Poetry Contest

Căliman Cristian – Poetry, Gr. IV – International Contest, 2nd Edition

Cristian Căliman comes from Timișoara.

May I interest you in some orange juice?

If I were to take your words at face value their mask would simply fall off, letting the air of subtlety which already suffuses the margins to vanish into a clearing transparency, augmenting the issue without altering the terms. Since my options are so limited, their space being fine slivers of silver etchings on the cavernous walls, I am left no other option but to hope that what can be said, will be, even if the moment might pass through the funnel unfiltered, carrying after itself the detritus of hesitation, and that this will not leave me vulnerable to the open sea air, sun beaming on the back of my neck, salt crusting on parched lips. Perhaps this was your intention all along, to make me feel as if something had been eroding between us, though now I sit pensively and wonder if we were ever a part of something greater than the sum. We are after all so much unlike one another, that to mistake me for you, would be as confounding as telling someone you loved them as soon as you had laid eyes on them. Even if it is true, they wouldn’t get it. They need an explanation. But still, the burning hole remains, the question claws with desperation deeper. What could it all possibly mean? Must we suffer, apart, like prisoners, or does a reconciliatory state of torrential bliss lie further ahead. I suppose time will tell, and even if it doesn’t, we will urge it, at first politely, but as its answers refuse to be forthcoming, we might have to sling the still unpackaged pickaxes over our shoulders, turn our forehead mounted flashlights to the gaping maw of darkness, and brace ourselves for a journey into the depths, starting out on a quest to rescue the last glints of that promise made so long ago. We lack a canary to warn us of the potential danger, but this is the thrill of it all: the golden pinpoint of light at the end of the tunnel redeems the trek through the snaking galleries, showering both you and me with the hope that a brighter future is further up ahead, just within our grasp.

(poem in prose)

Nurturing bliss

I am awash with fresh air;
The raindrops no longer beat incessantly
At the pane and the clouds disperse leaving behind them
The blank sensation of suppleness.
What was once so heavy with feeling
Has hardened into a protective hide which covers
A soft and warm emptiness. Nothing gets lost here
Though it all passes, so freely, on to better pastures.
I search for the scent of freshly mowed grass
Laying underneath the warmth of your sun-drenched locks,
But my eyes are mirrored only by two faint droplets of dew
Found among long-remembered poignant blades of grass;
Anxiously clutching tufts of hair, I keep the sun at my back,
My shadow always a step ahead to cover your eyes
And the lost spaces in between our diverging lines.

Caprice of love

On the threshold of new vistas
I listen for a deep new breath in the voiceless wind.
The music, though sung, must be kept in silence
And in solitude,
So that it may shadow the words, allowing peace
To be swallowed up in the voided space
And like laced milk-white curtains swaying slowly in the summer breeze
A clearness flutters:
The windows are thrown wide open,
The old man dozing in the rocking chair gently opens his lids
And welcomes the tanned young men back home with a smile.
The moment, though barely glimpsed,
Comforts those lost on the snaking open road,
And even if they can’t follow you along, for the journey might end
For them in failure, the garden remains unchanged, evergreen and pure,
With its drops of dew enduring the blaze of the summer sun 
Keeping their crystalline ring of light in the ever-early dawn,
The soft morning breeze whispering gently the secrets of their youth
Into the ears of dreaming flowers,
Like lovers speaking to one another only through their eyes,
No words needed, no wasted breath.