I suddenly stopped and kneeled in the meadow
To look for grasshoppers;
The earth was breathing beneath us
The burning sun tall, so very tall.
You suddenly sat down and placed the violin between us.
Your left hand took the red shining cloth
And wiped the dirt off the wooden strings.
Then I thought to say
Let’s not hurry back home, not today
We have plenty of time yet
Nobody will look for us for a while.
How many poems, you whispered, left unwritten
If I was to lock you in my heart
A black butterfly crushed between
The covers of a sacred book.
Beauty kills like the war does
And still you unravel
The invisible thread which
Keeps both of us alive in the world.
As I stood up to leave
The smoke that kept my bones together for so long
Covered the sky.
My black ashes, your farewell gift.
Photo: Rob Webb
There is so much poetry in the house
That nothing ever gets done anymore.
I simply watch this room with scribbles all over it:
The shiny floors reflect the open sky
The music stopped
The dust has settled on all our books.
It is like snow to me but
You stand up soldier when talking and
Ask that I go to bed early and
Switch the lights off.
The war does not scare me any longer
Just the fact that I am
Of no consequence to you.
The only way I can speak now
Is by keeping an absolute silence.
Sometimes I walk miles and miles across the field
Just to check if
You are still breathing
I gently touch your back and think
Look, it’s winter!
We have the town all to ourselves
Your hair grows and grows over the frozen river
As you sleep
My hands collect golden tears
To bake the silent fresh bread
Of my last supper.
Just before midnight, in the unpreventable moment
When my mother woke up to give birth to me
I jumped out and
Spilt all her blood on the floor.
That was my first angry poem
Which I screamed at the top of my voice
In the pale room.
I had good lungs. The doctor’s verdict.
But the still asleep city shhhed me and
Asked to turn the noise down.
Mother went back to bed.
The following day I learnt to
Write on white walls with red letters.
Photo: Georgiana Calinescu-Barber
You weep tonight like the hunter weeps
Alone in the forest with his own rifle and
Listen to my whispered, faraway story.
You refuse to sleep.
While we share the same meal,
The shooting goes on in the city,
A revolution happens without us.
But too much heavy rain makes the music impossible,
Therefore we keep by the fire.
The flames project your shadow on the opposite wall.
From where I sit you look like a black continent
With borders engraved on the silent bricks.
We will be at sea in the morning
Embarked on the wooden boat.
None of us cruised before
You suggest we could learn to sail by dawn
Before we depart.
So I draw the armchair closer.
The heat is burning my feathery back
But in the absence of pain
I agree with everything you say.
In a random act of kindness
I do not stop but continue to write my final dispositions
With furious fits of laughter.
The ink dries out on the stone which I place in your hand.
The token we need for the big passage.
Drawing: Manuell Manastireanu
I live in a round house across the road
And every day I wave the invisible white flag
Just to distract you from writing so many letters.
Other times, all I do is stare at your reflected image
Bent over the desk,
Thinking whether your back is broken
Having to bear so many words.
You do not lift your eyes up
Never see anything but yourself.
The only time you stand up and walk to the door
Is to refill the glass with sand.
You do not receive news from the outside world
You do not know we live in times of peace now.
All the sealed envelopes have not been delivered anywhere
For a very long time.
The poet says he would
Sleep anywhere just to be
In the same town with you as
He does not have
His own place in the world yet.