Monday, August 4, 2014

ZATTERE OLEANDERS

Perpetual reminders.
The red ones, you know, impress most.
But the others too, the gentle
sweep of the rose, the gentle gaze
that rides on and would call upon,
just in case.
They gently twist
in the lulling hints
of their own mist.
They sparkle on a dry day.
And they do not remind
of anything you want to define now,
you just stand in their airy touch
and try to learn to enjoy
not to wish more, not to wish much.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Orbis 167

My poem "Notes While Travelling Across The Lagoon" has appeared in Orbis 167. I am happy of being again in the magazine that published me first fifteen years ago.

Monday, May 19, 2014

IMPRESSIONIST


Gusts. Transiting skies,
while I’m leaving, entering the train station,
struck by brushstrokes
of swollen grey, with that severe
tiger’s stare in the air
and on the canal’s skin a running,
skidding patch of angered ripples.
The downpour, as ever, is biding its time
on the platform, a matter of seconds.
In the meanwhile the electric board
by the railway gives no sign, no time
of departure, it’s empty
like the railway tracks, and the question
in the eyes of a growing crowd, waiting.
You stand by the luggage, I go to the office
for information.
And here I am, by a glass door,
it doesn’t open, I knock, the knocking
is unheard because of the booming thunder I’m sure,
and the downpour that has come, just now,
and we are, as ever, fretting in its roar.
Finally I’m in and ask: “The train?”,
they say “Hang on…”, ceiling and walls
filled by the thunder’s growls,
they check, they phone, and then say:
“It will come. “ “Which platform?”
“Listen to the loudspeaker.”
I leave, you are among a big crowd now,
brushstrokes of glances in the rain,
on the empty tracks, shiny
with shafts of water.
We gaze at the electric board, we try
to intercept the right voice in the interlacing
echoes from the loudspeaker, I tap
the shoulder of a man in a uniform,
“Have you got any idea when…?”
“I am the conductor” he says “it’s coming,
give me just ten minutes.”
The stormy light flickers on his cheeks.
Just give me time. All we come down to.
Time. Brushstrokes of time.

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.