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The Scent Of Blue Ink

The Scent of Blue Ink

by Cristina-Monica Moldoveanu

Copyright 2015

by Cristina-Monica Moldoveanu

Shakespir Edition

Shakespir Edition, License Notes

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Morning Exercise

good morning!
with half-open eyes you can see your life
running like a fairy at your window
shaking cherry flowers from her hair
raising the train of her dress with her fingers
it would have been unusual not to fall in love
not to see growing among clouds
swans in pairs/ white hearts in pairs
while you sip your rosemary tea

good morning I command to you!
if you stare with wide opened eyes
you see this life
an old cocotte with thick makeup and dilated nostrils
sniffing you as if you were half dead
throwing on your table dry bread and a hard-boiled egg
take it there’s no time for bargain take a drop of sunshine
a pinch of salt on your tongue
swallow at once

like this…open your eyes very slowly until your lives begin to wrestle
and smash one another until dust


when I fell in love I pressed my heels against the sky
as if in a bread oven
sitting with my forehead on the warm ground
and the wind and the butterflies and the clouds like smoke
were hard to be spoken they stuck inside my chest

without even knowing
I invented God in a new season of the year
believing it was the same
through days with sun and moon both white
because of heavy blessing it rained with sweet incense
clocks lagged behind from their minute hands
gooseberries and red currants popped between my nails
milk teeth grew in my virgin bosom
with the name sculpted by man lips

I slept another one’s dream in a stranger’s bed
he looked at me on Sundays through the train window
he saw through me
from our century of loneliness only dust flew over
as if from the leaves of an old Bible


bubblegum balloons, mechanical clocks, counting frames with beads,
letters on perfumed paper, furry toys for kittens,
chocolate santa claus, giraffe stamps, thistle ponchos,
black pirate eyeglasses, stickers with phosphorescent hearts,
terracotta ocarinas, rainbow lollipops…

back then it was silence when i laughed

the little girl who sees the sun through a big leaf does not grow anymore
her breast is like magnolia blossoms
when the flowers fall down the clouds take their place atop the tree
and the sun is like the small red eye of a white pigeon

rag dolls never fall asleep
their silky hair becomes more and more dark and rough
porcelain dolls with small keyholes learn step-dancing
in their lacquered shoes

i chose a flower and i created the world in her image
now it is silence even if i cry

By Themselves

if people are trees then they are most likely to be pear trees
their fruit is at the height of the noon sun with sweet juice
they too fall by themselves
grubby or not with small and soft seeds because man breaks himself
dropping down on the ground with smoothened teeth and bones
he melts like honeycomb

at my grandma’s funeral
she looked as if she lost her wrinkles in the coffin
her forehead smiled to the winter sky like water from an ice hole
when we got back from the cemetery we didn’t recognize
her old and black umbrella standing in the corner of the bedroom
everyone wondered why it was there

from one hand to another we shared the wheat porridge
and the clothes and the memories gathering new meanings
it was colder
maybe a small painted angel cried in the icon above the stove

one morning I saw a rainbow
it lasted all along the road until the sky was untied from the earth

The Third Commandment

paint me a crying eye orders the white demon
it is not necessary said I
can’t you see the seagulls flying at a distance
I can hear them cry
I can hear
another blue train passing by

because of too many sleepless nights
I am now buried beneath an old oak’s roots
they founded a city upon my eyelids
I am no more able to see over the walls and
I am tired all over

when my last teardrops will disappear
only blackbirds will be left here
shading my heart
on the Eastern wall another child will touch me
with the palm of his hand
even God doesn’t cry
he’ll speak
together with the bluebells swaying in the wind

Persephone’s Memories

and there’s rigoletto laughing out the cry of the one who’s defeated by fate among the spectators dressed in blue by the light flooding them between the acts/ and there’s the woman eternally defeated by love/ a cup with poison from which they drink/ the men who used to believe

maybe the world means to win over that sentimental beast/ to open your eyes without amazement in front of the newborn’s cry/ the world where passions die in the name of freedom

i wonder
if this is exactly the sun in everybody’s eyes
how could I tear apart the veil woven around every cradle
with such soft hands it is impossible

somebody plays god every day
lights up the fire and waists time
searches among deities and tombs a piece of clay that he kneads
folding the dough
he tries to invent another empty space inside the earth’s crust

i took my knapsack on my shoulders it smelled like bread and onion i climbed upon the hill’s mane/ i felt beautiful and young/ i believed there will be a right hand holding my left hand/ when i came back it was snow and the house’s chimney was faintly whistling/ i bit a red apple from the yesteryear’s crop/ it was cold and wrinkled

in the play of a lonely child there is room for a whole world
of angels


if you are my friend you would always believe in what I say
we would bite from the same orange even if we know
that stones disappear and rivers remain
even if I read Heidegger and Kierkegaard and I dislike Confucius or Laozi
even if I value Hugo and Dostoyevsky and I am still outraged by Picasso
even if I cry without a word very softly and I want sometimes
to play another Nine Men’s Morris with beans or lentils
until night falls upon us and you will believe me again when I’ll tell you
about the black forest grown from too high dreams
and about the catacombs built by warrior ants

right now we stay together face to face at the round table
somewhere at Stonehenge
measuring the time necessary for light to run back and forth
between me and you
we both smile the same however much it hurts
because tears would divide us forever
like the sword separating Tristan and Isolde
same as all the others divided because they never betrayed
not even for the sake of their love


Too tired to sleep on in the morning, I wake up
afraid of my own dreams, when the garbage truck

arrives at my backdoor. Those men collecting everything
with gloves, their tanned and hardened skin.

They’re my stepbrothers because they feel the things
I felt yesterday, they’re the safe-keepers of my memory.

The scent of Christmas trees abandoned still alive.
The orange peels or other lifetime indulgences.

Too many cigarette stubs touched only twice:
once when I remembered something beautiful,

and another time when I tried to forget.
It is that something fighting in the corner of my mind,

yelling this is your life, just live it.
It is the sound of winter wind bending the trees.

