Mihaela ALBU

Between Two Doors

Motto: „He who knows birth also knows death”
(Romanian proverb)

The Journey

Between beginning and end,
There is me.
I (?)
I look at myself,
Standing in the frame of the door,
So generously opened,
And I wish I could see myself,
As I stood on the other side of the door
before it opened.
Sometimes, we think
the journey is long and hard.
We measure it in hours, days,
Or even larger points of view.
We came so well prepared:
We bought maps and guides,
We studied the route,
And mentally scanned
Everything that there was to see,
Or rather what they said we must see.

Why then, start on this journey?


Ships at sea....
The darkness of blind fury—
Steel beating waves...

The ship enters
The never-ending liquid blackness
As if putting on a new skin.

It floats on, wearing its new skin.
Where to?

 Darkness and Light

The first cry, when the journey began!
Was it a cry of joy or pain?

Light, the all-powerful, hurts.

Nevertheless, we open our eyes,
And patiently, we wait.

The hands of life, warm or cold,
    show us
the lighted and the darkened paths.

Now, I know both.

Though I do not remember the first cry—
    was it joy, was it pain?—
I can see,
behind me,
both darkness and light,
And before me, 
I see—  
Inviting — a frightening dream.


When you saw
the first light,
You were alone.

That’s probably why you lowered
    your eyelids,
 at once.

You liked it better inside.
Your own darkness
Did not disquiet you.
You had not yet tried
The joy of a light
That burns.

You called to me, for help.
I was expecting your call
I taught you, little by little,
to tell apart
the happy strife
of life
from the strife and sorrow
Of a broken heart.

My Soul

My soul—
Splinter from a shining star,
Rising from afar,
And curious to know
how it began.

My soul—
Diaphanous shell
Awaiting the last knell
Curious to know
how it will end.

Between the star-lit sky
And the indifferent sea
My soul—
Glass mirroring eternity,
Where hopes rise and fall.


Fiery rays
Touch the darkness
And clothe it
In fire.   

Fireball, the sun rises slowly,
Spilling blood on the sky.
The air stands up, full of hope.
Fiery rays kiss the ground:
The earth’s skin retracts and shudders
Then goes back to dreaming
    Of nightly cool.

Awakening.  Temptation.
    The beginning.

Flowers and colors.

The scent of celebration.
The countless shards
From the broken mirror of the sky
Reflect the fiery rays in the dewdrops.

This is the circle of pain and dream,
until the tired rays
descend and touch the sea.

A day—and a life.

The Guide

Your guide was
the first star
of the purple twilight,
When the sun, in the sky,
Was slowly falling

You welcomed the star
A lily in hand
A sigh in your heart
Broken apart

From the sleeping sun.


Start with silence!
Learn to listen!

If you listen hard,
    the noise will astound you:
It’s the first seed cracking,
    and the first tendril of grass,
    growing right under your feet.
Near it,
    near that audacious tendril,
    after long, patient waiting,
Searching the light’s embrace
    The first flower rises:

My soul, opening up to You.

    Translated by Anca Rosu