The Simple Order of Things; Stay With Me; Twilight Without Fault; Mystery; The Lesson of History; The Flight of the Hieroglyph

The Simple Order of Things

Mister Dobrescu and madame Clemance were living somewhere

on the bottom of the pond surrounded by rush and reed.

Once, an old gypsy told them that they would have lived

long ago in Slatina, but that they did not know each other at that time,

everybody was busy with completely different things.

At that time I was living a strange youth,

I was picking medicinal herbs early in the morning,

sometimes in the evening, too,

but I had heard that they were picking best at dawn,

I was still digging out of the extent of the field women with ivory teeth,

with breasts full of earthly tranquility,

I was still marrying grasshoppers with the wind,

I was still falling asleep with my head on dragonflys hips.

As if I see them… Were appearing on the dusty road of the hill,

at each other arm, mister Dobrescu was wearing a long and shabby,

bluish frock coat, his hair turned white, flowing in locks oh his shoulders,

madame Clemance ‒ corpulent, in her dress with great motifs,

Japanese and with the eternal fan, that she was never off.

Were seeming floating, moving their legs slowly,

their eyes have become green, the pupils, a little more darker,

were barely distinguishable.

I was turning to them, I had in my belt pouch

angelica, hanbane, knotweed and burdock.

‘You haven’t been visiting us, young man …’ was telling me,

from afar, madame Clemance, they were wet, some green duckweed yarn

had stuck to them here and there.

‘We stay every day prepared with warm coffee and muffins,

and you constantly avoid us. Well, is this possible?!’

‘You are for us as our son …’, was completing mister Dobrescu,

clinging to the umbrella, ‘unfortunately, too much wandering.’

I was handing them a bag of herbs, they were stretching their hands

with white and thinned by water skin,

down in the valley, could be seen the splendid pond,

a smoke was rising from a corner of the pool, and far away,

a few birds were entering the rectangular mirrors of the summer sky

and they were not seen anymore.



 Stay With Me


 Every morning I continue my evening prayer

and then I scatter myself like a trunk cut off by the hands

of a blind and crazy slave in several pieces,

which carry in their yellow sap the smell of the earth.

Become thousands of shards, unitas multiplex, the anonymous abbot

of a great resurrection, and my shadow falls asleep,

as a tergal of reconciliation, stretched over the domes of the cathedrals.

Below, on the streets, some sell empty bottles and call me,

with the hands pointing at me, at my shadow,

at my only entire remaining part:

‘Yet you are bone, the helplessness and the glory, the nothingness

and the sublime light are all, all there, in the whiteness of your bone.

Your lovely mother can explain to you why your bone is white.

We know, it’s nicer to rest or to die stuck in a cross,

but if you can not die to the end

and your shadow will unheroic get cold, and it will fall upon us,

what are we going to do? Don’t you think of us?’

From the wooden shards like some scattered mirrors

on the ground, from that shadow like a gray, giant, sick bird,

I answer them: ‘My fear has never been sister

with death, has never been my silence sister

with life. Stay with me, stay with me, don’t

betray! After us the butterflies will be getting poorer

and the flowers more and more mothers of blame. ”


Twilight Without Fault

With the wedding at an end, in the freight wagon,

you try to count the telegraph poles on the way

and you only come out with a hern knocking listlessly

in the toolbox of resignation,

good that you don’t have a roof over your head,

you can admire the splendid twilight,

you don’t care anymore about the stolen bride,

which is waving at you from a cornfield full of good

intentions, keep going,

give yourself to the wheels that grind their flour,

somewhere, at this hour,

from some walls break out the drowsy dogs

of the previous century,

some statue begins to offer Chinese handkerchiefs

to those who still return from the last crusade

more broke than they left,

on the bottom of some basin still glitters

some coin of confession and covenant failed

in bluish reflections,

somewhere, at this hour,

is born someone who will wait for you at the end of the line,

dressed in archangel, with a luminous bouquet of flowers,

and who will say to you:

‘Welcome! So far, everything has been nothing but a dream,

from now on the reality begins.


She was sitting on a golden stool,

in front of the mirror,

combing her long and black hair.

I was laying in bed, behind her,

and watching her I said:

You have an army,

somewhere you have a hidden army

and all obey you without protest,

soldiers and generals alike.

You are the master of life and death,

you, the one that pretends to know nothing,

you are able to rule the most bloody wars,

and all those soldiers are happy

to fall with the foreheads to the ground

at the smallest sign of  your finger,

you, who betray yourself so little,

so as the world around you sees in you

the same beautiful child of drunkenness and despair.

Beautiful, that comb absent,

you are the great master

of a hidden army.

The Lesson of History

At the time when around here the steam rises from the leaves

and the proletarian monkey peels on the mandarins,

the old conquistadors return to Spain

with the clothes more shabby and outdated,

with the ships rotten,

no longer even remembering what they left for,

the gold, anyway, has rather shrunk

and the dulcineas have long ago became some apathetic

pensioners, at the umpteenth generation of grandchildren.

What do they know that on the east,

where Velázquez never reached the middle of nowhere,

the pig plans to make wedding with the scorching gas lamp,

the plum brandy starts to swing into the blue eyes of the former

illegalists and behind the community center

sometimes still play hopscotch just some decrepit and nostalgic

school teachers…

You can even shout at them if your throat afford it:

‘Hey, you rascals and pirates, you, skunks of Cortez

and Pizzaro, you don’t know that here, on the east,

the petition is the tenderest and the salt, and the pail of water

are the best anesthetic of hungry and grumbling principles?’,

that they will not hear you anymore,

they speak from now on the Azteca and the Inca,

can only understand the ghostly whisper

of the Indian in carge with the fire

from the pyramids of the most peaceful of us.

The Flight of the Hieroglyph

Had a strange way to explain things.

It happened especially when was pouring at night.

In front of us ‒ the car’s headlights, the store’s lights…

We were drinking somewhere a cognac, a coffee,

then we were taking a juice, salty peanuts

and we were walking on the boulevard, on the streets.

Was saying to me: ‘The rest is virgin,

a good luck bringer space, but inside your soul

I feel a patter, like some nervous horse hooves,

an incompleteness of forces in something,

a crazy, ownerless chime.

I was trying to answer: ‘You know, it’s like the pain

of a wisdom tooth, which never got away from me.

There are a few old triages where I can still escape,

it seems to me that sometimes some bearded are passing

by me, with figures of Armenians, with some carpets

on their shoulders, but all these give me

only for a moment relief.

How to tell you, I am a door through which

my heart passes from one side to another always

whistling and waving. And you do feel it, you know…’

Wasn’t answering at all. Was just tightening in me

and we were continuing our way in the night to the far,

until both were getting tired.

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’][/author_image] [author_info]Dragoş Niculescu’s poems have been published by Romanian and international literary magazines. He has published several volumes of poetry and drama and is a literary critic and cultural editor.[/author_info] [/author]