The Changing Color of Hydrangeas

it happens every time when it rains on the backstreets
you can feel through the rhythm of pending death
the blood pulse in your ears
an echo in a seashell
your life staggering like a ballet dancer on a wire
hiding the sun with her umbrella to avoid blindness
you can feel the ship’s floor slanting when the captain falls asleep

this world cleanses again of its ashes
everything drifts away like windblown raindrops


it is a pure scent of fresh bread steaming
it is a struggle against these ruined walls
still untouched by the springtime sun
you can hear a grandmother sighing while reading fairy tales
an old man crying in front of his empty stamp book
a scratched record playing behind wide open windows

from the underground floor of the circus
a beggar recites a philosophical stanza
because it rains

and no one knows
why clocks disappeared from the city squares
why they took down the posters from lamp posts
and the names of yesteryears singers drowned in mud
no one understands what happened
with those watchmaker shops and repairing workshops
where we took our umbrellas shoes watches hats stockings
no one knows if this circle will be unbroken


on the streets where dandelions grow wild
trees are partly cut telephone poles are uprooted
they pour hot asphalt
people searching for a guiding star embrace each other longer
children have the palms of their hands blackened
from eating blueberries

Easter Eve

while dew was still shining on flowers
mother went with her knapsack of seeds
to the cemetery
to raise petunias and daisies
father climbed on the top of the cherry tree
a baby spring wind opened a pathway
in his white hair

some bees came to visit us
but it was too early
I waved my arms to send them away
fearing they would frighten dad
or they will make him think it was too late
in order not to wake him up
or lull him asleep completely

at our home
while mother pulled out weeds
father lay stretched atop the cherry tree
like over a calm sea
to avoid drowning
the way all dead float still on their backs
over flowers

naturam animae

they crucified a man in all his might

first they made him smaller
until the eyes were pin heads
and the body like a matchstick
didn’t weigh more than a dewdrop
on the snail’s tentacle

then they made him silent
buried all his words in a worn-out ditch
of an old playing record

finally they stretched him entirely
upon the small wheels of a pocket watch
hidden at the back

eventually it ticks on Easter


I am alone and therefore everyone says
that I stopped talking a long time ago
more and more myopic I keep my eyes like a snail
at the top of my ballpoint pen
it smells like poppy seed cake and popping chestnuts
walls are warmer than a charcoal fueled stove
Raskolnikov is asleep on the upper shelf of my library

I can’t tell stories about the fingers
of the dead the paralytic elders the aborted children
about the heart as a black box
smoked on the inside by cheap candles
I don’t want to doze off before the rain
passing like a stream through my blood
would finally stop

born more many times from a cherry petal
I was so white
that hungry wolves’ fangs reddened at their roots

Group Photo with Fishermen

it’s Christmas dad
lend me once more your hand to compare ourselves
among the living people i ever touched
only your hand was bigger

if you want to we can go to the seashore hand in hand
to leap wave after wave together
or you can take me to the puppet theater
where the orange tiger swallows pancakes
while we’re clapping along with our big hands

this year i didn’t grow home bread and
i didn’t burn candles
i simply crouched with half-opened eyes
leaning against high cushions
over a cross scratched with my nails on the bed sheets
lying in wait
fishing like you dad
sometimes hours other times days
go by without any catch
apart from your pale and slippery smile
in the last photograph

why on earth didn’t you put aside the fishing rod

The Lemon in the Egg Saucer

the small woman from the attic sits cross-legged
with her pink plastic hair rollers for hours. her
life spins like the spool of thread on the sewing
machine. she sleeps wearing a flowery morning
gown in the room with a flowery wallpaper and
a secondhand carpet imitating autumn grass. she
boils her lime tree tea and dairy free pasta on
the electric boiling ring. she washes her hair
with nettle essence shampoo. once a month she goes
to the central store to see new dress designs then
she reads at midnight group portrait with lady. in
a sideboard she hides a pair of perfumed lace gloves
the color of the skin. she wears them when the spring
wind blows. on a shelf in the kitchen a grated lemon
in an egg saucer is slowly getting dry.

Life Lines

in my man’s palm I lay my tired ear
and it’s like I can enter there completely
sleeping eyes opened a wise child’s nap
my primer book on my knees

he draws the curtains slowly
to prevent sunburns on my front
wipes a bead of sweat with his fingers
I simply don’t think at all

because all that I ever asked him
was just that round and small bed inside his left palm
where all my dreams could die
for real

this man is not alive
only his palm touches my temple my ankle my hip
he draws them in broken lines while I’m still asleep
eyes opened


some say i was cursed
because of too much red i was a child
because of too much black an old nun
almost never a woman
dancing flamenco among life’s flounces

the greedy ones stole my dreams
night after night
when i began to forget them
they shared the prey without flinging
a bone for me at Caesar’s feast

i righteously swore they were mine
when i woke up
in the sad buffoon’s corner
every day left by god on earth

it was not my job to baptize things
in my wordless thoughts
it was neat as in a convent cell
knowing only to listen or to keep silent
either a child
either an old nun

i walked in the Versailles hall of mirrors
without telling for sure where the sun was


I wrote a poem
like a lonely woman
crying for someone
to make a gift of it
whoever passed by
dropped the well’s lid
without looking down

from too much yelling
my eyes got dry
I was blind
it was drought
the acacia grove whistled
for such waste

suddenly the wind
bent my crisscrossed arms
I breathed soul to soul
I cried tear from tear

someone left
without a word
my poem stuck to his soles
like dust

I tore a leaf and signed
I, anno domini

The End of the Blue Period

if others slithered between two air columns
the child who had never learned the race was running
as if swimming face to face with an ocean’s wall
his head like an iron ball
dragging the motionless body
only as far as the tethered roots could stretch

when his father carried him on his shoulders
the child felt through his nostrils
how the man’s steps slice the air
how the wind passes close to the ears as if
walking is another kind of flight allowed only to others
a perfectly directed music

with all his heart he would have liked to play
like a normal child
to forget he had had wings before growing roots
but others were faster while playing tag
they ran around him avoiding to touch him

he was left to be the savage defeated without fight
the blue acrobat in equilibrium on his ball
from another paradise

Then Came One o’clock

It was a tall and white door with the knob at the level of my heart. I knocked discreetly to enter in audience at the cross spider tamer. A fat and redhead man chewing his whiskers minutely. I was wet because of emotion and warm like a freshly hatched chicken. The man spoke with a shrill snigger because it is known that death is not as serious as life. You just swallow a knot in your throat from the corner of the star still left for you. As if you drink hot milk after chickenpox. Sometimes only the sun remains for you and you die in winter. Other times you shake off the stars and the moon from your hair like an autumn willow. You get so annoyed that your eyes roll in their orbits until the spiders stop jolting on your photograph upside down.

