Tag Archives: poem

Ballad

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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.

 

 

The Days

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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.

 

 

 

Covid-Spring

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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.

 

 

Behold the searing wind*

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It is upon us.

Its blistering tongues lurk behind the levee,

They pounce like savage beasts

Mercilessly they wheeze

Blowing the tumbleweeds against my doorstep.

 

A goodbye kiss, crackling dry.

Deserted yards, howling.

 

The yellow earth swelling and swirling,

It is in my eyes, my nostrils, my teeth.

Every time I spit,

I spit grains of sallow sin.

 

There used to be ponds along the river

And fishing nets heavy with fish

The cabins on the lake full of

guffawing and cheer,

There used to be trees and snakes.

The forest playing organ to the gales.

 

It is gone now.

Its birds scattered

like dust from old carpets.

 

The vineyards are dead.

Their grapes, dried up and shriveled,

Won’t be quenching no thirst

Won’t be crowning no wedding

dances

There ain’t gonna be no toasts around here

no more.

Only the sheer shriek of the southerly wind,

Only the curses of the departed still drifting

across the inward-moving sands.

 

 

*poem inspired by this article: https://www.vice.com/ro/article/9ke3nz/seceta-si-nisipul-au-cucerit-sudul-romaniei

Out of Words

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I have given life to two children

I have exhaled all my words

I am all written out of poems.

My Japanese ink paintings are modest

They’ve long been made into paper airplanes.

Here I stand like a leafless tree basking in the nonchalance of autumn.

I draw my vigour from the earth

I squint at the antediluvian depths I have recreated and revived.

I blink out of three pairs of eyes

(The plastic crow on my balcony never blinks – I became disenchanted with doves a long time ago

Flight for me is a flight of stairs.

Watch me carry haikus in my bags as I climb.)

I run my fingers through my hair and pear blossoms fill the floor.

Are you emboldened, literati?

How do you rank against my writing?

I’ve been composing multicolored ribbons of DNA and have mastered

The secret cellular alchemy

Of original thought. And original being.

I’ve been weaving balls of synapses into lyrical epics and dramas

Perfecting my bildungsroman for generations to come.

I have fleshed out my heroes (my villains, too!)

And catapulted glitter into the night sky.

There, read!

 

 

The Calm Place

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I.

Name five things you can see, the app said.

I counted drapes, floors, slippers…

I couldn’t name the truth.

I knew I had it somewhere, but I didn’t want

To slide open the drawers of memory again

(the place was so tidy).

Name four you can hear, it menaced.

I strained but heard nothing, nothing.

The room is dead quiet.

I am alone. The sun is quiet, the floors are quiet, my clothes are quiet.

There are no voices, there is no inner music.

Nor did I smell, or touch, or feel.

There was a vague odor of petrol in my rough woolen sweater, but the place

Was unscented.

 

II.

I went to the river.

Here the air is warm and smells

Of dead things that used to be living.

It wraps around my neck like a shawl.

Here the grass is moist and the leaves

In it dry and rustling.

I rub my palm against thick hedges. They scratch.

The autumn sky lowers it golden gaze like a shy geisha.

Young birches lean with honey-tinged bibs toward the water.

They come alive with black birds.

Like inscrutable lenses, willow leaves swirl through the air

Then alight on an eddy.

You guessed it: there’s a breeze.

 

I went to the river.

It is warm.

It goes places.

It hurtles away, quietly.

An old man dressed all ocher and chestnut sits by it and listens

Then checks his pulse.

It is still there.

The river and me, we walk along in opposite directions.

A bike rolls on by, turning the gravel sunwards.

A handsome young man asks me for the time.

I give him what little time I have on me – and he smiles back, clutching a beer.

I came out here to read some Ezra Pound but the place

Is teeming with poets.

 

III.

Let us make here three tabernacles, said the apostle.

One for thee, and one for Moses and one for Elias.

You’ll never know it, but

I’ve never known happiness until now.

By bringing me here, you brought me into being.

 

 

Amiaza pe strada Rotbuchen

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Privesc peretele bătrân invadat de iederă roșie

ca de fierbințeala jenată a unei iubiri

posesive, geloase, târzii.

 

(Săgeata unei nostalgii, pogorâtă din senin în coșul pieptului,

tulbură apa

în care pluteau, inerte, cuvintele.)

 

Nemișcată, clădirea mă fixează cu ochii ei dreptunghiulari,

muți,

din sticlă.

 

Vântul mușcă din blana aprinsă de pe obrazul casei.

Pomeții bărboși, frământați de valuri, freamătă;

prin ei se propagă unda unui murmur

 

de sfârșit

de octombrie.

