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Poezii Românesti - Romanian Poetry



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by [deajuly ]

2010-02-07  |     | 

It was warm autumn twilight. A gust of a wind like a slap in the face--one more summer had been lost. The leaves aroma and fresh air served humans a trick, and they felt giddy and saw fanciful visions. Bizarre images rose in the coming darkness. A form of a man with a gun appeared from nowhere; he passed by and went away to nowhere. Nobody asked questions in the Garden’s secluded hideaways. Silence and nature; nature and silence. At this bewitched place you realized: vanity and darkness were not compatible. All synonyms were abolished. There were neither two men identical with each other nor two words nor two moments of time. I noticed a campfire at a distance. The tongues of flame pointed towards the sunset. It grew dark. The thick lines of trees went to the campfire in the secluded corner of the Garden. An old man was sitting by the fire. Some garden instruments were beside him. He had a straw hat on. The old man was muttering something below his breath. I felt curious: night, an old man, a campfire in the Garden in the center of Copenhagen. Having nothing to hurry, I approached, and without asking permission I sat down beside the old man. The old man took no notice of me; he kept on muttering. For some time I could not understand what language he was talking; he seemed to speak several languages at the same time. His voice’s intonation sounded like a prayer. Some of his words were Greek, some English, a part of the words was in Slavonic languages, but the phrases, which I understood, made sense. This is what I heard:
“…I mustn’t close eyes. If I doze for a moment, a burning log will be saved by the trees, and only ashes as symbol of vain expectations and mockery at mankind will be left… Few men guess that trees can think. Many men don’t know that trees were initially designed as universal philosophers. Non-resistance to evil, the theory of the perpetual circulation, asceticism--this is some of the conceptions which the mankind has got from the branchy thinkers. Now we can laugh at the beliefs of our ancestors… An idle man has no fate; his life is boring and monotonous. Work, way home, supper--this is the first circle of hell which the poet passed over in silence out of compassion to the majority, for really, the defective don’t want to know of their defectiveness. The trees, on the contrary, care about your opinion of eternity, but unlike the silly humans, they never show that our fate is in their embrace… Imagine for a moment the mankind without trees. The world would suffocate from its own ambitions. The fewer trees on the Earth, the more evil amidst humans. The popular wisdom says that a man has to plant a tree, besides all the rest. The true sense of this wisdom is concealed from a present day man. In the dim and distant past there were enough trees so that only one seedling would be demanded from a man. This popular wisdom sounds especially absurd like a proverb spread amidst the forest peoples. What for one should plant a tree if he lives in the forest? The answer is: it’s senseless to understand wisdom by yourself. Sages are in charge of wisdom. Who can be wiser than those who have been designed as philosophers? The ancient people told fortunes in another way than the modern charlatans do it. Every man had his own tribal tree. Every tribal tree was treasured. Lines of a tribal tree were put on lines of a hand, and only then the fortune-tellers set to open the gates of time… The seeming immovability of the arboreal world is deceptive. There are many places on the Earth where there is no a single person and where the green giants reign. Trees can grow on stones. Trees grow at cemeteries. Only a narrow mind can suppose that trees cannot grow at the desert. The truth is simple: where trees grow, there is no room for a void. Subjects determine a space and not vice versa. He, who understands it, never loses his way in the wilderness… I know, the Elysium Fields where the favored of the gods enjoyed perfect happiness, and the fields of Aaru where Osiris ruled after he became part of the Egyptian pantheon as well as other final resting place of the souls are surrounded with trees, for a paradise can be only among trees and not among mountains, books or art galleries. The Garden of the Hesperides where the immortality-giving golden apples grew… The Cedar Forest as the glorious realm of the gods of Mesopotamia is one more mystical connection between a human and trees… Scientists have not discovered the genetic modification of a human-tree prolonging a human’s life by many centuries. A 700-year-old mortal is not a myth of the past but a forgotten possibility of the future. Any kid knows what the circles of a tree’s cut mean: the years of a tree’s life. Trees are a mysterious mechanism akin a clock in which the circles are years of life and all the rest elements are we, humans. Great Protagore said that a human as such is not a sufficient value, he is but a measure of things around him. Everyone has his own measure; someone’s measure is seconds, someone’s--minutes, someone’s--millenniums. And only the woodcutter with an axe in hand, like an executioner, rounds off all measures of time, leaving the sum for not bright statisticians: number of felled trees always is in proportion to number of died humans. According to the popular beliefs of many peoples, souls of the dead go to the Underworld by boats, but the priests pass over in silence where the boats come from, and where the forests of the planet go away… One judges trees by their fruits, and a man--by his deeds. There are two analogies in this identity: the first is on the surface, the analogy of fruits to deeds, and the second connection between trees and humans is more profound, more significant…”
The old man muttered about many things, telling about the Druids, about an unbloody war between two great tribes at backwoods, about the great migration of peoples; he told about curative qualities of trees, how trees can cure, how trees can kill, and much much much more… Some time passed, and I did not noticed how morning had come. The old man became silent, and I understood that his reasoning had come to an end. I rose and stepped aside. The old man’s speech fascinated; I wanted to say something but nothing wise occurred to me, unless: “And this our life exempt from public haunt Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, Sermons in stones and good in every thing.” Now I looked down underfoot. There was trace of cloven hoofs imprinted on the ground. This discovery seemed to be a specious excuse for beginning to talk with the gardener and asking about the animal that left the weird trace here. I turned to the campfire, but there was not the old man--he disappeared. The trace went right towards the campfire that had died down, the place where the old man had been but just. No logs, no firebrands, no embers were at the fire place, only the ashes, over which the Roman numerals LXIV were written. And the air smelled either of sulphur or gunpowder.

Lara Biuts © 2007

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