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Printesa Sabah inchise portita dinspre gradina interioara si urca scara spiralata cu pasi usori, pana in iatacul luminat de luna. Acolo, deschise usita paravanului inalt, sculptat cu o broderie fina de lemn, se strecura in cel mai intunecos colt si se aseza pe o perna, privind prin sita paravanului, cu respiratie calma, egala, pandind.

Dupa cateva clipe de asteptare, din balcon, isi facu aparitia Rais, leopardul. Trecu incet prin usa intredeschisa, strabatu camera cu pas rar, maiestuos, apoi, dupa o scurta pauza, se lungi langa paravan, la cativa centimetri de nasul printesei, care nu-si putu retine respiratia si inima sa-si inteteasca zgomotul. Rais casca si incepu sa toarca, jucandu-se cu ghearele in broderia sculptata a paravanului. Sabah era gata sa scoata un strigat, cand, din intuneric, din spatele sau, se auzi un zgomot de pupatura caraghioasa, si Rais se ridica, maraind fericit. „Fugi, raule. Imi sperii printesa! Hai sa te pupe tata…” Leopardul ocoli ca o naluca paravanul si se repezi in bratele lui Subhi. Cei trei ajunsera astfel mai de voie, mai de nevoie, imbratisati in coltul stramt si intunecos din spatele paravanului, vanzolindu-se care mai de care, unul sa se dea la scarpinat, alta sa scape, altul sa-i fure un sarut printesei, la invalmaseala.
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Dear Jo,

I was wounded by a shrapnel from a stray missile. There’s no pain, due to the anesthetic contained in the express bandage, but I can’t feel my right leg. I can barely walk – fortunately we are still hiding, so I spend my time on the watch mostly.

Almost two months passed since the assault on Moscow, but neither side has yet gathered enough strength and courage to mount another offensive. It feels funny – to take all the heat of the battlefield and survive without a scratch and then take a hit from thin air, because it was just your time to take a hit. But no matter, I was lucky – almost half a million people died at Moscow and around. When it was over, I felt a small victory, my own victory – being alive.
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one. this is for windwhisperer. i owe this riddle’s answer to her and i’m the ungrateful dirt on the back of a dog’s toes for not uttering it earlier. 🙂

‘tis but a simple spell
that every giver gets
for every welcome gift.
(it’s easy, oh, so easy,
and it will cause a smile).

two. this is for kalila. she thinks she’s good with numbers. 😉

add a third of our days
to the petals of an apple,
take out one, to end the counting:
just so many are the monkeys
playing catch-me on the tree –
though i’m tiny as a flea
and as fast as fast is measured.
now, a kanji cross of monkeys
leave my game to chase bananas;
if i tell you that those left are
half yours, half your lover’s
and each monkey makes a sign,
(a funny sign, that is)
tell me then, wise chronomancer:
which is your funny half of monkeys
and which is your lover’s?
and for a moment’s sake,
who the clock am I?

three. this is for when, anonymously, the moth met the spider. the noiseless, patient spider.

i’m a kid
who chases a dog
who chases a cat
who chases a bird
who chases a butterfly
who chases the smell of a flower
who chases the nose of a young girl
who chases a prince on a white horse
who chases a dragon
who chases an Olympian God
who chases an earthly prayer

and the prayer is mine.
who am i? – if I am the alpha and the omega, not the means to the end of the chase, but the chase itself, the purpose.

Unsprezece locuri in lume
Sa fie pustii, mi-as dori:
Sa fim doar noi doi si o noapte
Cu unsprezece mii de lumini.

Unsprezece brazi si-un nor ne cunosc
Alesi sa se-aplece spre noi intr-o zi
Cand ne iubeam –
Si-mi e-atata de drag
Ca trupul mi-as face deasupra ta cer
Si-oriunde ai fi, te-as privi.

Si-as petrece
Viata toata
De-unsprezece
Ori deodata –
Sa-ti fiu luna
Si cununa
Sa-ti fiu zare
Dimineata
Si cand doare
Sa-ti fiu duh
De vindecare.

Unsprezece-s pasii ramasi de pasit
Si basmele de soptit langa somn.
Unsprezece vorbe rostite-n ureche
Si unsprezece culori
Pe-o campie cu flori.

Unsprezece ghemuri de blana
De neam pisicesc
Sa-ti mianue toate
Ce mult te iubesc. 🙂

Read something in the end of every evening,
In fleeting galaxies, revolving on their ring.

Discover, for each dancing step, a finish –
Daring and sly, as death upon your foe.

Lower the sky, down on the tips of your fingers,
Easing the howling paths of stars.

Find out what’s yours from my riddle,
Our shared gift that’s read plain in reverse.
Rewind and wind its ticking Universe
And make of it the silence in your song.

Marvel and live through my delirious planet,
In silver fields, watching the moon at war.

Love me in sunny days and in the days of cholera,
Old as the sand that makes the glass of wine,
New as the soul that finds new faith.

Give me the wind, to let be swept away
And your sweet voice, to linger in my room.

Cand iatacul printesei ramase in intuneric, frumoasa Sabah deschise larg usa de sticla a balconului inmiresmat de flori cataratoare. Luminile noptii patrunsera impreuna cu parfumul si camera se umplu de sclipirile giuvaerurilor de argint ce impodobeau patul cu baldachin. Printesa trase aer in piept cu un oftat, apoi, intorcandu-se sa se cuibareasca in matasurile patului, tresari speriata, vazand printre sclipirile colorate, petele verzi, fosforescente, ale celor doi ochi care o pandeau. In spatele lor, jucand usor, se deslusea blana de pe spinarea leopardului, cu muschii incordati, pentru salt. Simtindu-se descoperit, animalul dezveli coltii si marai incet. Printesa se lasa intr-un genunchi si trase de la brau pumnalul incovoiat. Atunci, leopardul se avanta scurt, pana in mijlocul patului, de unde se pregati si sari pana pe balustrada de marmura a balconului. Acolo ezita o clipa, se uita indarat, apoi se facu nevazut in noapte.
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