 

Palmele iederii mai întâi se desprind și-apoi se alipesc

din nou pe tencuială

ca pipăitul orb al unui chip,

ca încordarea unei bolborosiri.

 

Pe asfalt, printre picioarele oamenilor, stoluri de frunze uscate

foșnesc ca fustele unor mahalagioaice,

galben, cărămiziu.

Se-mbrățișează, se despart.

 

Vin plutind din unghere. Se dau peste cap. Ning de sus.

Aleargă împiedicându-se.

Gonesc către ultima bârfă,

împinse de graba unei catastrofe.

 

Libertate. Finally.

 

În octombrie, frunzele trăiesc inconștient,

iresponsabil,

doar pentru ele.

 

Se aștern noian lângă bordură,

pun urechea obosită

la burta neagră a străzii

și tac.

 

Se umplu de soare,

se scutură ca de fiorul unui gând

Și ascultă.

Ascultă.

 

Se strâng norii.

O bătrână coboară dealul

cu bicicleta.

 

 

Third week of spring

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Luminous torrents of calmness.

The sun, shining, muffles the sounds of everything but the birds.

Our inner discord is rendered quiet.

Brightness explodes in every hidden corner.

Graves and hills bake in the heat, grow bellies of grass,

pubescent voluptuousness.

Sweet violets spill their inebriating fragrance.

Amidst it all, elongated shadows of men move along the sidewalk

like insecure writing,

trying to make sense.

40 de ani

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iată-mă sosită la ora aceea,

suma tuturor întârzierilor: ora ajungerii din urmă.

am gonit, am ratat, împrăştiindu-mă în mii de stele. unele au ars, altele orbitează încă.

altele, de încordare ţâşnind, rătăcesc cine ştie unde, în alte ere, pe planete reci, moarte, în afara sistemului solar, plantând acolo viaţa.

îmi trag răsuflarea.

mă iubesc.

metalul topit al vagoanelor scăpate din gări pe care – sisific – le proiectasem,

al celor pe care le-am lăsat să plece,

s-a răcorit. e mai vâscos acum, picură-ncet: pic, pic.

săgeţile făcute din el nu mai dor,

iar eu nu mai ascut tăişuri.

 

iată-mă sosită la ora decantării.

printr-un miracol, nu m-am înecat. am înotat departe de turbioane, privesc sub mine în lichidul

pe care plutesc,

clar,

ca într-un cer.

tu, eu, ei şi planctonul invizibil al iubirii în fluid. toate celelalte lucruri s-au lăsat jos.

m-am dezbrăcat la timp de cele care trag greu.

nostalgia nu e decât un zmeu de hârtie, decupat pe forma sufletului,

umezit de ploaia care se adună uneori în mine ca pe podeaua unui pod neetanş, zugrăvit spălăcit,

de culoarea tihnei din copilărie.

vâjâitul lumii frânează….

sau mi-a slăbit auzul?

 

iată-mă sosită la ora aceea,

amurg sau levitaţie, când doar îmbrăţişezi, de la distanţă,

aburul încins al mistuitelor incendii, mărturie a dezlănţuirii de forţă care ai fost,

care

mai eşti, poate,

când ştii că te-ai numit Prometeu şi asta te face să zâmbeşti

(ei, hai, mai poţi, mai poţi încă, mai dai din când în când o vâlvătaie de test, dar fără să mai pârjoleşti pe nimeni);

când începi să cultivi prietenia amintirilor din care te compui,

şi le colecţionezi atent, înşiruit, ca scoicile pe aţă,

cu grijă să nu ciobeşti vreuna.

când ai înţelegere pentru lucrurile modeste suflate de vânt, căci şi nisipul a fost odată

munte.

când ţi-e tot mai adesea dor de atât numai: de pământ şi de cer şi de oamenii dragi, dar mai mult de bolta aia noaptea, când vâsleaţi pe lac şi povesteaţi despre astre.

 

iată-mă sosită la ora aceea

când duhul nu mai e neant: îşi bate aripile mai rar şi are locurile sale în care se opreşte,

înţelegând că, în lume, tocmai puţinul e cel mai puţin sufocant,

că doar puţinul lasă suficient loc împlinirii.

iar trupul? vas de lut fericit de clipocitul fiecărei căni de apă rece şi al

fiecărui glas de copil;

fericit că a fost cândva frământat de o mână,

pus la călit, aprins, stins,

că l-a zdrobit cineva de buza unei case, lângă o treaptă,

pe o brazdă tăcută;

fericit că poate să tacă la rându-i: “am fost”.