Poems

wood, texture, dark

Valentine

 

I could not possibly love you more than I do.
There’s just no more room in my put-upon heart

that booms like a cross-channel gun in World War II
every time our eyes lock, whenever we meet, or part.

No amount of taking-in-hand can make me construe
or reorder your virtues in some other way:

you match exactly my blueprint of the ideal you;
every inch of you was made by God on a good day.

Hard though I try, I can’t get you to quit my dreams…
OK, that ‘hard’ is a lie – and the trying too!

Truth is, you’re welcome to trample my best laid schemes,
repaint my life’s furniture – or me, through and through –
if, next time you’re by, you’ll kick off your shoes and stay.

Flow

A crowd flows over Calatrava’s bridge,

so many: who would have thought thought

beckoned so many, as now the station steps disgorge

as many again. Here at the confluence,

Carlo and Gio meet Jill and Anna with large

gestures you’d take as surprise, though

the encounter occurs three days in five.

You might think too, as they pair off and forge

forward to Economia, that this represents

a waypoint on the way to something:

headlong generations of Jills and Gios,

or Carlos and Annas, surfing the horizon.

But we are in 2019 and the Free World:

Anna is with Jill, Gio with Carlo, all own

to enacting acts that would have them stoned

in Sudan, or similiter in the cruel piazzas

of the Unfree World.

After the salizada,

we’ll swing up the canal to St. Job’s – or they will.

I tend to pause at the foot of this bridge:

our friend Mohamad, whom we used to meet here,

has not been seen, nor sent any word, for an age.

We’re afraid for his future, if he has one still:

he told us it was risky to be going home…

Now the whole old year has rolled over,

and we doubt he will come.

(unpublished)

Still Life

Two peaches, four bananas, two pears,

nutcracker on the qui vive, steel basket

with rolled metal rim, unshowily set

on a green and blue cloth – olives or

are they plums? So much I see, and wonder

if these, should the cures not take, might

come to be my world, its fulness and limit.

Visitors I’ll give a tour of the walls, kids’

photographs, a friend’s gouache, fridge

magnets on the water-heater, reminders

blue-tacked to the glass door, our lives’

cockpit, my kingdom and cage,

this busy kitchen, these three chairs,

two peaches, four bananas, and two pears.

From: Istantaneo di ippopotamo con banane
(bilingual edition) Latiano, Internopoesia, 2019