Storm

January 31, 2023 § 1 Comment

It is the quiet disfiguration of the world I inhabit that draws my attention.

Wind chimes in a storm.

A woman takes care of your children, silently.

Bathes and walks your elderly parents.

She lives so they can live. Is that a life?

It is often said that every society breeds slaves. Perhaps that is the plague of human socialisation. The needs of one undermine the other.

The dreamer in my spirit prays for quiet coexistence with the facts.

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Salve

January 30, 2023 § Leave a comment

There are some people in this world that you cannot forget.

‘Salve.’

My first boyfriend. Recruited at eighteen. How godlike he looked in his uniform. Our secret, quiet summer. My first episode.

I can’t believe that they brought me back after that.

Somehow, my green eyes made me forgivable.

But I meant to write about you, Salvatore.

Salve of the subway. The other Salve.

We met when I was twenty-two and you were seventy-five.

You fought the nazis back with your small frame during the war. You fought with the Resistenza in the mountains, in the forests. You fought on the road to Rome, you fought all the way to Milano. At five foot tall you were the oxygen of the Resistenza.

When I met you, you were beaten down by life, but beautiful.

You took care of one thing, and it took care of you. The subway of Le Cure.

You were everything I had dreamed of in a hero. You kept the subway safe for the white ghostly girls of my university. You fought muggers and drunks, and occasionally rapists. You kept the subway clean. In our gratitude, we painted the subway in your honour. A mural of your face adorned Le Cure. ‘Salve’, it read. A great wide smile without teeth.

A count of how many nazis you had erased from this world.

Your Sicilian soul haunts my dreams, Salvatore, as eleven years later I wake suddenly in the night, and wonder if you are still alive. Are you out there?

Who will fight the nazis and rapists in the shadows, if not you?

A prayer for your protection, and a successor.

My mother’s poems

January 14, 2023 § 3 Comments

There were times, you took my breath away.

The shape of words becoming on a page.

There is no greater love.

I was young. I did not care for my mother’s poems, nor did I pay attention.

Now I long to see her spiralling handwriting,

With its flaws, and great beauty.

Nothing would give me greater pleasure, nor greater pain.

Because grief is pain and love at the same time. Grief is the dull ache behind each smile, each laugh. Grief is life, divided into small pieces, shattered and scattered sometimes.

Like love, there is no life without grief. Do not lose time to the revolution of hope.

Abandon everything and befriend grief.

In its arms, you will find new stars to count.

December 11, 2022 § 1 Comment

This is the night you start to take your life.

Take your life back.

Take your own life.

How funny that the children are so similar, that they take after their mother.

What a world of words you can create when you are not with them, when they are not with you.

Something could have been, but you became unwell.

Life is a state of unwellness, or, at least in your experience.

Can there ever be true happiness without health?

I think of my grandmother, whose adult life was spent in pain and religious adoration.

I see longing and devotion, but not the kind of happiness that is freedom from pain.

And so, to return again to this question?

How can freedom from pain be accomplished?

Can it, truly, be?

Four months.

June 26, 2022 § Leave a comment

Rain, midnight, May 2nd. I’m biking by the sea. My heart is open and free.

May 2, 2022 § 3 Comments

April 13, 2022 § 1 Comment

War efforts

Make a population disappear.

Are we drowning in our own humanity

Or lack thereof-

Why is our survival relevant?

To every stateless child

March 3, 2022 § Leave a comment

I don’t know

Whose war I am fighting

But I believe it began

In the strawberry patches

Or perhaps among the raspberry briars-

There I scratched my knee,

And you carried me

Back into the kitchen and grandmother and teapots full of boiling, black love over the Aga stove.

This war is different,

But the children are still children.

Humanity

March 3, 2022 § Leave a comment

You are dark and beautiful

All at once.

You terrify and console me.

You are everything I expected you to be.

February 22, 2022 § Leave a comment

This is the first day of the rest of my life.

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