It was a perfectly ordinary day. Except for the fact that they sold more tickets at the county fair carousel. Nobody is perfect. Not even those who predict the weather.

Toy Battery Train

I was just sleeping, because of boredom, and I woke up on an empty boarding platform with its pavement stones blackened. The grass sprouted out victorious among cracks, black as coal. The wind managed to stir up the dry poplars from their dark silence. It was like the meowing of an abandoned black kitten, precociously aware of its color handicap in a hostile world, a special meowing, hollow and squeaky, pathetic and funny altogether, almost begging for a drop of curdled milk, because fresh milk is available for brown striped kittens with a fluffy face.

I began to go round the station aimlessly, feeling through my thin shoe soles that the train approached. I walked in a kind of led armor, tighter and tighter, looking with my half opened eyes towards the moon’s eyelid engulfing the clouds. The train was really coming closer popping from sleeper to sleeper, as if running right or left from its tracks, anyway completely discontent of its compulsory straight road. Its large windows had a phosphorescent shine, therefore resembling from afar with some Christmas decorations in a city with a sky dark as pitch and smoky everywhere.

I wasn’t certain if I dreamed or if I was awake when the train got in my sight. Although I trembled because of cold and fear, I don’t think I would have climbed up. At every window there was a dead body, with its face almost black, and beside every corpse there was a doll all dressed in white: a bride doll with clean and frothy laces and veils floating in the wind. The lights in every compartment were colored differently, crescendo: white, yellow, orange, red, crimson, violet, blue. At the last window it was dark, but, leaning over the sill, I could see the head of a child, safe and sound, laughing wholeheartedly.

Then I closed my eyes and started to cry. I was no more afraid but I knew I wasn’t asleep anymore.

Bitter Green

because of too many nightmares I’m visited by the dead
those familiar persons with ordinary words
with hobbies and bad habits
so homey /
we ride together on the horse or in the small car
we fall asleep in the bed from the doll’s house furniture

it’s too ridiculous / I am too old
to wear a dandelion flower on my chest
as a mourning sign for the sun of my childhood
when I gathered in my hands small hearts from shepherd’s purse weeds
to grow roots in another place eventually

since I have wandered on the straight road
I hide under my softly lined coat
my arms tattooed by lightning still lively
my blood dripping in the dust
sticking like scabies onto my shoe soles //
I am ashamed to take off my shoes to follow the shortcut

the gate has moved altogether with its pillars
on the other side of the road /
I tighten my fist under the sleeve
I bend my knees and crouch
near the deserted well with the cry of a white lamb
whiter and whiter


you waited too much
about thirty years before you can say jack robinson
cheops kephren mikerynus
otherwise life like a water under the desert
always played tricks on you
pushed you hunchbacked inside caverns
where everything drips and leaves a small hole
everything yells
tears or laughter tear off the flesh
they’re forbidden since the world began
they declare you are subhuman
because so many still cry with their eyes closed
you are just a riddled dummy
the more you scream the more you unwind
there’s no place for you at the charity soup feast
you don’t understand why
everyone is something because you are nothing
you have no bright star left
as a proof
amid the stubs from yesterday’s garbage
you still smell good still wash yourself with soap
children still play with marbles
hitting the wall against which you lean

The White Butterfly

the wax doll mirrored herself in a puddle
she felt a scent of moist earth
upon her barren belly trees were blossoming
full of wild bees

after the magician’s performance she raised on tiptoes
dancing with her arms over her head
for life and for death
she kept the moonrise in the palms of her hands
and the song like a dagger between her teeth
she melted gradually
through her naked breast through her naked body
other swords passing
colder and colder
bloody icicles growing in her heart

the real woman lay down in the grass
with a white butterfly sleeping on her pubis
like a sailboat over the sea
she did not know
how much she resembled her wax replica
same little mermaid dancing all night long
piano fortepiano
al fine

Some Say Life Is Like a River

the sky is heavy the eyes of the dolls are murky…
here are too many horror masks
clowns grinning washing their makeup
in the same laundry basin
one last love dies
under the glass turned upside down like an hourglass
over the ill back of the world
and how beautiful it was in the beginning
so spoke the Sibyls with crystal voices

I clasp my fists because of pain and she mounts up my heart
breaks my brain as if half of a nut
steals me beyond my chastity belt
and everyone says they still want
another stain on the bride’s dress
another drop of red wine on the shroud
another icon smeared with wax and locked in gold frame
my God why did you allow all this…

in the secret garden a nobody’s child
bites from a bitter cherry
he wanted to grow up to go round the earth
but the lily wreaths dried up too early
because only death isn’t for free we will disappear
I too and my white bird too


my happiness ends here / on a Sunday’s evening
after the cross atop the church’s steeple becomes cooler
after this bright red sunset
there will be no more painless/ careless/ fearless moments
the asphalt is empty and dull for my soles/ its echoes are lost
no better things to do than strolling these streets/ almost losing ground
then staring at people right into the whole/ the full of them
without any thought on my mind

only the shadow of my elbow is touched by other shadows
en passant
silhouette after silhouette
Modigliani’s women/ Brâncuşi’s magic birds
la dolce morte della luce

everything flows into thoughts/ thoughts into other thoughts
even Charon’s boat disappears
and right now my lips paralyzed to prevent me from proving the truth

Elegy 011

it is so easy to kill me unknown brother
carved Samaritan image
do yourself a favor I’m an undecided blotch of color
indigo reaching for purple
shut at once the book you read from
and I’ll become a butterfly with my wings crucified
on two pages

maybe because of the need to forget
I see death as a hindrance on the wheel of torture
a camphorated ointment for nervous fibers ends
I’m closer today to the tree for hanging the noose
from which God forbid you to taste
look vanitas vanitatum
Yorick’s skull lies on your plate when you receive your alms
the candle the baked apple and the wheat porridge helping

