Wednesday, April 9, 2014

SPRING IN THE JUNKYARD


I am looking at the tree
that a couple of years ago
was only a stalk there, in the corner.
It was a garden once, this space
in front of my kitchen window,
just weeds now, weeds and garbage bags
and a disused fridge from the bar
that closed ages ago.
No noise downstairs then by now, only the forlorn
perspective of whatever might be born.
And this tree, in this small
frame of wilderness, or a reminder of bereavement;.
a tree that’s a tree, three storey high by now,
so lean and tall, beautiful all in all,
the casual allusion to agile limbs
and a nimble life within, an offer
to the sky above.
On the tips of the thin branches
buds have recently appeared
that now are already small leaves
that seem to know what they want:
they gaze at my gaze and tease.   

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

THE PHOTOGRAPHS


What remains, scraps of time,
some scraps of mine.
There is silence in the hot afternoon,
a still bubble of heat outside,
the motionless pines, inert branches
except for some random sirocco gust,
the dry grass singing, cicadas searing the grass
and sandbar fever on the skin,
by the slow, perennial, marshy green.
Scraps of time.
I rummage the cupboard and find them
in boxes, albums, envelopes,
inside magazines, even in an old wallet,
the leather worn out to a shine,
with the consistence of linen, almost a gauze,
scraps of time that consume and leave you
staring at slivers of light, staring for the soul
or the breath of all burnt gold, the ore-
I start looking at them, time’s scraps,
these pictures of bygone, bypassed existence
of various shapes and consistence,
these faces recurring, a century ago,
the black and white that looks
both essential and elemental
and rich, expectant in a way,
young cheekbones, at their prime,
enthusiast of being there
in their own living rhyme,
with in front what we believe they believed,
a neat plain, a spread of time,
with these wide, thorough smiles
in the present cicadas’ light now,
light of silence in which I keep looking

and find a few, more recent, colour,
here, me and her, I had forgotten these,
probably never seen them before,
and I forget the others at once, I stare
at the simple drama of what
was there and is no more,
I look in her smile for what
I want to last anyway,
I look and look
and sink in the armchair
and sink in the sky.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

BY THE SYBIL


Yes I’m sure that whether we like it or not
our innermost gaze is turned
to the cave and the rock,
to their maze filled with vast
preparatory silence.
Now we are facing it and waiting
for the gesture of words.
It is even more silent, the mountain grass
where the rock lies.
And when the sun hides
the green seems to have absorbed all cries,
short stalks in the wind, each in its berth,
impenetrable and alert.
Rough essentials, a shower of rain
and soon the rock is dry again
and the grass greener in the cleansed hush.
Since it’s midday we stop
and unpack our lunch and sit on the rock
and eat and digress in the wind,
talking.. we love its insubstantial stream.
Silence is deeper after we have talked
when we wait a little before resuming our walk.
Silence is the rock and the wind
and the very words we forgot, or can’t quite admit
we were waiting for.
The words within the words,
the riddle we would cherish,
the ultimate mirage maybe,
the swarming clap of a stony outburst.
Cows are grazing in the pasture nearby,
we hear bells clang in the chapping jaws’ lull.
Our dog is crouched, enjoying the grass,
munching stalks with meditative nonchalance.
The rock doesn’t speak,
the cave moans in its draughts,
we hardly expected anything different
but we indulge by the stone, maybe this
is the only purpose we have time for,
wind bending the grass,
the large invisible sweeping hand,
while  clouds’ shadows sail
and stalks thread the gusts
in trimming cells like tinkling bells,
flicker-lit, in and out of the land,
on moss and mulch,
ready to hook our next
scattering selves.
And there'll be only the wait.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

WHISPERED PRAYER IN A GIORGIO DE CHIRICO'S SQUARE


How deep the blade of the North wind.
How it empties the silver square.
It shatters every rind
with the loneliness of nowhere.

Let these words stare
like the grains of a last dust,
to that cone of light, run, over there,
the dream corner you trust.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

VENICE, CAMPO SAN NICOLO' DEI MENDICOLI.


A warm winter Sunday.
Breaths in almost
suspended droplets.
Muffled silence by the church,
the Sunday silence of dampened steps,
air testing its own hazy indulgence.
I sweat after the walk. Sirocco fills me.
The swollen sky’s cheeks.
Here the city ended once,
stretched in front there was only
the lagoon expanse
in patches of sandbars.
Bare flatness
and flourishes of ripples.
And oars dipping in
and the boats’ wood whining
in the clouds maybe more than now
slow, big and palpable.
In silver grey
just after the rain.
Something merging
with the spreading forth
of a birth, the utterly strange
and the utterly familiar.

And now I know
I could perspire myself
into what’s next.

Monday, January 6, 2014

WINTER GARDEN


Earth carrying the silence inside and beyond.
It’s a rainy winter afternoon,
the turf spongy underfoot,
the trees have been pruned,
branches become thick stubs the colour of smoke,
neat and naked in the sky’s pearly wait,
tall, lush trees that had been towering
beyond the roof, their bareness now,
their countenance, like wrists and fists
pointing at some high dot in the distance,
calls us back to order, necessity,
the spare tune of roots and soil.
Tall trees. And the new ones
just planted, the cherry-tree, the fig, the apricot,
with all their promising, budding future
now just thin, flimsy things, a silhouette of twigs,
I gaze at the grey earth mound with at the centre
the hole they have been stuck in.

The rain falls,
the vast and close stare,
breath of air.
It will be evening soon, then
the future.
I won’t see many of its fingers
but some are already here, just underfoot.
And low clouds over the silence.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

FIR TREE

Once I smelled in it
the fullness of iron green
and was gripped and swept
into a road of breaths
and shuffling dark green.
The deep North in an instantaneous gust.
Now that smell is faint,
like childhood, only a memory.
 
But all the same I keep
breathing it
sensing I am treasuring
the few drops I can gather
from the forest sap
in my cupped hands.
More than enough
on the way to the border.