Maria Banuº


The Cycle 



The Cycle


After I’ve learned it all:

numbers, living creatures, material objects,

I call a halt.

I’m left staring idly at smoke

like the village idiot.

I forget everything.

A cave gapes open in front of me.

I go down one step.

I come across a meadow.

I graze. I’m a horse, a lamb,

and I discover the grass blade.

I go down another step.

I reach into the earth’s sticky clods

with my tree roots.

I go down another step.

I stand, waiting inside myself.

A stone.

Everywhere around, the light shivers.

I begin to understand

from the other side.



                                                            translated by Adam J. Sorkin and Lidia Vianu






We’re together at the dinner table.

This is how it always comes back to me,

a silent, lunar evening meal

sitting amidst my family.


A guest arrives through the fog.

Even the babe in the womb senses him.

We stare down at our plates

while the spoon sings a song,


a song of hate and evil spells,

of icy shock and dread.

We raise our food to open mouths

while he weaves his black thread.


He lets himself down his dark web,

the executioner, an ancient spider.

Silverware gleams on the table,

shrill terror shrieks in every ear.


The executioner brands us one by one

with death, with his red-hot iron.

How strange: Mother keeps urging us,

“Eat, eat up, my children.”


And the spoon sings a song,

a tune that contains all your revolt.

Even children in the womb hear it

and grow too knowing and old.



                                                            translated by Adam J. Sorkin and Lidia Vianu



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