Thistles and Gods
Thistles and gods all withered in the sun
Like the blanched remains of temples,
Long and slender skeletons,
Of the burden of being immortal.
As though it were a summer without end
And all of time a single day
Made widow by the night, when
Leaves refuse to fall
And roses, on their pages, stay.
There is no past, no time to come,
Just this one day, endless and spectral.
Above, an immoveable sun
The senselessness of being immortal.
Temple ruins are the loveliest of temples
And dead gods most deserving of devotion,
Columns standing still, no breath, no motion,
Like amazing magnificent bones, the simple
Splendid skeleton of time, so much
Purer than when it lived, hidden in the skin,
The roar of dried-out seas and trumpets on the wind,
Echoes of surrounding battles long ago.
Everything is peaceful now. The gods have turned
Into poems. There is no time for the soul of the world
To take on a name, to take on a face.
Miracles have vanished. And even if one occured,
There’s no one in the desert now to witness it unfurl.
Faith, like stones ground down into sand, nearly erased.
Translations from the Romanian
By Paul Scott Derrick & Viorica Patea
Editorial note: From Refluxul sensurilor (Ebb of the senses, 2004). See page 7 for Paul Scott Derrick’s note on translating Blandiana.