I stand up facing the wall
my voice isn’t yet untied
I wonder what is stronger and if the heart tips the scales
my achy breaky heart
on the balance between life and death
there are a few extra grams of soul
we will need very tiny jewelry weights
psalm 103
Fibonacci’s series the golden ratio

look my child the soft carpet
my warm body upon which you step this sacred day
my soles are thin they stick to the red clay
I turn upon the potter’s wheel
my everlasting mentioning
like I was that’s how I’ll stay
a crumb of Eucharist bread on the lips
the first and the last

Elegy 0101

there must have been something that i can touch and feel
like the one-year-old hits the mirror with his hand
i live on the highest floor under cloud number nine
because of happiness
sing to me a lullaby killing me softly
tomorrow morning i will tease and powder my hair
like a demimonde from the 20th century
a rare flower at the vampire ball

alike the sinful woman wiping men’s feet with her hair
because of too much love
all virgins bring the scent of sea into their lovers lap
then you can find them sitting still on bracket seats
when they receive free tickets for the first night of the show
from the part of a senile philanthropist


do the ring dance my soul
before the groom shares the pillow with his bride
soles are hot and steps are small
women have redder lipstick
because red can propagate easier in the air
it is a color that appears too early or too late
between day and night
like unmarried girls in their thirties


and then the widow says
they threw my dead man in the truck
as if a sack with potatoes
they separated us
the wooden hammer knocks the table
the defense lawyer wears his black robe
with a creased wing collar


a long row of youngsters flows towards the church altar
they have jasmine flowers trembling in their hair
because of peaceful feelings
let the children come

Elegy 01

it is mid-summer I stumble like a woman
in which people have never seen the woman
ecce mulier
the summer sky opened up
there will be no more earthquakes or wars
it is nice lukewarm and easy going
things don’t tumble altogether towards the center of the earth
neither the lovers’ eyes nor the jealousy that haunts them
because they are happy
nor the love for thy neighbor because it is envied

sing a song you fiddler man
for the girl from the white little house
here where I am allowed to be myself
the others are not sincere when a lonely woman
lives as if in a train compartment
rises and falls together with the moon
(I could have caught it in my bread basket
to cut a slice of it but I am not craving)
I am too simple without secrets
my whole life I got older in a corset ball dress
singing to myself from the window
praying to my angel to make me stronger

how many wishes can I pretend to possess
when I have never wished something for real
it was always something more important more painful
closer to me the one without beginning or end
something that could have been
you are my brother you are my sister
I am the one who draws the gate’s bolt
even if the garden is deserted
things must stay in their place laws must be respected
fences have to stand up

I shall buy lottery tickets to win at least a hope
if my astrological sign is lucky
if there are enough comets running over my sky
trying not to die like a soldier
I am neither man nor gardener to plough for the seed of my dreams
nor monk to sing hallelujah
ecce mulier my lord
the pain is stronger on my waist
on the upper and lower halves I already froze
enough for you to pass over on foot without breaking me

I went astray in another world
I will never be at home I will never part completely
I’m a shadow’s bride but whose shadow I don’t know


today I’m furious
I’m furious with Kriemhild because she took revenge
with Hamlet because he took revenge
with the Count of Monte Cristo because he took revenge
with Romeo and Juliet because they committed suicide for something
with the ground floor audience because they enjoy the plot
and all of them warm their tongues and their feet
as if the show were a kind of bacchanal

let’s sing again ‘L’important c’est la rose’ while clapping with our hands/ encore for the white swan who dies so graciously/ for Mimi Violetta Aida Carmen/ every wall has ears/ every drumbeat has an echo/ all fine ladies and gentlemen spread the news/ everything is multiplied into more wires more electric power more wi-fi networks/ everyone pays more to be an open stage spectator/ everybody learned to mind their p’s and q’s / yet they don’t have pity for the gladiators who don’t want to fight

I’m furious with all the actors who want to be just simple people
with all the simple people who don’t want to be actors
with myself because I lie when I say that I’m furious
while in reality I am only sad for all these things
and for the rickety nub of my heart
for the sheer misfortune that most of all I believed in peace
while all the others recite aloud that life is a continuous fight
and even dogs bite those who don’t raise their rod in due time

after writing pathetic poems I open up my stamp book and I see the rare bird of paradise under my magnifying glass/ I am a failure as a collector/ and I’m an altruist globetrotter/ I relapse and cleanse again my eyes staring at the bright blue stars that will never meet one another/ and I listen to Bach and Handel playing with the volume set at the minimum


besides getting old
drying up and whitening like peeled off walnut limbs
I began to forget the primary school lessons
maybe this is a bad sign
one day I realized that I forgot how to handwrite Z
the way they taught us
you know it was not easy
at home I knew zed form the newspaper
I sat on my father’s knees
asking him what’s this letter and he answered
then I went out to scribble zed with a pebble on the sidewalk
my teacher loved me even if I knew to read beforehand
little by little from one blotch to another
I learned to write small crooked sticks slanting lines circles
later even the letter zed for zoo and zebra
for Zorro the adventurer or Zeus the immortal
I grew up like any other with two zeds in my mind
writing the easier one like all the rest
we all learn since childhood to have a double life
to hide a part of our hearts
until Puss in Boots becomes a memory with too tight boots
I think that maybe I became too old to be able to write the letters
forgotten in my back pocket

Bitter Tropics

it wasn’t me who invented love by ignorance
the same way the painter doesn’t have the heart
to mix pure colors
it was there
in the times when I used to swot the differences
between useful beautiful and pleasing

first of all there grew a tree with red leaves
like man’s or woman’s lips before the first kiss
leaves were another kind of hands
preparing to fall
rustle over rustle till the last silence

only by chance I shared the same shadow
with a stranger
for the jealousy of those who did not know me
I waited for centuries close to the old tree trunk
my cheek against the dry ground
I couldn’t refuse him when he asked me
to lend him a leaf
and I didn’t even know
where do young butterflies hide when it rains bitter

people say that
after a day that tree was brought down
today no one kills himself
because of love
they’re simply killed little by little

4 Metaphors about the Moon


My heart is a well within, where clear waters raise if it rains,
mixed with mud.
The moon inside it grows and dwindles continuously.
She breaks for me her bread, I share with her my water.
The more dreams I carry on my back, the more she shines brighter.

