It is the thing that lies under
below the foundation
like a time signature
signalling in silence:
È la cosa che sta sotto
sotto il fondo.…….
come il tempo quaternario
segnalando in silenzio
Sunrise, 30 December 2020
Now is the hour of the small birds
storming into the cypress tops,
which do not bend as they do
under the weight of magpies and ravens.
A murmuration of morning steam rises off the cement factory.
Disguised as fast-moving clouds, they power up the valley;
an insubstantial mother tugging at the hand of her sleepy
puff of a child,
running off into nothing.
Now the sun snaps across the mountains
an incandescent ribbon of rose-lipped pink.
Clouds, scattered across the measureless pale-blue tile of sky, explode
into tulip petals, pink swans, holy doves
Old Women and Old Men at the Ferry Stop
(The old women)
We remember the harem of the walled citrus grove;
Old women, how like apple trees we gather now:
Pink, heavy with stories of
some familiar odd thing —
mimosa trees, a seagull’s wing.
The wind rattles branch and bone
creases in our skin drawn dry
the feathered marks begin
(The old men)
A grove of old men gathers at the dock
live oak, pin oak;
Backs curved, stilted up
Worn down with the effort of standing
Dry twig of a laugh cracks wry.
The empty and chaotic air,
that passing through the trumpet sounds:
Ferry outbound, ferry in
Grebes baste across the swanless surface
21 March 2020, Lombardia, Italia
the world has stopped
crowned with silence.
On the occasion of the municipality posting a letter asking people to pay their cemetery dues
Boxes of disremembered bones
expatriated into/out of locus
the heartbreak of a January
Her eyes slide to the side
like a Sienese saint
Painted by the brothers who died in the plague
back when there were 100 stories to tell
while bodies rotted,
left where they fell.
Escape into a place where
we can’t smell
we can’t feel
we can’t fear
But she’s convinced it’s coming:
the lost weekend
of the barrel.
Her hair is like a flag,
like an olive branch,
distinguished by its colour,
(unique but the same,
as so many others),
flapping in the wind
Thunder is grumbling down again,
Out of that un-ironed pile of forgotten clouds,
towering over the Alps.
Sweltering, breaking heat
A few 11 o’clock fireworks,
One year when the awakened plane trees
find themselves struck yellow in the night,
there will be nothing left of me but
a memory in your hands as they pull
wet laundry from the spun drum or
open the window’s case –
inviting October’s last, warm breath
to communicate the dust
between one room
by Bonnie McClellan
This was first posted in May of 2013.