Lights and Shadows (Lumini şi umbre)

by Otilia Cazimir
translated by Ștefan Bolea

You have deceitful, black and evil eyes

Dead water wells which hide

Black eyeballs flickering in the back

Enticing me toward the depths like your eyes.



When I want to flee, you lock me with one word

Just like the trees struggling during the storm

They prepare their branches to escape

Still their roots bind them to the ground.



From today onwards I shall love him no more…

But when I see his pagan gaze

And childish smile,

I swear I shall love him no more – from tomorrow.



Each day that passes I am more like you

Such as the spring that pours out to the moor

Wraps up in silt

And instead of cleaning its green waters,

The spring gets muddy.



You probe me like a bird of prey,

You scan me with cold and evil eyes,

Forgetting that if there are traces in the snow,

The dirty footsteps are your own.



My face is frozen like a mask

The fire from the eyes is almost dead

Even the diamond in order to shine

Needs to be reflected in some ray.



Your love doesn’t grow, doesn’t die out

It’s always cold and even

Like an artificial flower

On a meadow of poppies burning in the sun.



When I shall leave, you will easily forget me

I know it can’t be otherwise

Just for an instant the roaming wave

Keeps in it the mirrored face.



Despite your smiles I really wanted

From barren eyes a tear to milk

So I’ve sworn to leave without returning

But from the dawn I look for you.



What kind of devil has put you on my path?

If life wanted to unbind me today

And her heaven now to offer

I still would choose our sweetest hell.



Today he came with warm, kind eyes

And I didn’t ask him where he’s coming from

You don’t ask the flower from the edge

Of the road if she blooms for you.



I always see you like in the final moment

Frozen at the top of the staircase

A smile lost in the corner of the mouth

And the cruel blade of carelessness in your face.



You’re mean. But when I hear another stating it

I look down, clench my fist, and keep silent.

I feel that only I in this whole world

Have the right to blame and comfort you.



I will leave with a peaceful mind

For I do not bequeath to no one

A soul leaden with love and hatred

Distrustful, sad and cold.



I have resigned; that’s all it’s meant to be.

I look at the sun setting down, and I wait

For unanswered replies

At unasked questions.



* Traducerea a fost realizată în cadrul Programului Atelierele FILIT pentru traducători, 2023, Memorialului Ipoteşti – Centrul Naţional de Studii Mihai Eminescu. / Translation realized within the framework of the FILIT Workshops for Translators Programme, 2023, Ipotești Memorial – Mihai Eminescu National Centre for Studies.

Lights and Shadows (Lumini şi umbre)

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