Because of too many shadows my road is darker
and I hid in the hollow of an old tree. Tomorrow it will be cut down.
The bloody knife is on the ground, covered with dust.
I feel like a woman who has never had a shadow,
either sunshine or moonlight.

Right before dawn, when dreams knock loudly at my conscience gate,
a gray orchid grows under my eyelids.
A night butterfly asleep on the white sugar bowl.
What if the moon itself was nothing but the imprint of a dry flower
on the iris of a child’s eye?

If you dare to pass by the corner of a poet’s house in Venice,
a black gate towards the old attic will open.
There the moon turns on a gramophone record.
Always the same tune, over waters and rice fields, beyond dams and oceans,
beyond white birds migrations in any season.

Vagabond Heart

I remembered my childhood in the cherry orchard,
the way I did not want to complain about my too long name
or about the fact that other children avoided me.
I believed that for those who never lie to others or to themselves
the curtain never falls,
I believed that life was a window without birds, moon or sun,
a window entirely open.

When it was spring I hid my soft hair under the knitted beret;
it was a spring with nettles still tender,
with cherry leaves no bigger than my small finger.
The saucer with jam
sat on my first schoolbook covered in purple-blue paper
with labels perfectly glued in the middle,
and my name written by others.

Today I walked the old cobblestone street,
listening to my footsteps.
I opened the school’s gate and found my old classroom.
I saw someone’s hand writing a word on the blackboard.
It was ‘silence’
I thought that the whole world must have been that word
since others rejected me as if I were the bitter core of a cherry kernel.

They pushed me out from their world,
in a place where I can dream of something real to me,
such as love.
Since then my shadow grew higher than the fence of my school,
higher than the prison walls, higher than the lone traveler on his horse…
or I am that lone ranger trying to shoot his own shadow?

The Central Pavilion

theater of ideas:

a well aerated room with a black box under the window
a young middle-aged woman wearing out of fashion blue jeans

monologue (aloud) :

when I listened to the bird songs I did not know
which one was the nightingale
and I did not dare to give it a name
in my apprenticeship years I learned only to obey
in my wandering years I did not invent any new road
not even a single word in my silent years
and then I died on the edge of the precipice I did not jump into


it looks like I resemble all the others
I have the same shadow struck through with thick lines
exactly like those who fell from their feet before me
I have the same thirst for light
I always get to the point beneath and not above ‘I’
and I admit that I’m not the only one
I too got old too early and they left for me only the candle
plus the salt cellar with very bitter salt
perfectly natural in case I need it

recorded sound:

‘Let It Be’ panpipes and bagpipes
the sound of water in a stainless steel sink

I Never Promised You a Rose Garden

I won’t forget the times when I made roundish letters
in blue-black ink
as if I were crushing blackberries
perfumed and wild
and in the eyes of that man by chance
it was always the same Toulouse-Lautrec painting
with my watery-blue dress
like a cloud in the armchair covered in calico fabric
the color of rose petals freezing
in late November
with his checkered hat thrown
accidentally over my raincoat
I wondered too much
why he squeezed the whole sun between his teeth
while laughing
I continued to write about my dreams
like white dead pigeons
my lord
with the heart shielded between wings


i am inhumanly alone but it is alright
it still hurts that i am human
i’m not an anomaly i would love a cup of aromatic tea
and a friendly pat on my back if i’m choking
i’d wish to write a love poem // oh yes i’m the great pretender //
to see what’s left from my tea after talking nineteen to the dozen
about the man who never loved me

at first there were too many songs // i danced embracing my own self
i danced the silence the sun the rain the noises on the street the heartbeat the happiness
like a china ballet dancer spinning on a table
i danced in the name of my loneliness
//sono la ragazza senza amore sopra il mare della gioventù //
behind the curtains there were the black speakers
i danced only in the midst of white days // i let my arms fall gently my fingers extended
i swirled in pirouettes until rain fell down
behind the window blinds too heavy clouds breaking // slanting water streams released
i became a lily with my hands arched over me like stamens
sliding growing rolling from head to toes

if he loved me i would like to lay down stretched in opposite directions
with only the front of our heads touching like clouds
like a kiss from afar
to be purposely foolish to let me rest my eyelid in the notch of his elbow
but what kind of daimonic man would have loved me enough
to sleep peacefully aside me

The Book of the Prodigal Son’s Daughter

and even after we go to meet our maker there’s an alley separating us
apparently in two rows of angels and saints
some with their head towards sunrise
the others towards sunset

it’s snowing
i dream of a world with less tooth for a tooth and eye for an eye
a world with bread for a bread and flower for a flower
with that cup of water my father asked for before dying
my old man who drank only beer or vodka or synthetic juices
until it stroke him through his head and heart
i did not come to your grave to thank you
the one who asked me for forgiveness five days before you passed away
the one who broke then in your fist that small porcelain doll
i was afraid off when i was a child
and you knew
i inherited your poverty but not your sins
do you remember when we used to play dice and canasta
we both had blind luck
and someone was shamelessly cheating

yesterday’s snow settled down over all graves
over all vows
in a land without prophets like any other land
only the wind breaks spells skimming father’s bible
that one with a mahogany leather cover
it does not matter in which direction lies your head dad
may your memory be forgiven

Vespers without Bells

it hurts when i see people crying of happiness
punished until bloody without any guilt
like they wrote in the news that raped girls are sometimes flogged
it hurts to see people allured by shiny colored Christmas lamplights
and if the hand of a blind man gives them a cup with fresh clean water
it bursts out from their heart
it flows all over that juice from their battered soul

they’re flogged on the inside and too much light opens those scars/ in their world only the masked butcher has the right to slice and share the brown salt-free bread

many of them think that they fight for
or against noble instincts
such as craving for life or craving for love
i capitulated a long time ago
today i drag my feet near the tram rails among nine drugstores

who knows what will get out from the box with broken toys

The Prayer of the Heart

i pick up the phone to talk for free on sundays/ on the other end of the line there are no other words/ i skim through my phone numbers agenda/ people i forgot about because they did not want me/ my love for the farther and departed ones/ the biblical kin queuing at the same feast/ sharing and multiplying home bread and onions/ and the man paid to soak the sponge in vinegar

it’s a very quiet day it rains as if in empty honeycombs
people come back from the white church with low spires
sharing their umbrellas

i stick my fingertips to the soil in the pot with a green plant/ i disconnect myself/ i discharge my electricity/ i try to fix the soles of my feet on the floor/ to equilibrate my soul between the two lungs/ this is an exercise without mantras feng shui or ikebana

only a sunflower stays close to the wall like virgin mary in her prayers

Wet Dog’s Nostalgia

Damned be that plastic uniform when I was in the 7th grade or so it stuck to my knees I pulled it down with my left hand but it was still too short and my heels in round tips stogies drew outwards why couldn’t I understand that life is like a frugal meal made of maize porridge soaked in hot milk poured in aluminum bowls using the same spoons with holes on their handles given to us by the old priest’s wife why couldn’t I see beyond the glossy covers of my books their inside core yellow-lit by the 40 watt light bulb trembling over the black rafters

