MIHAELA ALBU

As published in In Focus Vol. 11, No. 4, December 2014

CATHARSIS

My dreams stop on the threshold

And do not know, or do not dare,

Open the door to a day

– of dreaming without a hint of sleep.

From the depth of underthought

Come out, demure and scared,

Desires and expectations.

Can you see them?

Let’s go on a pilgrimage to this shrine,

That we all know, or think we know,

And pack a bag full of dreams

For the road.

Let’s go, hand in hand, and demurely pass by

Those who know they have to wait!

Let us comfort, with sweet talk,

Those who have lost desire!

And those who no longer believe,

Let us show them a child’s smile!

Perhaps it is the only way they can

– just like the doe hit by an arrow—

Find serenity in the claws of their pain.

 

INITIATION

When you saw

the first light,

You were alone.

That’s probably why you closed

your eyes,  at once.

You liked it better inside

Your own darkness:

It did not disquiet you;

You had not yet tried

The joy of a light

That burns.

You called to me, for help;

I was expecting your call.

I taught you, little by little,

to tell apart

the happy strife

of life

from silent sorrow.

DARKNESS AND LIGHT

The first cry, when the journey began!

Was it a cry of joy or pain?

Light, the all-powerful, hurts.

Nevertheless, we open our eyes,

impatiently,

And patiently, we wait…

The hands of life, warm (or cold),

show us

the lighted (and the darkened) paths.

Now, I know both…

Though I do not remember the first cry

— was it joy, was it pain?—

I can see, behind me,

both darkness and light,

And before me, I see —

Inviting — a frightening dream.

 

LISTEN! 

Start with silence!

Learn to listen!

If you listen hard,

the noise will astound you:

It’s the first seed cracking,

and the first tendril of grass,

growing right under your feet.

Near it,

near that audacious tendril,

after long, patient waiting,

Searching the light’s

embrace

The first flower rises:

My soul, opening up

to You.

 

LEAF

The leaf watches me…

Well, why not?

Aren’t leaves the eyes of the trees?

I know they are alive

Or perhaps…

my thinking so breathes life into them.

“The vine is crying,”

my grandmother would say

And I would hold my breath

Lest I should hurt it

by imagining the delightful

taste of grapes

against my tongue.

“Don’t even touch him with a flower”

It’s an old saying

That applies to good people.

For if you touch them with a flower

Their lives would be tainted,

Because another life,

more beautiful,

was cut off.

 

WALKING WITH MY YOUTH 

One day I invited my youth

To go for a stroll with me.

After a while, I was a bit tired and said,

“You go ahead!”

Go ahead, my youthful soul,

And wait for me kindly

After you turn

The corner of friendship.

Perhaps you can go even farther,

Climb over the wall, and cross

To the other side of love. And then

It does not make any sense to wait

After you go through disappointment.

But if you remember me at all,

Just turn your head when you can

To see what was left

In your wake…

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