August 2020

September 5, 2020 § 5 Comments

Greece, 1st August

A hot night. Silence,
the dogs won’t bark, not even
at a daring cat.

The wind’s tongue softens
the streets, dries kissed lips or tears,
things keep happening

while we try to fall
asleep for the next day’s sake.
But at night we hear

all the world at once.

——-

Greece, 5th August

After the full moon
a question: Why is beauty
not fair everywhere?

Why must it be full
of black holes sucking it in?
“Lebanon is cursed”,

said a man in tears.
We were watching on our screens
how such misfortune

eats hopes and summers.

—-

Greece, 11th August

The stars come and go
in a summer sky that knows
no earth, no mayhem.

We all hold our breath
until the next morning comes.
Will all still be here?

I swam in the sea,
sneaking into a beauty
denied for many,

pleasures in rations.

——

Greece, 14th August

An open suitcase,
back from a short trip, sleepless
when the rooster crows.

Once, twice, then three times,
someone has disowned someone.
It’s this world, you know.

As knows the crescent
moon and still comes back to grow,
to change, become full,

and start all over.

—-

Greece, 18th August

Summer is ending.
At night we worry if the stars
still hang on up there:

Jupiter, Saturn?
Check. Still there, pale but standing.
In the predawn hours,

Venus, going home.
The Perseids, though still falling,
take the short ways down.

And the moon is bored.

July 2020

August 1, 2020 § 7 Comments

1st July

July’s wallpaper:
apricots, cherries, peaches
and the moon out there.

Not a day missing,
a full month. Empty-handed
we arrive, breathless,

Where are our colours?
What happened to the music?
There’s been no dancing,

just counting of steps.

——

8th July

The morning takes fly,
the night sky gets pail, turns grey,
then the sun sends red.

Bereft of the last
hours of sleep one can but watch
how days reappear

without permission.
We’re fed with time, yet hungry
like a newborn child.

Unfinished stories.

——-

11th July

At the seam between
day and night, wonders happen,
such as a lazy

white cloud ignoring
the falling darkness, glowing
in the moon’s kindness.

No one leaves without
objection a day behind.
The next day is still

a vague sweet promise.

——

16th July

The sleepless count dawns
like monks their rosary peas.
Their wish is to sleep

but prayers won’t do
as the world is a film script
that needs a new draft.

Open the windows,
now lots of coffee, butter
the bread, take a bite,

smile for the camera.

——-

17th July

An alarm clock warns
the morning star it must go.
The one who’s set it

lets it go through three
ringtones before he turns it
off. Too late, the birds

have got the message
and are willing to take on
the shift. Up early

I am again. So.

——-

17th July

Eerie mind lightness,
free of worries where many
are the case. Hallo.

Who’s this new person
awakening in me these
days? Stillness before

the storm or true peace?
Part age, part resignation,
part don’t-give-a-damn

except for kindness.

——

Greece, 18th July

Back to the body,
the mind rests in the armpits
of old olive trees.

Home is the trip home,
everybody who has one
knows, everybody

who’s lost one knows too.
There must be a truth to that
for our restless minds,

but bodies lie well.

——

Greece, 21st July

Even the north wind
is warm down here in July.
Mum’s white tablecloths

are drying dancing.
Other languages, except
head and eye movements,

become difficult
at midday: Yes. No. I know.
We don’t know of course,

but that’s long story.

——

Greece, 25th July

A tiny, snoring
dog at my feet and I think
of pure love and peace.

For some time I thought
I’d adopt a cat so that
I could taste freedom

but you do not choose
a stray, a stray chooses you
as a seed finds earth

even amid rocks.

——

Greece, 29th July

Let the moon travel.
We’re lazy romantic poets
on short holiday.

If we must, we’ll use
words like “gold dust” or silver”
and take one more sip

of our cocktail drink.
There’s plenty of time until
the moon becomes full

to then lose our cool.

——

June 2020

July 3, 2020 § Leave a comment

1st June

Bittersweet evening.

Selfishness could let me talk

about the bright half

 

of the moon, shinning

onto my glass of white wine,

in a friend’s garden

 

and of a harsh hug

on our way to the kitchen.

But the world is still

 

as dark as ever.


8th June

Late afternoon light

falling sideways through gate doors,

marking lines on walls.

 

Invisible bars

are the tricky ones to host,

those one gets used to,

 

being inside, being

outside, mostly just being.