Fairy tales smelled so good like fresh print I filled my pockets with shepherd’s purse small hearts I scattered them to grow elsewhere there was something of my own I dreamed of keeping the sun in my hands and the rain in my eyes to let them fall over the ground to let my hair grow long down to my waist but my mother opposed I wanted to play the mandolin like a fair-haired princess but I was brunette and my music teacher did not accept me in the children’s chorus

Why didn’t I learn to cry out to dry my tears in a slow train’s smoking compartment amid old cigarette stubs with my eyelashes painted blue because of shame that I did not understand in good time why was I doomed to see so many dogs run over by wheels on the highway in order to finally understand how some old beggar dies in the rain his hand clutching a bag with strawberries received as charity

Modus vivendi

and now comes that moment when a hand
draws the curtains over the sunset
like it is customary
when the last page from a good novel locks
inside the gardener’s daughter head another garden
as big as all the other wonders of this worlds

my body rolls amid old pillows
I rotate within the squared dial of my room
I am content that I’m not weightless
that I have a living shape and my heels nailed to the floor
and I stretch myself
with one leg shorter than the other
like the mistress of the sun king and Churchill and other figures
in a procrustean world in all its joints

there will be another day when the undertakers will take
from my bed sheet a drop of saint imprint alike Christ’s

Between Today and Tomorrow

the motherless child has pointed ears as if a hare and he runs
on the witchgrass and chicory field within the rifle’s range
the child
draws his blanket every evening up under his chin
the blanket with holes like stars
he covers the cold in his body
a cold so frail and shameful
he keeps silent when others talk he murmurs hail Mary
when others believe that he’s cursing
until there comes the rain until valleys get deeper where streamlets run
him the one who lives hiding behind a woman’s icon
he steals the wild blackberries from the graveyard of the innocents


tell me what can be found before pain
an upside-down cross between heart liver and stomach
what lies downwards swells like biscuit in milk
and what lies above screams
like Saint Peter would have screamed
upturned cross at the foundation of the church

tell me what survives longer between the four cardinal points
made of living flesh and bluish blood
before pain it is peace and after pain silence
or maybe the opposite
before pain it is the word and after pain only the shadow
motionless unmovable powerless like a flag at half-mast
like sacred banners on the road to the graveyard

let it be yours bighearted man
the rice grain in which I sculpted
a white monastery

Sentimental Scenario

at first the woman sits in the man’s hand when he’s resting
if he goes to work he leaves her in a dimple on the bed sheets
she yeasts like dough
she raises
and picks all flowers all apples all grains
he comes back and sees the disaster
he sees into her belly through the tips of his fingers
she sweeps and cleans afterwards
the patch of earth they sit upon together

the man and his woman
untie the comets’ tails with their hands united
they’re a supercontinent for a moment
if they break apart unnamed oceans and archipelagos emerge
under the front of his head the front of her head and so on

Returning Home

beyond the trees surrounding the house it was more light
but for me the sun in my grandma’s eyes was enough
I cut with the knife the top of the boiled egg
spinning together round that golden core
with the silver teaspoon from my father’s baptism

there were too few butterflies
for the many flowers grandma brought on the table
some of them embroidered on handkerchiefs
others on my hats
placed there with her hands soft as apricot jam
smelling like naphthalene and purple lilac
picked when the rain stopped
in the color of fairy tale books drawings

more and more pigeons flew over our heads
from the attic with windows without windowpanes
there fell shadow over shadow from imprisoned wings
from love growing
like a quarrel between seasons

as I got closer to her shoulders
taller than the mailbox from the front gate
higher than the lime tree sapling in the street
little by little I was leaving towards a stranger place
to capture the sunset in the small basket lined with tinfoil
where grandma left a few dry cakes
sprinkled with sugar

Natural Law

if man doesn’t have a normal percentage of insanity
the others smell him
alike the cat that finds out which kitten isn’t hers
they nudge him and push him aside
he will go stray from corner to corner all of his life
he will dry up alone in his shell like a snail
without tasting the fruits of this earth
and he will die stretched in his bed like soft dough
rolled and thinned between fingers

The Church of My Soul

those who took care of the convent’s garden
left the dry trees
at god’s will
no more sunrise apples there
only a few empty nests abjured their shadow
on the straight road in the middle

as if the half paralyzed world
raised with all its might to sit up
the rest of the garden bore fruit

it had been hard to climb the stairs
on my knees
but as a good Christian
how am i supposed to descend them my lord
the same way

Don’t Look the Children in the Eyes

because I was a child I had my eyes above
I saw too clearly beyond clouds
then the rain came down
and grandma took me by the hand
to the beehives
I stepped into the sticky mud up to my ankles
my eyes slipped down
when I tasted for the first time
the core of the honeycomb
too sweet

little by little
my eyebrows thickened
from dandelion to dandelion
and baptism after baptism
the tiny stars grew roots
no more place in the sky for my eyes

now when it rains I search in vain
my grandma’s big and black umbrella

The Old Man

just as everything is in its place
the cracked pitcher in the cellar’s window
the maize porridge pot amid the verandah flowers
the knife sharpener in the kitchen table’s drawer
the squared clock hung slanting on the wall

day after day the old man
takes off the straw hat from its hook even if it’s cloudy
pulls it down on his head with both hands
opens the street gate till it hits the wall
upright like a thistle he looks down the road

under the hat colored like an autumn sun
it gets warmer
his face furrows overturn a smile
as if the moist earth sliced by the old times plough
under the steps of sons grandsons and great-grandsons

