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The season of the stone. by Dragoş Niculescu

I was standing on the high, rocky hill, on a refuge like a big slab
and I was looking down the river and its banks far away, on the horizon,
at the realm of the other hills.
  ‒ What are those men doing, beside the stones stuck into the ground?
They seem like working at something… I asked the old man dressed in a
white robe, showing the other bank of the river.
  ‒ The people you are seeing carve their thoughts in stone.
That is what they're doing from when they know themselves.
They search for the best thought, the lasting one, and write it with chisels
in stone. Here is their work area, but after those trees stretches
The Field with Stones, as they call it; there is their heritage for
those who will follow.
That’s what their parents did, and that’s what they do.
  ‒ And those who are staying, sitting on the still unraised stones?
  ‒ Those are The Thinkers. They stay as you see them until they find
the last thought, the one that deserves to be written forever.
They could be seen quite well from that height. Most of them got tired
sitting for days or for weeks on the hard stone, searching for the
last thought, and they were resting their head with the hand,
crooked, with their eyes lowered into the ground.
  ‒ Tell me, I asked the old man, these people eat something, for they
had to do it? Where are their crops, for they can’t be seen?
  ‒ Of course they eat, of course, replied the old man.
The Thinkers eat less and rare. The Carvers eat more and
more often. It is said that at the beginning they hunted too.
Then they didn’t kill animals anymore. After The Field with Stones
stretches the torac, the urimal crops from which they make loafs,
and then are the fruits and the terraced crops of glustiriu, with their
juicy beans, from which they prepare their sweet and strengthening drink.
But these can not be seen because of the trees.
  ‒ But who is responsible for cooking, because I see that they are working?...
  ‒ They work... it is the only thing that they do. From morning till night
they think or carve thoughts, this is their mission from father to son and
that gives them joy and confidence in them, in the children and in the day to come.
Those, you see them there, across the river, on that bank, are some
happy people, and that only because of the last thought, which halts in
them from above and to which they raise glory.
Beside crops are their houses, in which women prepare the dishes
and care for children. As you see, everything is as it should be.
And rarely this order is disturbed. It happens only when the savages
living behind the hills that you see on the horizon rush over them
and try to break their stones and to take trophies from the pieces of rock
worked with toil. This is their occupation: the destruction of the stones
and of the last thought, with the raising of houses and monuments
of crocks. Their land is a place of horror and destruction.
But for them this is the joy that gives them power to move forward.
Therefore the name of their nation is The Distroyers.
Sometimes they succeed, but most often leave defeated, and then raise
huge fires, cut animals, drink and destroy their homes and statues
in chilling howls.

It started to blow the wind, to cool and smell of damp, rich forest.
From there, from the height of the rocky hill, I could see how on
the wrinkled river water were sliding white, yellow and red large flowers.
  ‒ There are the flowers of solinam... They began to fall, so the autumn
has come… said the old man looking down and, slowly, slowly,
the nightfall came, through which silence the last chisel strikes
reached to us.


Awarded till now in nine national and international literary contests, Dragoş Niculescu’s poems were published by twenty-five important publishers and cultural magazines. He has published until present three poetry volumes and he has in print two poetry volumes and one drama volume. He is also a literary critic and cultural redactor. He is an active presence at the book fairs and literary circles of the Writers Union of Romania.