Swift and the Tulip
The knife is sharp
and swollen with the squid’s blue-black ink;
Tucked against his side; on that horse;
riding along paths strewn with traps laid for wolves.
The jester mockingly makes his way
to the duchess, foiled fool in brimstone-coloured drapes,
And jocularly hands her that cup
her ready pout so eagerly sips dry.
And there go the fir trees
shedding bark like snake its skin,
While that horse with its rough hooves
goes on pushing mulch over the dead groom.
The word sun is the sun.
And as the sun rises
in the early morning sky,
so does the same sun rise inside the eye,
sweeping, with its tender fibrils,
the dusty darkness out of the hollows of the mind.
The very same sun that is said to go to rest at night,
now sets placidly in the hollow of my breast,
and as I cradle this gentle corpuscle,
I fancy what it would be like
to err more and know less…
For when I err, my son is there,
just like that sun,
that rising in the early morning sky
chases musty shadows,
like clouds, out of their hide,
and then comes to rest
on the hallowed breasts of that infinitely stupid blue sky,
that not knowing whence or whither, holds it aloft,
just like that mother who, it is said,
once held her child in her arms.
To the end of love
(Eyes slit as a moon in half,
seeping tears as dry as blackness)
– the cold, fanged, slithery hand reached
and snatched at his neck…
And though not knowing whether we had
indeed reached the end,
the body spasmed, as all living things,
being alive, naturally do.
But the final hour had come;
and as it chimed its last dong,
came the knowledge that love
was here supping for the last time.
All then was history,
a story much the same for every rat…
(So it went, as the child lay in bed,
repeating to himself the word ‘nothing’
till he became lost to himself.)
A Sea of Twos
The incarnadine coloured scar,
like a leafling in a sapping wait
for that which nourishes it,
seeks to find that knife,
which, having cut, made it be.
One tree is swayed violently by the wind,
while another is being uprooted
to be later consumed by fire
in some home in winter.
Memorised in their branches, all trees bear a story.
Theirs is one of deep love with the sun;
ours is a dream dreamt while dreaming in sleep.
While we dream in our sleep,
they, awake, dream
the dream of the morning.
A Beach in the Landscape
Two small mounds of white powder,
one on each shoulder.
Above one, oil pouring down from a glass cruet,
into a spoon, spilling over.
Above the other, a spoon overspilling with oil…
One is Lethe; the other Mnemosyne.
A kettle boils water within itself.
A wind vane belies its voided void,
devoided precisely because it is the void.
The wind is no constant.
In itself, the wind vane is the wind.
but never adulterated
The most disgusting word
in our lexicon. Hope.
On the fifteenth everything died.
Everything would die, and did die,
on the fifteenth.
Caesar would, and did, beg for mercy
as he ran unshod in the open fields at night
with the corpse of his infant daughter
dangling in his arms.
(Investigative journalists warily approached with their photography apparata.)
It would be, and it was, on the fifteenth
that image, dream and memory would
all centre on this sole, unsolvable crime.
(They circled around him now, snapping at his Jacobean grin.)
There is nothing arty or pretentious about this poem
– it was only Time (for the indexical indices).
by the time you are Real
The sea always was – we were there;
the sea always will be – we shall be there.
Riding pillion on a Sunday
“Indeed, a broken chain
behaves iteratively too!”
After all, father had said that one must always
keep a well-greased chain taut –
as he pedalled his bicycle down the street,
the obtrusive litter unobtrusively made way for him;
and as he felt the mania overpower him while
sitting listlessly in front of his endless reflection,
he shuddered at the thought of a world lost.
On regaining his senses, he mindlessly remarked to himself
that it would verily be a world lost in its entirety
– a remark that would be recalled today as a memorised well-taught thought
and that would spell out for him the word ‘love’.
Family snaps of a ‘quċċija’
I went to sleep –
or was I reading?
All I know for sure
is that somehow I found myself
within the dream I was dreaming.
I dreamt reality then,
and when I awoke,
I was unsure
whether I had stepped
into that room before.
Strange Meeting in the Catacomb
“I am going to leave and not return.”
“You will return?” [sic]
“I may return.”
“But will he be there?”
“No, he will be dead by then.”
(written by Estrela and gifted to Nikita)
Bark at all the stars in the sky,
wish them fall like Roses
down from their heavens.
Clocks like chimes –
the gloved hand of time gently
fingers the glyphs indented on sheafs of paper.
We reinvent the wheel,
and we come to know what we knew –
the Word makes itself legible again
And we feel like this play has no end.
