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Syndic Literary Journal

His Last Portrait

Written by Marius Chelaru

Translated from the Romanian by Olimpia Iacob and Jim Kacian

Narrated by Bill Wolak


his last portrait

               at the death of my father


 the shadow leaned against the wall

face to face with the body painted

in the infinite facets of the cry—a feast of the master pain

the eyes are desperately sending the pain

on the tight, rigid hands

that avoid the road of the words

the windows

caressed till they start bleeding by the palms of the sun

are breathing the light

The Palms

that once would caress the running

towards love of the women’s breasts 


they can hardly put an end

to the breath gallop—amulet of life

the abyss World starts its construction

in his heart

giving it the paradise mirage as a present

a refuge in case of fright

The Shadow is slowly going down

abandoning its senses

beyond desire in prayer and remembrance


Marius Chelaru is a Romanian poet, editor/director/contributor to various national/international cultural magazines and journals from Romania and abroad. Chelaru has contributed articles, poems, essays, literary criticism, prose, translations, interviews, and book-reviews to various international anthologies, magazines, and journals from Romania and abroad. He has published over 40 books including novels, poems, and essays. His works have been translated into over 25 languages.
Olimpia Iacob  graduated from the Faculty of Letters of the “Al. I. Cuza” University from which she earned a Ph.D. in 2000 with a dissertation entitled Translation Theory Applied to the Poetry of Nichita Stanescu.  Her book-length translations include works in poetry by Cassian Maria Spiridon (translated with Jim Kacian), Gabriel Stanescu, Mircea Petean (translated with William  Wolak) Daniel Corbu (translated with Jim Kacian) Marius Chelaru (translated with Gabriel Rosenstock), George Vulturescu (translated with Adam J. Sorkin). She is a member of the Writers’ Union of Romania. 
Jim Kacian is founder and president of The Haiku Foundation (, a world-wide non-profit that seeks to archive the first century of haiku in the West, and to create new opportunities for its second; founder and owner of Red Moon Press (, the pre-eminent dedicated publishing house of English-language haiku in the world; editor-in-chief of Haiku in English: The First Hundred Years (W. W. Norton, 2013,, the definitive work on the subject; author of more than a score of books of poetry, primarily haiku; and translator of another score of books of poetry, from Japanese and (especially) Romanian (with co-translator Olimpia Iacob).


Compiled/Published by LeRoy Chatfield
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