The Elusive Butterfly

the house mouse squeaks under the heavy wardrobe
crumbs are falling
from grandpa’s black pipe
the whipped cream ice cream is dry in the compote bowl
the clock fell behind with a couple of polar nights

not I
I didn’t care for old things and I seldom dreamed to taste
carob beans to my heart’s content
rag dolls don’t smile but they laugh
their mouth stretched
double stitched with thread
it is a word too big for a three years old child
I forgot three years ago how much I loved from this world
I don’t forgive what’s left for me
that triangle in a circle vanished under my eyelids
traveling stars race
between my lungs’ alveolae

before falling asleep
it gets always cold
the postman rings the way he did when I lost my address
where the world had forgotten me
this is something new
the history still repeating itself
in place of the best gift


In the dolls’ house madonna wears her golden hair in long plaits. She had never seen a rainbow. The clouds are farther than the sun, the nutcracker is alive, snow white stays white in her crystal coffin, and all dolls come to life when the big key is turned in the old grandfather clock.

In the valley of tears madonna has a round belly. She hardly sustains the full moon on the sky. Everybody touches her with the tip of their fingers, they all crave for green figs, and it rains bitter cherry tears from above. People suffer to raise her up over the umbrella trees in the dry savannah. Death hops around like a kangaroo carrying the whole planet in its pocket. It walks like a canephora on the road of sacrifice, the sun on its head. Madonna doesn’t know yet which one is heavier: the earth, the sun or the moon inside her body.
Madonna is an elder woman. She tells her stories near the fireplace in the room with all her loved ones painted on the walls, with their auras shining like embers. Her words are the living blood flowing from the spring source with a blackened cross over it. The word of god never freezes in the language of every child, inherited from father to son. Only the dead ones are silent and shared to each other, without any privilege, either hell or heaven. The priest draws the line of the survey at the last Eucharist.
On madonna’s front the ointment is cold. Another doll has come to life.

A Quarter for My Soul

i begged at the corner of the street
but no one understood:
only a bit of sunshine please,
it costs half a dollar by tram
to get out from the shadow of civilized ghettos,
to renounce my cornflakes with yogurt,
only half a dollar for the 13th hour tram,
even if lonely women are conspicuous in city parks;
some people give tens of dollars to watch movies at the mall
and they are allowed to do this,
others give hundreds of dollars for iPhones
because they have who to talk to…
but only the heart, decent folks,
the heart mends with sunshine,
otherwise it becomes suspect
of a cancer that has not yet been discovered,
or maybe the human himself grows leaves
in his entrails for always
in the shade of cold concrete
where even the sun costs half a dollar…

Childhood Trifles

Those days the sun flew over me like corn flour,
freshly ground at the millrace.
Even in winter it was yellow
when I pressed it down with my thumb,
like an unfastened button on my chest.

I could hardly cut my way with a stick
through the tall weeds
until my knee-high socks
were filled with thistle tassels.
I jumped over the fence like a thief
into our apple orchard,
so no one knew where I was.

When the Big Dipper rose over the barn
I slipped into the manger from the window,
landing in fresh grass or hay,
took my grandma’s small chair for milking
and sang for the young foal with caramel skin.

Those days all hearts were red and warm,
shaped like gingerbread hearts.
Each star was a story
whispered by fairies in the daffodil’s glade.

Bluer than Blues

The last gift from my father was B.B. King’s blues on CD.

A week after my father’s death my mother handed me
one of the towels she bought as a gift for the guests
coming to the funeral, as it is customary. This towel
was not different; it was blue like all the others and
was left by chance in our house or maybe they forgot
to give it away. It landed in my closet nine years ago.
It was not preserved as a memory. Every day when I
go to the bathroom I wash my face with a bit of soap
and a little water and I remember how my father used
to say when I was a child that I wash myself like the cat
does, cleaning only the tip of my nose and disregarding
the rest. We both smiled. Those days he used to tease
me many times about small things like that and I could
not imagine that all my colors will turn blue someday.

Yesterday I saw that towel hanging in my bathroom and
I remembered my father’s words and the happy times we
spent together. Something startled in my heart. I cleared
my eyes again and again, I dried them with my blue towel
while the words of an old love song came into my mind:
‘a little bit of soap will never wash away my tears’. That
was one of the songs my father kept in his collection and
I realized that the blue towel has its own soulful voice.
But most of all it borrowed my tears and my smile, day
after day. How strange it is to see that this towel is still
blue, still young, as if time had gentle hands washing my
pain away, wiping my tears, saving my best memories.

The last gift from my father was B.B. King’s blues on CD.

Gestation Period

beyond the circus curtain there’s nothing to be found
you don’t have any goods to bid on them
every dream was already booked in advance
everyone searches for a more humane world
but it will be the same forever
with its iron flowers forged at the mental home’s gate
with its sad Virgins keeping the body of their son on their lap
with its prodigal children learning how to whistle

and what else can be life
but this savage taming of elephants and dolphins


in our city they shoot fireworks again
as if to scratch God’s navel
white seagulls coming from afar die over the roofs
with their beaks crisscrossed
with such cruelty

it rains softly
like you let the wine drop on the floor flowing by itself
when you barely incline your glass
autumn falls
upon the ground of this world
to you my God we have dedicated everything

people grow from bread
from people only bread remains
half of it forgotten in the church’s altar

The Small Glass Key

in the country without rainbows I was a child
because it was so much light
I sat on a small chair like a mushroom
reading about fairies and castles
from books with green covers and from the sky
with my windows open towards a cherry orchard

there were sleigh tracks and skating paths
white things bloomed
then those pink things and only seldom the blue ones
I talked in the evening with the old trees
I coddled them and caressed their scales or claw-like twigs

sometimes I lay upon a stone under the bright sun
and it was like walking back and lighting the fire by myself
in grandma’s room it was the same warm place
the same wall clock towards South
the whole starry sky running in circles

for many years I spent my winters
covered in leaves and crying
as if something breaks inside my chest close to my heart

in a couple of days you shall all talk to me
as if I were a stone
the daughter of a sand grain who loved a mountain

So Much Vivid Is the Blood

We can see a red blood stain
like the young girl’s blushing at her first confession,
too vivid to be washed away, too deep to be trodden on foot:
another temptation on Via Dolorosa before the earthquake stroke.

