Flavia Cosma

 

 

(Canada)

 

 

 

In the Arms of The Father

 

In the arms of The Father

We soar in the morning.

The sun, a silver salver,

Holds us tight in its great embrace.

 

Severe and shining,

How cold today are the arms of The Father!

 

Suave birds’ necks, napes of angels,

Lie in wait, twisting, on the river’s banks,

Hallowed, modest branches

Reflect themselves in waters.

 

We promise each other eternal love;

Silky words float softly through the air,

We give each other butterflies made of ice;

We bestow forgiveness on our fiercest enemies;

Like a dome, the non-pain, an absolute void,

Weighs heavily on old, white spines.

It rains with large, rust-colored drops;

The flood is catching up with us,

Seizes us,

Carries us into the arms of The Father,

Into stillness.

 

 

 

Angel Drunk with Sorrow

                              O, Palestine,

                              O, Holy Land…

 

Mothers must not know

That when we kill others,

we end our lives too;

Mothers must not see

The eyes, the flesh and blood of their own blood

Lying in dirty heaps, piled on the pavement.

 

Angel, drunk with sorrow,

Take them and guide them

Far from their precious fruits

Cleaved and soft.

 

Big fires burn across the street;

In lieu of rain, — a withered fog—

In lieu of un-uttered screams

And heavy weeping,

Of rabid hatred.

 

You still have a few more kids at home, Mother;

In a filthy handkerchief they gather me up, a hero,

Look at the cemetery bare of leaves:

Alone and un-ripened,

There I lay too.

 

So come on, Mother,

Drop by from time to time,

Hold me again in your arms, I need you,

If you find some time,

And if they allow you to go,

Come, we’ll drink cool water,

By the little stream.

 

 

 

Once Upon a Time…

 

Once upon a time

I tasted doves’ meat.

I indulged in

Legs of rabbits and lambs;

I have eaten also from the flesh of meek horses,

Sacrificed in their turn,

On hunger’s altar.

 

I took in the Eucharist from all that lived.

 

Verily I say unto you:

The pigeon or rabbit steak

Is extraordinarily tasty:

It smells like grass, like broken earth

in the spring,

Like a writhing wing

Carried off by the wind

In the evening.

 

About horses’ meat,

About the bitter taste,

Of bleeding,

Large hearts,

I do not remember,

I no longer know.

 

 

 

The Ashen Instant

 

“Why are you crying, Mother?”

“Because I have no child.”

“And why do you cry, little one?”

“I have no one either,

 I am an orphan too.”

 

In an ashen instant

Worries surround us with large, unfurling wings,

Quietly, snakes fall asleep

Near the roots of the grass;

Lofty trees comb their manes,

Continue growing;

White hot, future summers,

Hover about

In our evening thoughts.

 

Merciful, the earth

Bears with us another year.

 

Sweating peasants diligently plough the sod,

Deep and black ridges appear in their wake,

In their open palms, feeling the seeds.

Fleeting miracles

Perpetuate life.

 

Neither the shy angels sent to protect us,

Nor the pale deceased whispering in prayer,

Can’t guess our sorrow, our helplessness;

Unable to grasp the advice,

We don’t follow it

Even if we listen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

____________________________________________

 

Flavia Cosma is an award winning Romanian-born Canadian poet, author and translator. She has a Masters degree in Electrical Engineering from the Polytechnic Institute of Bucharest. Later she studied Drama at the Community School of Arts—Bucharest, Romania. She is also an award winning independent television documentary producer, director, and writer, and has published seventeen books of poetry, a novel, a travel memoir and five books for children. Her work has been represented in numerous anthologies in various countries and languages, and her book, 47 Poems, (Texas Tech University Press) received the ALTA Richard Wilbur Poetry in Translation Prize.

Cosma was nominated three times for The Pushcart Prize with poems from Leaves of a Diary (2006), The Season of Love (2008) and Thus Spoke the Sea (2008).

Flavia Cosma was awarded Third Prize in the John Dryden Translation Competition- 2007, for co-translating In The Arms of The Father, poems by Flavia Cosma, (British Comparative Literature Association & British Literary Translation Centre)

Cosma’s Songs at the Aegean Sea made the Short List in the Canadian Aid Literary Awards Contest, Dec. 2007. Her translation into Romanian of Burning Poems by George Elliott Clarke was published in Romania in 2006. Her translation from Spanish into Romanian of work by the Argentinean poet Luis Raul Calvo was published in 2009 under the title Nimic Pentru Aici, Nimic Pentru Dincolo. Her translation of work by the USA poet Gloria Mindock was published in 2010 under the title La Porţile Raiului. Her translation into English of Profane Uncertainties by the Argentinean poet Luis Raul Calvo was published by Cervena Barva Press in 2010.

Flavia Cosma is the director of the International Writers’ and Artists’ Residency, Val-David, Quebec, Canada

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