Lines like tears, marked hours,

 

days, marked centruries.


11th June

Gone the epic May

bloom, bees have gone over to

the tiny flowers.

 

Tireless they visit

a small balcony flowered

bush. Now their late shift,

 

as a cool evening

breeze pushes deep lilac clouds

above our back yards.

 

Time to feel grateful.


12th June

Carnation odour.

Sometimes oblivion and

memory unite

 

in a common smell.

Funerals and summer nights,

slow movement both ways.

 

Hard to decide what

to cut the head of a flower

for. Or for the streets,

 

side by side, in hopes.


14th June

Pouring rain, the drops

woven together into

thick water curtains.

 

I marvel at my

happiness for every sound,

for every watered

 

plant, for the washed cars,

for the full garden bird bath.

When this water finds

 

the sea, we’ll meet.*

*Four


17th June

An open window:

birds give their best to cover

up the city’s noise.

 

My bedspread, green like

a summer field where I lie

under my mind’s tree

 

of choices. I enjoy

the wisdom of these last months.

The knowledge I’m here

 

and nowhere else now.


20th June

Upstream they must swim

and yet reach the sea in time.

Their ways blocked by dead

 

tree trunks with pink hearts

carved on them and initials

of happy people.

 

Soon midsummer for

everyone, but some are more

tired than others,

 

all their days too long.

#BlackLivesMatter


21st June

Partial to summer

the clouds like blankets of warmth

dim the evening light.

 

The neighbours are still

out in their garden, laughing.

I don’t miss music

 

when voices play games

with the wind. There’s no language,

only vowels, smooth

 

liquid consonants.

#SummerSolstice


22nd June

A church bell ringing

10 o’clock, but the blackbird

is not tired yet.

 

In fact it has just

started. From the roof gable,

it challenges every

 

rival to a dawn

contest. It pauses surprised

at a car passing,

 

full volume hip hop.

#Blackbirds


24th June

Amid the mess we’re

in, how outstanding our will

not to believe in

 

endings. Even when

we imagine a full stop,

a sentence follows.

 

Telling the story

after the story, a thirst

for more life, a wish

 

to be everyone.


27th June

A hot night, no sleep

to cool down thoughts and doubts.

Then the light, the birds,

 

a cup of coffee,

as one must declare defeat.

A win is this dawn,

 

yellow and rosy,

the earth, a sweet funfair candy.

Fine, I’ll stay awake,

 

dream of lilac dawns*.

*dusks


29th June

Like half glass of milk

on our bedside table, the

moon too is waiting

 

for a thirsty soul.

A short glance at her, before

going to bed, just

 

making sure some things

are as they have ever been.

A reassurance

 

we do not deserve.

#ClimateChange


29th June

A dull sky, cool wind,

not enough to wipe out this

Monday’s tiredness.

 

There’s another world

outside my verses, still this

world and entering

 

now like smoke, like fog,

every single thought, every

escape door. Sometimes

 

one must bear darkness.

#WorkWorkWork


 

 

May 2020 – Bye, bye

June 15, 2020 § Leave a comment

25th May

The air is so light,

no wonder night falls softly

like a purple net.

 

I wish I could sleep

on a field, or at least not

to be anywhere

 

near to whatever

could provoke winter’s return,

ever again. Like

 

a child’s biggest wish.


27th May

Nothing can blow up

wishes faster than north winds.

Self confident like

 

a Scot in a kilt,

move sun and light farther south.

The trees now resist,

 

bent and return fast

into line. No one tells them

what to do in May.

 

They’re full with birds’ nests.

May 2020, so far

May 21, 2020 § Leave a comment

1st May

May Day sabotaged

by rain. But it’s nice to see

two rival blackbirds

 

in the wet garden,

sharing shelter under the

same rhododendron.

 

Nature’s common sense

protects them from themselves. Yet,

will this peace be kept,

 

under the sunrays?


6th May

I‘ve just discovered

an 18th century ace:

late evening port wine.

 

Sweet and strong pleasure,

comfort for the swollen legs

of great-grandmothers,

 

bold midwives and lords,

but slave traders sometimes too.

History is full

 

with two-side stories.


11th May

While a wild wind blows

and changes the weather like

a light switch: on, off,

 

on, off, we listen

to mixed tapes dedicated

to teenagers’ dreams.

