Curses (by Tudor Arghezi)

Cursed by the ocean, the tree bends in protest

Cursed by the ocean, the tree bends in protest (7 years before the tsunami)


Through fields of corn and groves of hemlock,
The fugitives reached the wasteland
At that hour when the Moon into dark shrouds, wordless,
Sinks in like a bull with its horn inside the elements,
And my mind knows their mind:

Let the lush garden and the poor courtyard
Turn into a kingdom of gloom and clay.
Let the fortress fall in the mud,
Watched over by thorns and emptiness.

Let all the springs and the sea dry out,
And let the sun burn down like the candle.
Let the horizon burn to cinders.
Let soot and ashes cover the road,
Let it rain no more, and let the wind
Lie down hustled to the ground.

Let moles and worms wander errant
Through carrions of whole glories.
Let mice in their hundreds whelp in the purple.
Let bugs and moths unknown
Nest in the vault.
Satiated with gold and gems.
Over strings of violins and guitars
Let spiders weave their unsinging webs.

But first, life, sick with time,
Let it not cease all at once,

Let its ordeal begin slow and steady.
Let the air bite heavy, like steel.
Let the day limp like the leaky boat,
Let the hour be tardy, swallowed in time,
And, unbounded, let the second
Glide a ripple through its own soul:

On the sharp rope of eternity, let yours fray
Into lint and sawdust.
Let the gullet, hot with thirst,
Search for spittle to get drunk,
Let the tongue swollen between the lips
Lick the light and be rejected,

While the water from the plains draws together,
Let it slurp blood from the mud of hooves.
Let the vine grapes crushed with bites
Leave overripeness in the mouth.

Let the sky descend, let storms of shot
Chase you on the plains with stars in their whips.
Let the rock splinter in small jagged flint stones,
An eddy driving the fellows.
Begging for rest, let the ground prick them
Snakes emerging when sleep begins.

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