death · Faith · Love · Power

The mountains of Heaven

How can I describe that which
I have never seen?
How can I speak of Your Greatness?
Stars alone are the echo
of Your beautiful thoughts,
but their light does not go forth enough,
past our eyes’ blindness.

How can I describe
the mountains of Heaven?
How can I speak of Your Essence?
Birds alone bring testimony
that You can fly without feathers,
but their chirping does not enter
our ears, deaf to Your music.

How can I describe that which
cannot be unless You let it happen?
How can I speak of Your Presence?
You are everywhere I go,
in every water I swam,
and I am never alone by Your side,
not even when I finally close my eyes.

Faith · Sacred · Wide

Trisagion

You are Magnificent, and all that is of You,
what else can be said now, to unveil Your face?
Magnificent You are, and all that’s inside You,
the stars make Your feathers, the lightning – Your trace.

Unshakably beautiful all You arise,
untold like the ocean – each thought in Your book.
Unshakably beautiful all that You timber
in crimson and power, each letter speaks Truth.

And You are Thrice-Holy, the Father of Sun,
embracing the waters with mild winter frost.
In You abides springtime –  Sweet Mother of mankind,
our hearts bear the icon of all that we lost.

You are Magnificent, and all that is of You,
what else can be chanted on petals of May?
Magnificent You are, there’s nothing above You,
for You are the Silence, the Mountain, the Way.

Faith · Life · Light

Sleepless ones*

The sleepless ones magnify Thee
no more,
they are wearing silence clothes.

Where there was once power
stones alone
remind us of the heavenly hymns.

Yet the walls sing of You
when the moon
softly bathes them in rays.

Not a single candle burns today,
only stars light
the Mass in the roofless cathedral.

The sleepless ones magnify Thee
ashore,
in the land of unbroken promises.

sleepless ones * = monks from the Akoimati order. One of them was always in prayer, in the church of the Monastery of Saint John the Forerunner – Istanbul.

Romanian version

death · Faith · Sky

Wooden bell

The wooden bell is only a shadow,
a prophecy of spring.
It takes fire, and heartache
to make a bell sing.

Beyond the foundations of time
lays the plain of sweet seeds,
where Your thoughts come to life
in butterfly shape.

Alas, we wander the earth
looking for a sign from You,
while You arise in silence
solid stars on our path.

In the scent of linden flowers
You visit us most often,
though You make no efforts
to stop us from falling.

How often have we asked You
the same green question:
Why do cheerily robins choke
in the hawk’s tight embrace?

Romanian version

Faith · Sky

Before the stars

What was there
before You made the stars?
What sang
and filled the skies?

I am full of questions,
in the center of Your universe –
here I stand, and there is no room
left for density.

What was it between me and You
before I opened my eyes?
What seed will grow of me
on my depart?

I am full of thoughts
like a haunted house,
morning light only shows me
how far I am from the top.

What’s a sunken ship
in the hands of sand,
when the night will cover it
by a thousand stars?

Romanian version

Faith · Road · Sacred · Wide

Pax Augusta

Peace is everywhere.
You are not silence,
You speak in signs,
You speak in sensations of word –
unvoiced whisper vanishing
like dew touched by scorching sun.

Peace is everywhere
yet we can’t grasp Her.
Amateurs on the land of dreams,
we are content with golden statues,
we are content with a stone fortress
safeguarded by raven-sentinels.

We are one with the flesh,
we are one with the Red Sea crossing
from estrangement to freedom.
We can move the mountains
now or never because
Peace reigns in every direction.

Romanian version