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)

Curses 

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.

The death of the doe

Bleeding volcano with frozen tears

Bleeding volcano with frozen tears

This was written by a Romanian poet called Nicolae Labis. So it goes:

The death of the doe

 

Drought snuffed out any waft of wind.

The sun has melted and dripped on earth.

The sky remains hot and empty.

Out of the well only mud is drawn.

Across the woods, again and again, fires, oh, fires,

Dance in wild, satanical plays.

 

I follow father uphill through shrubs,

And firs scratch me, mean and harsh.

We’re off together on the goat hunt,

The famine hunt on the Carpathian range.

 

Thirst makes me crumble. On the stone boils

The thread of water seeping from the fountain.

My temple presses on my shoulder.

I tread as on another Planet, enormous, foreign and heavy.

 

We wait in a place where out of the strings

Of gentle waves the springs still sing.

When the sun wanes, when the moon glimmers

Here to drink, one by one, does will come queuing.

 

I tell father I’m thirsty and he waves me into silence.

Intoxicating water, how clear you swerve!

I feel bound by thirst to the creature that shall die

At a time proscribed by law and custom.

 

With a sere rustle the valley breathes.

What a terrible evenfall floats in this universe!

On the horizon blood flows and my chest is red as if

Blood-stained hands have been wiped on it.

 

As if on an altar, ferns burn in blue flames,

And stars twinkle surprised among them.

Oh, how I wish you’d not come, you’d not come,

Beautiful offering of my woods!

 

She suddenly appeared leaping, then stopped

Looking around with a glimmer of fear.

Her thin nostrils make the water tremble

In slippery circles of bronze.

 

Something obscure glinted in her humid eyes,

I knew she would die and it would hurt her.

It seemed to me I was reliving a myth

With the maiden transfigured into a doe.

 

From above, the pale, lunar light

Snowed on her warm fur faded cherry blossoms.

Oh, how I wished for the first time

That my father’s aim should fail!

 

But the valleys thundered. Fallen on her knees,

She raised her head, shook it at the stars,

Then let it swoop, bestirring in the water

Transient, black swarms of beads.

 

A blue bird shot from the branches,

And the doe’s life towards the late horizon

Flew softly, with a cry, like birds do in autumn

When they leave behind ashen, bare nests.

 

Stumbling forward I went to close

Her shadowed eyes, sadly watched over by antlers.

Then I flinched silent and white when father

Whispered joyfully: We have meat!

 

I tell father I’m thirsty and he signals I should drink.

Intoxicating water, how darkly you swerve!

I feel bound by thirst to the creature that died

At a time proscribed by law and custom.

 

Yet our law is empty and alien

When life barely clings on inside our bodies,

And custom and pity are empty,

When my sister is hungry, sick and dying.

 

Father’s rifle breathes smoke on one nostril.

Alas, with no wind to stir them, leaves run in hosts!

Father raises a fearful fire.

Oh, how changed the woods are!

 

From inside the grass, I mindlessly grasp

A small bell with a silvery ring…

From the skewer father pulls out with his nails

The doe’s heart and its kidneys.

What is heart? I hunger! I want to live, and I would like…

 

You, forgive me, dear maiden – you, my little doe!

I’m sleepy. How tall the fire is! And how deep the woods!

I weep. What does father think?

I eat and I weep. I eat!

 

Reflectii de 23 august

 

Tavalugul comunist (Sursa foto: http://www.comunismulinromania.ro/)

Tavalugul comunist (Sursa foto: http://www.comunismulinromania.ro/)

Cam nu prea am dialoguri in romana. M-am instrainat?

Dreptu-i ca si-n romana am aceeasi orientare zen.

Dar noi romanii suntem crestini domnule, ortodocsi. Suntem dificili.

Calugaria crestin ortodoxa poate oferi un model (de urmat intr-o societate pe cat de cumplita am avut dupa 23 august), dar este un model al biciuirii trupului, al schingiurii, al fortarii trupului dat de Dumnezeu (nu?).

