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Solo Nijuin: After Light the Fire


the first butterfly
erupting crater
or sap at work in the grove

a mountain sprig on fire
two irises in bloom

the flames of those feathers
illuminate the cup
of our last tea

the book as well as the candle
transgress reality


winter moon
a spark of burning ice
over things from the past

from the depths of the mirror
render me this person to the snow

in your absence
moths swirl round
my eyesight

the spurt of a symphony
advancing in a mass of wax

sacred scarabaeus
that can only survive
by devouring itself

how the passage of thoughts
through the lamp bulb can hurt


two suns for one town
in a subterranean star
space is no more

how the rainbow soaks up
the light of angels

giving the wheel a spin
I could see against the spikes
her dreamlike face

the silence of the falling leaf
on sizzling shoulders

sun-flooded gate
the moon bouncing off
every blessed chestnut

when autumn comes the form takes off
to the world of my other self


the blind musician
warming his hands
the red tulips

I will only be able to play
during that hour the clock utterly lacks

home again
the wild rose
curls round the guitar

May wind dilating the fire
after the light had its chance



all verses: Constantin Severin
from the collection: The Axolotl
Translated from the Romanian by Liviu Martinescu