The older are the wiped out crosses in deserted graveyards,
the same are wild blackberries growing between them.
The older are the blue hues at Voroneţ,
the same are all the clouds above them when they break,
leaving the sky wide open like a Bible,
as older as the summer dew upon the fields.

And like tree shadows tremble among the unseen things in river waters,
the same the iron plated Christ trembles in the wind.
And so much life is in his arms forcefully lifted to the nails,
so much that heavens cannot fall on earth since the beginning.

Primary Group

they were that kind of people clapping with their heartbeat
like caught fish slap their tails against the ground
they cheated on life from time to time
smiling with tight lips stretched in a straight line
faking laughter clasping teeth
as if they checked if a gold coin was genuine

she broke some cheap glassware twice a month
he shot targets in the amusement park
she had skin burns because of bleaching
he always had scars after shaving
she used Nivea hand cream every night
he slept in his long underwear

there was always something more important in their life
like the extra folds of the tablecloth
everything had to be stretched and even
like a road for high speed vehicles

when they quarreled they played fox and hedgehog
often changing roles
they were two peoples in a Volkswagen
for a quarter of a century


many years have passed she was only an absence
unexplained like a perfect ring of smoke
no one ever told me something until I understood
that her sandy blonde hair melted
in the dragonfly wedding season
she only leaned too much over the balcony
with her clothes heavier than fog
on an evening the color of milk coffee
with her eyes so deep like lilies in muddy waters
with her hands holding the city like a ball of yarn
a wounded dog carried in a blanket
amid out of fashion and unconscious gestures
the way the broken limb of a tree sways along the tree trunk
her words could still be heard broken and sharp
china shards under a sledge hammer

some people cried with trembling lips
hiding their tears in their fists
I could see only black masks through the thick smoke
they tried to forget that they were akin to death
it was exactly like in Goya’s paintings
I looked over the fence
I thought that no one has the right to judge
why on earth was so much débris there
what were they trying to hide underneath
except for her engagement ring

Sore Spot

you thought they would open if you knock
tapped gently with your down eyelashes
small bud of a girl without home
but churches don’t have eaves to shelter you from rain
and big houses have their big dogs running free

they told you love is the wisdom of the fools
so you planted red tulips in a clay pot
took them too early in the garden
when anyhow it snows out of the blue
over bare tree limbs
over the first cherry buds

with your big child eyes
you look as if you never saw
a sealed key hole

after all you’ll be a sore spot all your life

Carpathian Landmark

alive through memories
my roots stretch within the trinity of rivers
Târnava Mureş Olt
from where my ancestors scattered towards the future
their oak and beech tree ashes

because I loved too much all beings on this land
I stood stuck to the ground
I stayed home like a swallow nest blown over by the North wind
with my arms tattooed by the stripes sewn on peasant shirts
carrying the sweat of summer workers from the fields

wrapped in the white sacred towel
kept in the old chest painted with flowers
I raised the past towards the sky as if it were my baby
the sun screamed the moon whined the stars babbled in awe

I payed tribute an ounce of oblivion an ounce of sleep
an ounce of Hallelujah under the smoked church vaults
through centuries of gold wax flames
I and my shadow
in the country with a growing delta
facing the Black Sea


I feel sick of too much crying
because of too much love for people and life
I cried in every corner that was allowed to me
on the iron poker near the cold fireplace
on the brown bread slice
inside the cup of a jasmine petal
or directly in the ecological toilet

I lost my tears and then found them again
so many times
I wiped them from my lips
I spread them on a delayed train’s window
they were cold as if everyone deserted me
as if getting rid of the Christmas tree wearing protection gloves

some people believed that I was contagious
they swore upon the silence of a dead language
that they haven’t seen a child
the shadow of my doll trembles on every wall

The Beauty Sleep

in the psychiatric hospital angels have fever blisters
because of too much powdered milk swallowed still hot
from soft plastic cups
as pink as their fingernails lacking calcium

their wings hidden under dressing gowns made of felt
they grow beyond measure
when night shift nurses knit in their room
if you look carefully into those neon-like eyes
white and hot like milk of lime
you can see a window opening and closing
from time to time
or the door locking the rooms for agitated patients

they are always on the door sill
they’re the only angels resembling gingerbread men
adorned with sugar pearls
they have long weak legs
they grow day and night
like ivy on the ground where it cannot find
neither walls nor trees to climb up

sometimes I wonder how long has it been
since they did not fall asleep

April Green

I sat at the table with rotted drawers scribbling the April green
drawing spirals with a French curve when sunshine was there
drawing straight angles with the set square because clouds were needed too
I learned flowers’ shapes by heart
and mandolin songs seemed to capture butterflies
among their strings in the evening

happiness came to me each day at some time sharp
like a postman on a damper-less bike
jolting while I waited to catch my packet

grandma smothered vanilla caramel pudding
up on the hills plum blossoms weaved a loose delicate lace
knitted daisies and pansies grew on the brim of my hat
and only when I heard the train’s whistle I knew that my game was over

I simply followed the last thread of sunlight until dark
when all my dreams were soft
and I did not care if the moon dropped its silver
on my strawberry patterned night gown

Seemingly Snowing

in good old days I built adobe houses for each memory
but then came flooding/ freezing/ and again flooding
even the scarecrow’s shirt lost its colors
in our apple orchard

however you still ask me what happened/ how do I feel
I would answer to you something silly
like oh my god/ or what the heck/ how am I supposed to feel
but I abstain
we’re too lonely/ the sun sets down behind our backs
and this is not a joke

we played the hangman’s game in vain
today’s words are private property/ we can’t share them anymore
we sit together just the two of us at the last supper
two simple women/ flesh and blood
my today’s self/ my yesterday’s self
and tomorrow’s holy ghost
there are no other reasons for wondering and marveling
it’s just another starry night

The Scent Of Blue Ink

  • Author: Cristina-Monica Moldoveanu
  • Published: 2015-11-23 04:05:15
  • Words: 10792
The Scent Of Blue Ink The Scent Of Blue Ink