De ce aceasta schingiure? Ce a facut rau acest trup? De ce trebuie pedepsit?

De ce Nicu Steinhardt (sau un Tutea) a ajuns la concluzia asta?

Fiindca au fost oamenii care au trecut prin puscarii. Este mentalitate de puscarias, de supravietuitor al inchisorilor comuniste. Un tip de supravietuitor, bineinteles, dar unul care spune:

Rastignirea trupului … ca mijloc de total devotament

in Jurnalul Fericirii.

Asa a fost tratat trupul (lui Nicu Steinhardt si al multor altora), dar nu voluntar, nu de catre sine.

Raul a trecut tavalug peste ei.

Asa ca noi, romanii, suntem crestini-ortodocsi, domnule, prin loialitate fata de acesti oameni care au supravietuit unui astfel de regim.

Desigur, par absurzi in momentul de fata.

Trebuie sa ne gandim un pic mai departe si sa ne intrebam: Ce s-a mai spus in alte limbi? Ce se suprapune?

Se suprapun dialoguri. Un dialog cu sinele, un dialog intru sine.

Ce fel de poezie poti sa dai cuvintelor si folosind ce mijloace? A gandi “pictorial” cum fac japonezii (ma refer la ideograme) este (sau poate fi) o inzestrare, o imbogatire a gandirii socratice, daca este inteleasa.

Ne intoarcem la Pitagora, ne intoarcem la greci. Unul

Unul si-n romana, domnule.

19. Puterea Gandirii

(19. 念の力)

Un singur Gand, Acolo unde se Concentreaza,Trece si printr-o Stanca

(一念凝る所巌をも透し)

Cand Un Gand ia Nastere si Cearta si Traznetul, si Vantul, si Ploaia

(一念発する所風雨雷霆も叱咤する)

De unde Oare se Naste Aceasta Minte?

(この心何処より発するや)

Cei care au Realizat Lucruri Mari, Desigur Acestia si-au Insusit Aceasta Putere,

(大事を成就せし者は、必ずこの力を体得せし者である)

Mai mic decat Particulele, mai mic decat Atomul si mai mic decat Electronul

(分子より原子電子と)

Pana in acel Punct fara Limita sa Calmam Valurile Inimii (=Vibratiile Mintii) Unificandu-ne (Mintea si Trupul),

(心の波を無限に極小に鎮めて統一し切った時)

In acel Moment in care am Completat Unificarea, in acel Moment este Generata Puterea Gandului care Ajunge la Pamant si la Cer

(天地に通ずる偉大なる念の力を生ずるのである)

 

 

Ladder to the Sky

Climbing back into the Sky (-Pattern) to find the Earth (-Roots)

Climbing back into the Sky (-Pattern) to find the Earth (-Roots)

Another week, another poem by Marin Sorescu. This one might as well have been rendered as Stairway to Heaven, but I suppose that’s too sentimental and feel-good for the Eastern-European sensitivity

Ladder to the Sky

A spider’s thread

hangs from the ceiling

Just above my bed.

Every day I take note

of how it reaches lower and lower.

I am being presented with

A ladder to the sky – I say.

It is thrown to me from above.

Though my body has thinned out terribly

And I’m only the ghost of who I used to be

I reckon my body

Is nonetheless too heavy

For this fragile ladder.

– Why don’t you go ahead, dear soul of mine?

Shush ! Shush!

I have glimpsed the light

What the Rich-Warrior sees from the Mountain (富士山)

What Riches the Warrior sees from the Mountain (富士山)

[This is another poem by Marin Sorescu, rendered in English by yours truly]

I have glimpsed the light

I have glimpsed the light on Earth

And along I have come to life

To see how you’re doing

Sound of mind? Sound of body? 

How is your happiness coming along?

Thank you, but you need not answer.

I don’t have time for answers,

I barely have time to pose questions

Although I like it here.

It is warm, it is nice,

And there is so much light that

The grass grows.

While that girl over there, methinks,

She glances at me with her soul…

No, dear, don’t bother to love me.

