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 alight.
a follow up poem to “White Skirt on the Train”
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.
I am early / the train is late / the image is ubiquitous as false nettle / poetry is a red cat in a sunny window / lying to get out.
The mountains are on fire with clouds,
burning wet they billow up,
choking the spaces between the trees.
I hear the ticking of two clocks.
Furrowing through the valleys
fat white engulfs the state road,
levelling even the bell tower’s lopsided stones.
The crackling ash of rain stops.
the world is dark.
the sky’s glacial pool opens.
three morning stars laugh
over the horizon line.
* * *
this copse of time
this stand of hours
becomes a minute
bristling towards the moon.