Monday, April 12, 2010

Did yesterday know

Did yesterday know that today was going to be like this?
Did it read the forecast, cast the dice
or calculate the angle at which the projection of your shadow was going to fall on my face?
Did it count the steps to the staircase that would lead it blind into memory,
up a hill, behind a mountain and into a cave
of dankness and cold sleep;
away from morning, noon
and afternoon light
filled with amber wood
and Sunday delights?

Wednesday, April 07, 2010


Illustrating a map
is an exercise in diplomacy.
After neatly following black flowing lines of political propriety,
my hand begins to itch after a while
and I ask myself
where, for example, does India end
and Pakistan begin,
and what do I do about China's persistent butting in?

Is Antarctica ever anything but white,
I wonder,
and how do the Chechnyans sleep at night?
Does the isle of Taiwan get its own colour
and will Israel eventually manage to get it right?

In an act of absolute anarchy
I pick up my eraser-ing tool
and wipe away all those border conflicts
that have angered you and worried me so.

The continents are now just islands -
large, intricate masses of white
surrounded by deep blue mysterious oceans
reflecting clouds, the stars
and generous astronomical light.

It's a sunny kind of day today,
and I'm in a benevolent mood
if I could go back to Babel
and leave alone the sky-reaching tower,
I'd wipe out the languages too.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

After the rain (after Ezekiel)

I've been away so long
I've forgotten how to put words together:
how to say what I mean,
without saying it directly;
without chiselling it out in stone,
and going over the outlines in bold.
I used to know how to blur the edges of things
and let colours melt into gold,
but ever since the wind swept the rain away
and the sun came out from the clouds,
things have become sharper
and brighter
and the edges of ideas stand out once more

Ezekial once wondered if after a rain the air was clearer.
Now I agree:
It is just so,
just so


Squeeze a drop of lime into an ultramarine sky
layered over strawberry cream clouds:
the scent of freshly washed leaves flowing in the air
as a grey, wet and windy day folds to a close,
in an uneventful sigh
mixed with orange rinds,
and chocolate hazelnut smiles

Monday, April 05, 2010

24 hours in Firenze

Enter Easter

driving through
a landscape of marble churches,
cobblestone filth
and triumphant Madonnas
hoisted on walls and altars
following crosses through streets,
into processions of devout,
divine, divided hoards
of people and tourists
- all strangers from foreign lands,
travellers through time,
periods and histories
of a world painted in brush strokes
sculpted in stone,
installed on corners
in piazzas and palazzos
that invade the orthography of a sterile mind
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