A black cup of coffee I will accept, though,

From your hand.

I like the way you know to make it

Bitter.

 

Genesis within the Word

As well, we could say (in Romanian): Facerea lumii intru Cuvant.

„La inceput a fost CUVANTUL”.

CUVANTUL a inceput sa zburde prin intuneric, si din caderea lui L a aparut Lumina.

CUVANTU insa nu si-a luat seama si a plutit mai departe, din nou in intuneric, iar apoi din nou in lumina unde a cazut U – de la Umori – apele si cerul.

CUVANT se opri cutremurat: sunt doar un cuvant, si un fior il trecu astfel ca T-ul cazu drept in coada lui Lumina. Luminat se vazu reflectat dintr-un foc, dand nastere Luminatorilor.

In faza urmatoare, am inceput s-avem Nume, prin prabusirea lui N.

CUVA deveni constient de schimbarea sa si se crezu Atotcuprinzator, si in acel moment il pierdu si pe A.

V nu intarzie in a se decoji si astfel aparura Vietuitoarele.

CU se simti stingher, fiindca nu exista un altul de care sa se lege; eu sunt doar Unul isi spuse, si ramase doar C. Copilul isi deschise ochii – ziua a sasea.

Adevarul lui Acum: Dumnezeu este Cuvantul, dar noi suntem Copii. Secundara nu poate fi decat adversativa. Cuvantul zboara, trece, insamanteaza Pamantul, isi recupereaza literele si le risipeste din nou, iar Copiii stau precum celelalte Create.

Cuvantul este Faramitat, se reintoarce in Fara nume, dandu-i nume, iar acesta le pierde din nou.

Si atunci? Atunci doar intunericul de la inceput, cel ce ne inconjoara. Cat nu ne secera din nou uitarea, sa nu ne oprim din a-l cauta, din a-l numi, din a-l chema pe nume: Poate se opreste sa se uite.

La urma urmelor, cum o fi cand te priveste Cuvantul?

 

“In the beginning was THE WORD”

THE WORD began to gambol through the darkness and Dawn fell. And there was light.

THE WOR didn’t mind this and kept floating from darkness to light again, which caused it to Rain. And there was water from the sky.

THE WO came to a halt as light shone like a spear through O which found itself detached and stuck with a burning question: What Orbs give off the light? And there were stars, the Moon and the Sun.

In the next stage, with the fall of W we gained Words to name things.

THE became conscious of the gap following and hastily shed it, lest that space reveal the indeterminacy of all things.

Through Exfoliation beings Erupted into Existence.

TH attempted to decide on the right pronunciation calling forth a Human voice to settle the matter. Left alone, the Toddler opened her eyes on the sixth day.

The truth in our time: God is the Word, but we are just Children. The second one can only be an adversative clause. The Word glides over, seeds the Earth, re-collects its letters, and then sows its seeds again, while Children wait together with all Creation.

The Word breaks down into Naught, returning into the Nameless, giving it a name which loses its constituents anew.

Then what? Then only the primordial darkness, which surrounds us. Before we are cut down by forgetfulness, stop not from seeking, from naming, from calling it by name: Perchance it will pause to look back.

After all, what would it be like to be seen by the Word?

tinerete fara batranete cu broaste testoase si cocori

Permiteti-mi sa va mai torc un fir de poveste.

Asadar, se spune ca demult tare demult, intr-un sat de pescari din Kagoshima (Insula Caprioarei) traia un flacau voinic pe numele sau, Urashima (Insula-Brat-de-mare).

Cu fiecare revarsat al zorilor, neintinat de efectul de sera, Urashima isi lua ramas-bun de la batrana sa mama si pleca cu barca sa in larg, sa-si arunce plasele de pescuit.

Intr-o buna zi (fac o paranteza pentru a ma certa cu un nene care spune ca afirmatia “intr-o buna zi” este extrem de inselatoare, cele mai multe intamplari care incep cu ea terminandu-se ingrozitor de prost. Nu domnule, zic eu, orice noua zi e buna, indiferent cum se termina ea, gata, acum ca l-am bestelit ma-ntorc la poveste, ca-nainte mult mai este) Urashima nu putu sa iasa pe mare cu barca sa din cauza unei furtuni ce ridica talazuri uriase.

