N a p a l m H e a l t h S p a : R e p o r t 2 0 0 9
The whole month of June I saw
How with broken claw and wings,
It called to the forest, refused strawberries,
Kept turning towards the canopy of trees.
Then the fifth Sunday came, when
We lifted the cage bidding it farewell.
Tar-black, it flapped quickly, flew
In a circle as if to take off, then fell.
He said he stood outside the gates
Until they told him to take the first train.
There, in that station where the convicts
Come and go, he cried as a free man.
All of August we washed oak barrels
Fitted them with shiny hoops
Rolled them slowly to the well and left
The water in to swell the staves.
When the first frost fell, her elbows
White with flour, sank in dough,
Round loaves baked in the clay oven,
Sheep cheese breathed on the table
Unwrapped from its cloth.
It was always early morning.
Blind with sleep I received
The water she poured on my hands
From the tin cup; the smell of frost
Came through the opened door,
The warmth of the room sweated
On the skin of the tomatoes
Piled in the basket on the floor.
Now I hear the grinding of hooves,
The creaking of the wagon at yoking
The slow rolling of wheels
On the road to the vineyard, I see
The seam of trees around our field.
Horses loose and the wagon empty
We each took a row: the grapes hung
Heavy with sweetness, weighty, strange
With their cold skin, ripeness, fragrance:
I crushed them between my palms
To show my partaking in the harvest.
Those were long days filled with sun
Grapes in baskets, naps under the oak tree,
Grandparents’ musings over the tannin
In the wine, the age of cheese
The thicker skin of plum tomatoes,
It all now feels rich as the sound of a cello.
The pressing always began
With grandmother offering food
And grandfather pouring old wine
To family and neighbors, until
Red in the cheeks, we washed our feet
And went dancing in the barrel.
She in her flowery dress and
He in his black suit…
I saw her return into the ground
And I keened the best I knew
But last time I spoke with him
He sat waiting in the quiet yard.
The priest smiles as I take a mouthful
Of wine from the bottle he brought me
As a wedding gift: ‘It’s from your fields’
He says. I hear the clambering noise
Of time which never seemed to end
And it did end, and now begins again.
Hundreds of wild white horses galloped
On the red-painted tin-roofed house
Sending me to press my ears against her
Belly softly held in her flower-printed dress.
Thus hail welcomed August, when she said
‘Ilie, the saint, rides his chariot in the sky’.
I loved being young, to sit in the shed
Next to her, waiting for the storm to pass,
To believe her stories in which she peopled
The heavens with a life just like ours.
In the morning, far from then, far from there
The sky opens pages and pages of blue,
The willow, now almost yellow, looks
Like a middle-aged woman who coloured
Her hair and gazes astonished in the window
At her last bit of beauty in the frost-hinting air.
Lucian Blaga (1895-1961)
This light which takes root
In my chest when I see you,
Couldn’t this be a drop of the light
Which was created in the first day,
From that thirsty-for-life light?
Nothingness moaned in agony
Floating alone in the darkness
Until the Marvellous signed
‘Let there be Light!’
And an insane whoosh of light
Made themselves into the moment:
There was such thirst for sinning,
Adventures, yearning, suffering,
A thirst for the world and the sun.
I wonder where that light has gone
--that blinding light—who knows?
This light which I feel crushing
Into my chest when I see you,
Might be, you know, the last drop
Of that light created in the first day.
Translated by Carmen Bugan
Romanian version from: http://www.romanianvoice.com/poezii/poeti/blaga.php
Song of the Creatures*
after St. Francis of Assisi
My good, most High, all powerful Lord,
You hold all the glory, the praises,
The honour, and every benediction.
Only to You these things belong,
And no man is worthy
To mention You by name.
I thank You for all of your creation, my Lord,
Especially for brother Sun
For he is radiant, beautiful, splendid,
He gives us daylight and warmth
Bringing your love to us.
I thank You for sister Moon and the stars,
For they are clear, precious, and beautiful
There in the sky where You placed them.
I thank You for brother Wind,
For the air and clouds, for clear weather,
For the snow and the rain
Through whom You sustain us.
I thank You for sister Water
Who is useful and humble,
Chaste and cherished.
I thank You for Brother Fire
Through whom You light my road at night
For he is beautiful, playful, robust, and strong.
I thank You for mother Earth
Who governs us and nourishes us
With her fruit, herbs, flowers
And every living being.
I thank You for those who forgive
In the name of Your love,
And for those who bear illnesses,
Infirmities, and suffer through troubles.
Blessed are those who endure suffering patiently
For You, my Lord, will crown them with your grace.
Glory be to You my Lord for sister corporeal Death
From whom no living man escapes;
Forsaken are those who die in mortal sin;
Blessed are those who give themselves to You
And live by your Holy will
For them, the second death will be painless.
Let us glorify, honour and thank our Lord
Let us serve Him and His creation
*‘Cantico Delle Creature’ di San Francesco di Assisi nel 1226 d. C
Translation by Carmen Bugan