Grigore VIERU

The White-haired Child

To Spiridon Vangheli

Life has bestowed

on him

the most strenuous duty :

staying a child forever.

The man stuffed some motherfieds

into his shoulder bag

and embarked on his world journey

to tell the children fairytales.

He’d tell them the tale of the poplar tree,

until the children

can behold the poplar

dripping fuzz and sap drops

on the storyteller’s fair forehead.

He’d tell them the mother’s tale,

until all of them dart

to kiss her eyes, her cheeks, her kerchief.

He’d recall

genuine fairytales about Ştefan,

until the children grow into men

as unflinchingly bold as their forefathers.

And he runs out of fairytales

and the children are awaiting,

he ventures to tell them

our mother tongue’s story.

Meanwhile the storyteller’s hair has grown white,

and his fairytale

is neverending.


The Tree

And all I’ve got at hand that won’t disband

Is the bent for poetry’s fairyland.” Grigore Hagiu

Have you ever seen
A rootless tree ?
A tree which doesn’t feel like
Blossoming since, obviously,
It’s got some other major worries ?

Have you ever seen a tree yelling,
Tittle-tattling with its leaves ?
Altering its rustling leafage,
Whenever the wind changes its course ?!

Have you ever seen a tree

Scratching the heavenly sun’s icon

With its claws ?
A tree whose foliage wouldn’t bleed,
When autumn and hoarfrost draw near ?!

English version by Gabriela PACHIA