Website Building Application


Theodor Damian

tran. from Romanian by  Muguraș Maria Vnuck* and David Vunck**

Ankara is calm

at midnight

I thought it was warmer

at the beginning of August

but it is perfect like that

at this time a man

properly dressed

in white

is sweeping in front of the door

of his shop which is called


there are a lot of people in the street

and a lot of women wearing on their heads a batik

knotted under their chins

like I saw in my country

in my boyhood

when dreams used to mix with the sky

maybe this happens even now

who knows

“he who knows and riddle solves

will survive till end of dawns”

like Father Gică Vieru used to say

The Apocalypse has tumbled down on us


roads come to a dead end

they block up,

every day which passes the broad and large path way

becomes smaller

the Apocalypse itself

is on its last way

it wants to go in front at all costs

and crams in


it will have to pay a peșkeș

many were called but few picked up

but it stays in me too

and nestled up into me thinking

that I cannot see it

so I thought, take it to the other side

in order to help it escape


The Gentleman in white is still sweeping

one can see he is conscientious

he does not care

about the signs of time

and that this world is turned upside down


is important

it’s there where people have to stop

to see why they can’t see

to catch themselves

in the fact

The Apocalypse has broken free

nobody has caught it

and I haven’t betrayed it

one can never know when I need it

how nice

that wilderness hasn’t dashed it to the ground

Turks are nice

anything you need they’ll explain to you

walking with you even for more than one kilometer

but knowing nothing

about the Apocalypse

now it’s getting late

the gentleman dressed in white is gone

tomorrow customers will come and see

and they will see

what a cleaning he did

before leaving

but who will tell them about the Apocalypse

not even me

who has been waiting for them

in the wilderness of this late night

just one night

unlike any other

only like that one when Adam was looking

how from the forbidden tree mellow fruit

were falling

but they were not ripe to him

and yet unnamed

with their seeds in the darkness of the first light


When he fell in disgrace

from God’s face

Adam had not yet named


the unnamed things

more than the others

began to protest and cry

some became crazy

“Give me a name!”

they were screaming and laughing

poor Adam

the most blessed man

in this world

who could perceive essences

even before they could see him

“Adam, where are you?”

were things crying out

“I’m after Eve”,

he was telling them

and from the abyss of falling

even now-a-days he runs after her

it doesn’t matter whether you are in New York

or in Ankara

the only thing he did not know

was she

because he did not name her

nor did he name himself

yet the name was hidden in the kernel

hence our nostalgia

for the eighth day

and our dream from the thin night

“Give me a name!”

“What name?”

not even the Apocalypse has one

only Calypso has

the beautiful nun

who came to Neamț

by midnight


without mentioning that she was a woman

just like fire in front of the cave

does not seem to be a fire

but a spark

only after that can one see

after it has come in

when it burns

it blows up

and walks through the body as if in the house

refusing to get out from there

however the cave is stronger than fire


even than the Apocalypse

the cave with a bride’s destiny

“Adam, where are you?”

“I’m here,

I’m fighting the Apocalypse.”

here in Ankara

there’s nothing you can recognize out of it

in Ankara

not even

the place where bishops gathered together

to put heretics in their place

and give canons to the Church

In the meantime

Adam met


and since then they have been walking through

the Apocalypse like two scatter-brained people

whatever you put a name to

you know

but how could Adam know


if he did not name her

the name locked up in the kernel

maybe all the confusion

comes from the big falling

he falling down after her

in life and in death


but waiting for the answer

and absolution

in Resurrection

Ankara is calm

at midnight

minarets flash

calls for prayers

the bridegroom stands still

at the cave

in front of the gate

Theodor Damian  is a theologian, writer, and editor. He is a Professor of Philosophy and Ethics at the Metropolitan College of New York and president and founder of the Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality, New York, and since 1996 he is the director of Lumină Lină / Gracious Light, a review of Romanian spirituality and culture. he has over 30 books in the fields of theology, philosophy, and literary criticism such as The Icons. Theological and Spiritual Dimensions According to St. Theodore of Studion (Lewiston, NY: The Edwin Mellen Press, 2002), Philosophy and Literature: A Hermeneutic of the Metaphysical Challenge (in Romanian, Bucharest: Ed. Fundaţiei România de Mâine, 2008), and poetry, such as Semnul Isar / The Isar Sign (translated from Romanian by Muguraş Maria Vnuck, Călăuza v.b., Deva, 2011), Apofaze (Bucharest, Tracus Arte, 2012) and Lazăre, vino afară (Iassy, Junimea, 2016).

*translator from Romnia. Lives in USA.

**translator from USA.