Bee

Monday, March 19, 2007

The death of the deer

The drought has stifled every feather of wind,
The sun melted down on the earth, left behind
An empty, exhausted, blistering sky,
The buckets come up from the fountains all dry.
More and more over woods fires, fires,
Dance above savage, demoniac pyres.

I follow my father through the bushes uphill,
The fir-trees scrape me, withered up and evil,
Together, we start the deer hunting quest,
The hunting of hunger in the Carpathian forest.
Thirst ruins me. The thin string of water
Drip, drop, from the spout is sizzling on stone.
My temple is throbbing. I walk on another
Enormous and heavy, strange planet alone.

We wait in a place where, from strings of calm waves,
The streams still resound.
When the sun will be set, when the moon will rise, round,
One by one, in a line, up here,
they will come to drink, the deer.

I say “Father, I`m thirsty!” he hushes me at once,
Bemusing water, how clearly you glow!
I`m tied by thirst to the soul meant to die
At an hour forbidden by custom and by law.

The valley rustles with a withered hiss,
Crosswise the sky, a dire twilight lit
the clouds, and far, above the cliff,
blood drips. My chest is red, as if
I wiped my hands of blood on it.

With bluish flames through ferns, as in a dream,
Astounded stars begin to gleam
Sacrifice of my woods, oh, beautiful prey,
How I wish you did not come, how I pray!

She bounces lightly then she stops
And looks with caution through the grass
Her slender nostrils stirred the water
In circles shimmering like brass.

A hazy fear glared deep inside her eyes
I knew that she would suffer;
I knew that she would die,
As she stood there, still, she was the sheer
Myth of the maid embodied in a deer.

White cherry flowers, high above her
The moon was sifting on her fur.
Oh, how I wish, oh, how I pray,
My father`s gun to miss its prey!

The valleys roared. Knelt, in the stream,
She raised her head, as in a dream
She watched the sky, the moon, the stars
Then fell and water gleamed with scars.
A blue bird rushed, in a tree, unknown
The deer`s life has softly flown,
Crying like birds when they depart
And their fall migrations start.

I went to close her eyes, below
So sadly laid her antlers shadow
I startled livid when, suddenly, offbeat,
My father screeched with joy: “Meat, we have meat!
With bluish flames through ferns, as in a dream,
Astounded stars begin to gleam
Sacrifice of my woods, oh, beautiful prey,
How I wish you did not come, how I pray!

She bounces lightly then she stops
And looks with caution through the grass
Her slender nostrils stirred the water
In circles shimmering like brass.

A hazy fear glared deep inside her eyes
I knew that she would suffer;
I knew that she would die,
As she stood there, still, she was the sheer
Myth of the maid embodied in a deer.


I say “Father, I`m thirsty!” he nods that I may drink.
Bemusing water, how sullenly you glow!
I feel tied by thirst to the soul that died
At an hour forbidden by custom and by law…
But our laws are useless and dead
When our life hangs up on a thread
And custom, law and pity are quickly gone
When sis` is sick and hungry at home.

The smokes comes out of my father`s gun
The leafage in flocks starts to run!
My father kindles a terrible fire
The wood seems now darker and higher!
I pick up from the grass, as in a dream,
A tiny bell with silver gleam,
My father, from the spit rends with his nails
The deer`s heart and her entrails.

You, heart? I`m hungry! I want to live, I wish, although…
Forgive me deer, forgive me virgin-doe!
I`m tired. How tall is now the fire! The woods, how deep!
I cry. What does my father think? I eat and cry. I eat!

Nicolae Labis