Furtuna continua cateva zile, pana cand, intr-o seara, Urashima si mama lui realizara ca vor ramane fara provizii si vor fi condamnati sa flamanzeasca incepand cu ziua urmatoare.

Urmatoarea zi insa, marea se linisti ca prin farmec si Urashima pleca bucuros la pescuit cu primele raze de soare. Cu toate acestea in plasele sale nu se prinse nimic toata ziua in afara unei uriase broaste testoase, pe care pescarul nostru, milos, o elibera redand-o valurilor.

Amurgul il gasi intorcandu-se catranit la casa sa, si, ca un facut, vremea se inrautati iarasi.

In zorii zilei urmatoare, Urashima se duse la tarm sa priveasca marea ce-l napastuia astfel; deodata, din spuma valurilor se intrupa o forma zvelta ce se infatisa in fata ochilor larg-deschisi de uimire ai lui Urashima, si ii grai astfel:

Eu sunt printesa marii si vreau sa-ti rasplatesc fapta ta marinimoasa de a ma fi redat tatalui meu atunci cand m-am prins in plasa ta.

Primeste a veni cu mine in fundul marii unde tatal meu locuieste intr-un castel de margean.

Urashima ezita o clipa, dar printesa intelegandu-l il linisti spunandu-i ca mama sa va avea toate cele necesare traiului si apoi, Urashima se va putea intoarce oricand va pofti.

Cei doi pierira in valuri si Urashima putu contempla minunile unei lumi peste care plutise o viata intreaga fara a-i banui adancimile. In palatul regelui dragon un urias banchet fu pregatit in cinstea celui ce o crutase pe printesa si Urashima fu atat de captivat de toate cele ce se infatisau ochilor sai incat statu timp de trei ani, si nu doar trei zile asa cum isi propusese initial.

La capatul celor trei ani ceru ingaduinta de a se intoarce in satul sau si printesa i-o acorda, daruindu-i o cutioara cu trei sertarase pe care ii spuse ca o poate deschide oricand se va afla la ananghie.

Urashima pasi din nou pe tarmul pe care-l lasase in urma cu trei ani, si se indrepta grabit catre catunul sau, observand cu mirare cum copacii si raurile pe langa care copilarise, isi schimbasera forma considerabil.

Ajungand langa un ogor pe care trudea un mosneag pe care nu-si amintea sa-l fi zarit vreodata, desi credea a cunoaste fiecare membru al satului, pescarul nostru il intreba pe acesta daca stie unde se afla coliba lui Urashima.

Batranul ii raspunse ca

demult acea asezare a fost napadita de buruieni si nimeni nu mai traieste acolo, el insusi nestiiind decat din legende despre un Urashima ce ar fi fost rapit de printesa marii pe vremea bunilor sai.

Urashima pleca si se convinse de adevarul spuselor mosneagului privind gradina fostei sale case, neintelegand cum se intamplasera atatea in doar 3 ani.

In acea clipa isi aminti de cutia daruita de printesa marii, si

  1. deschise primul sertar din care cazu o pana de cocor;
  2. nedumerit, deschise si cel de-al doilea sertar din care un fum alb iesi invaluindu-l;
  3. indata ce acest abur se risipi, deschise si ultimul sertar in care gasi o oglinda, in care privindu-se, se vazu batran cu parul si barba albe.

O pala de vant iscata din senin, ridica pana de cocor si i-o aseza pe spate; in acelasi moment Urashima se transforma intr-un cocor ce-si lua zborul.

Printesa marii, iesita dintre valuri, il urmari cu ochii pana cand cocorul disparu catre apus…

Variante ale tineretii fara batranete si vietii fara de moarte, din care si noi parem a trai una pana cand deschidem un sertar, o cutie sau (de ce nu?) un sotron prafuit al mintii.