Trees are green in colour
Not all trees are green in colour
There is no law
It just happens to be so
If your name were a dagger
I willingly would plunge it
Into that sacred heart
For a little of that pain
Which is not mine
But wholly you enshrined
Like a golden sun
I never loved
And if you
Could be more than one
And make of my misery fun
And if I could retaliate with spite
Greater love hath no man than this, that he allows his eyes to forsake all beauty having beheld you
Poem to Paul
Say the mind is an ear,
pressed close to the heart,
and the tongue is me,
and I am in my tongue,
all I truly know is that as my fingers
tap these words in, letter by letter,
I assuredly hear you utter,
before I can think, my thoughts out loud.
What I am writing now,
we wrote together,
so let’s be silent and carry on.
In a night sky littered
with fragments of diamonds,
(…hideousness, it peered inside the abysmal pot),
I set in their midst,
(cautiously, like a most precious stone),
a festering roach to infect the swarm:
Your Face –
whole, bright, livid… a glowering god.
My flames are my words,
reaching your thighs, incensed;
and like a sword my tongue,
lying low at the Altar of Peace,
waiting for the Day of Ambush,
to make reckoning with mightier steel.
The Eyes are the Moons
I buried her deep inside of me,
so no one would ever find her;
at times, I still hear her muffled voice
as she desperately tries to call out your name.
I bury my hands deep within me
and reach for her neck,
tightening my grip,
strangling her incessant cries.
I buried her deep inside of me,
just as you had told me to do;
and in all those years,
I never voiced her name,
lest the world’s ears should turn and hear.
She was still quite a child then;
and you had rightly said
that it would had done me good
to have seen her fade and vanish from my sight.
I believed you then,
and I guess I still do.
Yet, there are days
when I give in, and intently listen
to her chocked cries –
yes, that is it, she is trying to say my name,
over and over again.
An Unrhymed Sonnet
So that is how it starts with the sun…
At first no bigger than a reddish zygote,
sprouting into a tiny, drowsy, orange shrimp,
swelling into a newborn’s curled pinkie.
So that is how it starts with the sun…
…limbs untangle and emerge and flex,
fingers spring, a torso erupts;
and out of that bundle of muscle fibre,
spurts out a strange head –
round, hard, obtuse,
and fashioned in error by a blundering god.
So that is how it starts with the sun;
it starts with you and an I.
In the end,
a breathless breath on the surface of a still sea
the little paper boat down the street,
into the gutter.
There, the little paper boat finds the end.
It was the same in the beginning with God,
when He breathed life into things:
a breathless breath ensued that caused
not a moan, nor a swaying, nor a stir.
All things are born dead.
And in their fractured eyes is mirrored the image of their soul.
One does not survive;
one lives for others.
Ode on a Grecian Urn, no more
A Grecian urn, now
become a ruin…
“but that was then…”
We follow the meandering,
but ultimately linear, path
set by our footsteps,
And reach the Temple that
we just don’t recognise
(we presume it is the Temple of Jupiter).
Mourning the loss of our existence;
Time was made for us;
and we walk out of time.
I Hated You With Love (Rosebud)
What happens when the wind stops blowing?
Does your heart break?
I guess I ought to pretend to look elsewhere
and then dart my gaze back
to where you stand and catch you in the act.
When the wind stops blowing,
But actually it’s just Monday.
Does my heart break?
I guess it does, as I wait to wrap my arms around those lungs that breathed you out.
Azzjoni hi għemil li titnissel biex la darba titwettaq tagħti xhieda tagħha nfisha. Bħal fjura titbandal fir-riħ.
L-intenzjoni mhijiex xi ħaga fiha nfisha. Hi għalhekk li l-azzjoni tiżboq lill-ġisem li jwettaqa. Aħna mogħdija li minna jimraħ dak li jħobb it-timriħ, fjura li b’żiffnita tgħina naraw kif qed jiżfen ir-riħ.
Tassew, ingħidlek, li x-xita ta’ fatti li jsabtulna ma’ wiċċna tħallina bla ħila. Il-ħsieb imur lilhinn; dak li qed taħseb dwaru dejjem kien hemm, dejjem ser jibqa’ hemm, qatt mhu ser jinbidel, ħlief forsi taqa’ l-għabra fuqu…
Tassew, ingħidlek, li aħna mogħdija li minna jimraħ dak li jħobb it-timriħ, fjura li b’żiffnita tgħina naraw kif qed jiżfen ir-riħ.
An action is a doing that is done with the prospect that such a doing, once done, will one day be witnessed. Just like the flower swaying in the wind.
Intention is not a thing in itself. That is why action transcends muscle. We are channel, just like the flower swaying in the wind.
Indeed, we are limited by the world of facts. The mind goes over; the object of thought was always there, will always be there, unchanged, maybe slightly dusty…
Indeed, we are channel, just like the flower swaying in the wind.
The Son is in the Father.
The Father does not father the Son.
The Father fathers.
He is the Father.
He cannot father the Son.
The Son is in the Father.
The Father receives the annunciation.
Made by the Spirit.