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 rook


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.




Making wine




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!’


A sea

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,

Miraculous woman,

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

With humility.



*‘Cantico Delle Creature’ di San Francesco di Assisi nel 1226 d. C

Translation by Carmen Bugan