Tag Archives: poetry

Watch for timelessness instead

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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

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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

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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

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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.

 

Copyright A. Sepi 2020. All rights reserved

 

 

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.

 

Copyright A. Sepi 2020. All rights reserved

 

 

 

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.

 

Copyright A. Sepi 2020. All rights reserved

 

 

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

Copyright A. Sepi 2019. All rights reserved

 

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!

 

Copyright A. Sepi 2019. All rights reserved

 

 

 

Ninge în Rosenheim

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Cartierul e împăturit într-o tăcere mare, albă, stranie;

se afundă în înserare până la genunchi.

Lumea a devenit improbabilă, fără margini:

prospețimea imaculată a zăpezii – și restul.

Copacii sunt gheme încâlcite de bumbac alb,

din cer se deșiră în tihnă pânzeturi orbitoare și reci.

Cărări tăiate mai adineaori în pântecul feciorelnic al iernii,

ninsoarea le-a pansat cu tifon de fulgi moi.

Cicatricile orașului se vindecă.

Din scutul fonic al zăpezii se desprind cu greu: o clipă trecătoare, frânturi de voci.

Acum sunt lângă tine (te întorci și ești singur),

acum se resorb, înghițite de gaura de vierme a spațiu-timpului,

ca să răsară fantomatic într-un cotlon obscur,

departe de trupurile lor.

(Iată, cei doi îndrăgostiți râzând, aproape te-ai ciocnit de ei).

Pete negre, mișcătoare, se decupează din timp în timp de pe fundalul

monoton, de film mut.

Se nasc, apoi se topesc din nou.

Par dincolo de sticlă, par din altă lume.

Lumea aceasta s-a oprit,

urmele noastre se șterg,

(ca vocile),

contururile dure, paralelipipedice ale realității se estompează,

(înăuntrul lor locuim noi),

dispar încet

sub nămeți.

Doar chiotele copiilor se mai aud de pe dig.

Sănii și tăvăleală.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

Copyright A. Sepi 2018. All rights reserved