Dan Danila

Rookie (28.07.1954 / Romania)

My Realm - Poem by Dan Danila

I was born one noon of a torrid summer
on Grandfather's farm – my hair
was golden like ears of wheat, it was just
harvest time and every soul was out,
in the fields. Green eyes like mine, they say,
never tell the truth, but these lines are straight
like those very strange years after the war.

The Carpathian range was my cradle;
my windows were all wide open and soon
it seemed I could touch hill and mountain,
the limpid welkin was so close. My old nurse
beheld a singing lark rising at my first cry
and my folks got new hope – a year after
the red tyrant vanished inside the Kremlin wall.

But then I was thoughtless; bad rulers I met
only in fairy tales; I had a wooden sword
and a self-made bow with reed arrows
for all the gloomy faces; even my castle,
the big barn, unassailable like Fort Knox.
All around me I felt perpetual summer
like a wide warm shelter of regard.

I had lots of nooks to hide in
and books as silent companions,
was never bored alone, kind of a dreamer,
a peaceful king visiting his domains;
but when enraged, I could slash
with my sword a long row of enemy corn;
a whole Turkish army would lay at my feet.

There was much wisdom in my books
and grandma used to tell long stories,
I knew so many secrets – I could swear
that wheat ears were of pure gold,
birds could often speak to innocent people
and that each warm stone hid a little soul,
like a shell that can sing or whisper.

I'm often there, despite the troubled spaces,
trying to put all that belongs together;
thoughts know no barrier, nor distance either.
And suddenly I'm walking all alone
over the hills behind the ancient barnyard,
a rod in my hand like a scepter;
a peaceful lord inspecting his estate...

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, August 16, 2005

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