dar nori nu sunt de data asta, ca să rămână agățați în vârfurile lor. Fuioarele de ceață se plimbă leneșe peste satul din vale; aici aerul e clar, iar deasupra uriașelor trunchiuri de brazi planează doar, bine ascuțită, lama de secure a unui sfert de lună, înfiptă la baza cerului. Iată și Carul Mare, un Venus orbitor, Andromeda…

Respir. Buzele tale sunt neașteptate. Sărutul tău umed în aerul rece și ionizat al nopții miroase ca acum 20 de ani: proaspăt, dulce, ca promisiunea unei beții ușoare și de durată. Totul miroase la fel, miroase ca atunci, miroase ca România. În mine se trezesc amintirile, ies amorțite din cotloane, de sub plăci de mormânt, ca vârcolacii, năpădesc gardurile pe care le-am construit ca să mă apăr. Peste noi ninge cu stele; îndărătul pleoapelor închise plouă cu lacrimi pe care ți le ascund.

Cât de fericiți eram atunci! E oare cu putință? Să-mi amintesc cum se simte fericirea? Libertatea? E ceva ce mă zguduie. Mă zguduie și mă schimbă. Pășim unul lângă altul sub cer. Insignifianți în Universul infinit, dar suflete înviate, palpitând! Iată esențele; pe ce le-am vândut? Hai să umblăm așa, la lumina nopții, la nesfârșit, îmi vine să îți zic.

Dar până să vorbesc, ca mai mereu în viață, drumul cotește. Iar în spatele curbei pândește deja primul felinar: scuipându-și peste potecă aura portocalie, împrăștiindu-și convenabila orbire, mâzgălind înălțimile.

Magia nopții se sparge. Cerul se îndepărtează, stelele pălesc, redevenim mari, centrali în nimicul lipsit de acum de orizont și de vrajă. Ancorați în pământ. Umbre pe drum.

Comuniunea cu cosmosul se destramă. Iar pentru fiul meu miop, cu ochelarii lăsați acasă, ea nici n-a existat. Și mă lovește realizarea: copiii ecranelor și mall-urilor, copiii micilor piese de Lego risipite pe covoarele unor camere închise în orașe ce viermuiesc sub capace de smog și iluminat artificial, N-AU VĂZUT, POATE, NICICÂND ADEVĂRATUL CER .

Și n-au simțit niciodată ispita aceasta, ziditoare de suflet, de religii și de romane, a căderii în sus.

 

*Alm (germ.)= pajiște alpină

Copyright A. Sepi 2020. All rights reserved

Winter trails (at the turn of the decade)

Gallery

(Post)modern obsessions

Standard

Have you noticed how the following themes keep popping up, almost obsessively, in contemporary discourse – in the media, in the public sphere and increasingly in ourselves?

This obsession with sex – and complete devaluation of love and tenderness and commitment.

This obsession with doing – and complete devaluation of being.

This obsession with the intensity of fragmented experience – and complete devaluation of profoundness and resilience and eternity.

This obsession with work and maximization – and complete devaluation of contemplation and spirituality. Of the time it takes to realize that you have a soul, that you are a human being capable of transcendence, not a machine plugged in to churn out as many objects as possible per unit of time.

We treat ourselves and each other as equipment, as products. We apply to beings the logic of machines. We have transferred the maximum efficiency mantra of the technological sector to human life. We have internalized the algebraic depersonalisation, the callous disregard, the flattening subjugation of being to efficiency and utility present in our discourses. We find it OK to behave and to be treated increasingly like predictable robots or like working animals. Like mammals, all dapper and happy to be allowed to act out their basest instincts.

This obsession with Darwinism, with us as little more than physical organisms in biological evolution, this bench-marking against apes, not against angels or saints. This devaluation of angels and saints as melodrama and cheap esoteric – or, even, as oppression. This talk of our “natural instincts”. Nature, our nature, as a new goddess. But should we always make way for our natural instincts? Will that improve us? What will build more character and more goodness and a deeper path to the absolute we secretly yearn for?

(Is something good or legitimate simply because we were born with it? Because we acquired it? Because it is fun? Because it brings pleasure or monetary value? Are we not supposed to transcend ourselves?)

This frenzy of devaluation… No religion, but brand religion. The branding iron.

What is slavery for theoretically free individuals? According to Simone Weil, the disconnect between one’s efforts and their life’s work. (We work, but we no longer have a life’s work, an opus, an oeuvre. We expect our work to be the foundation of our identity, but in fact, so many of us no longer feel like creators. We no longer develop our being in the process of our work. Work all too often feels like odd life-draining tasks under excruciating time pressure, away from the ones we love. It no longer feels like purpose. Just endless busyness. Our work has control over us, but we no longer have much control over it.)

What else is slavery? In Gravity and Grace, S. Weil goes on to say it is the coercion to accept that “reading” of yourself, that interpretation of yourself, which others stamp on you. Having no choice or having only wrong choices. Allowing yourself to be devoured by exhausting activities, and making all this daily effort simply to stay in your current condition – no horizon, no finality, mere survival. Day to day to day. The arbitrariness of how you are treated. The dependency. The addiction.

Any illusion begins to feel real when enough people accept it and internalize it as “the thing to do”. Repeated, it reproduces, it propagates.

This destruction of the human soul…

We no longer recognize the sacredness of our own and each other’s being.

Will the human spirit ever rise against this flattening iron?…