 

We remember those

days in our rooms, in ourselves

well now, as we try

 

to figure out this.


13th May

Everything is blue

especially the while walls

of the house next door

 

as they touch the sky

dressed in its slippy colours.

The birds are looking

 

for islands of green

to spend the night. Windstill

quietness. Softly

 

I let down the blinds.


17th May

Let us not go back

to normal that never was,

times without thinking.

 

We moved and went on,

kept forgetting about death,

of others, of ours.

 

Yes, we miss freedom,

but freedom has expanded

in our minds, it might

 

has become vision.


18th May

These notes often start

with the singing birds at dusk.

Dutiful blackbirds

 

remind me that there‘s

this short time to talk before

silence reigns at night.

 

I wish I could put

every word in a blackbird’s

song. They’d tell me then

 

what to say in time.


17th May

What’s behind our masks?

Nostalgia and longing

for the life we had?

 

Anticipation

for the future, not the past?

Is the best or worst

 

of us now hidden?

What are these eyes looking at?

Outwards or inwards?

 

Our mouths are still shut.

 

April 2020 – Part 2

April 30, 2020 § Leave a comment

8th April

Our reign of objects,

tables, chairs, books and paintings,

how well can they tell

 

the stories we’ve planned

a lifelong? Imagine those

feet walking around:

 

This is where mum used

to read. When on the phone she

moved around the house,

 

cleaning, saving time.


11th April

This wonderful sky,

how accurately it counts

time, space and borders.

 

Zero. None to see,

none to feel. Our mind is free

and flies where it needs

 

to be. Take that flight,

with the wings of memory

and the strength of hope

 

for we are born free.


13th April

Fears. In the morning.

First, everything feels usual,

the light from outside,

 

the smell of the room,

that ageing body. And then

the mind awakes too.

 

You can’t fool your mind

when your hands are not moving.

It counts time in months,

 

in years or just days.


15th April

The impossible

as everyday recipe.

We’ve lost appetite.

 

Now feed me with touch,

with laughter, bitter or sweet,

like friends at dinner,

 

before they part for

a long time. The host raises

a glass, sets the date

 

when to meet again.


18th April

Mum has sent braid bread

per mail, but it’s not here yet.

A fragrant parcel

 

in a lorry’s guts,

driving through silent countries.

They told her it’ll take

 

time. But she’s sent it

anyway. It’s Good Friday

in my old country,

 

all is still and waits.


20th April

One metre fifty

from each other. In the queue

of lost needless things.

 

Behind a mask, eyes

that do not try hard language,

they’re soft and get it

 

that you’re vulnerable

too. Then the distance moves on,

fast to someone else,

 

before one must speak.


20th April

 

My tired limbs sliding

on cool cotton sheets; must be

a summer prelude.

 

On the news, again,

everything important comes

second. Exit strategy.

 

The economy

needs the simple people soon

enough. The simple

 

people can’t escape.


30th April

This April will leave

ingloriously, bad thief

of springs that were one,

 

an endless waiting

of sudden good news, of friends

and festivities.

 

A one season year,

this seems to become, one that

all months are marching

 

in dark uniform.

 

April 2020 – Part 1

April 12, 2020 § Leave a comment

1st April

April 1st too soon,

we haven’t got the spring mood,

winter fits better.

 

I dreamed of water

but not of summer beaches,

they’re too far away.

 

It would be nice though

to become light again, swim,

hear the world laughing,

 

careless and naked.


2nd April

Like fish in a glass

everything still fine inside

our protected world.

 

We wonder if it’s

a dream. Is it true that this

is the last water?

 

We try to forget,

to become a fish for true,

turn one round, one more,

 

everything is here.


3rd April

Time might make us all

become quieter, careful

not to miss a tone

 

of others speaking.

Our own voice, once so precious,

less important then.

 

Our wealth and beauty

for wisdom and kindness. Won’t

that be courageous

 

as a new start after?


3rd April

Today feeling short

of breath, that hill in front of

us seeming too high.

 

A grey day, quite still,

the birds are thinking, planing

their next step to spring.

 

I try to listen

and expect less, less from me,

less on a day when

 

flowers hesitate.


5th April

Sunday bursting with

sun and skies. How innocent

the day felt as we

 

cycled through the fields.

The trees were turning green like

nature’s traffic lights.

 

Back to the city.

A helicopter landing

on the roof of the

 

nearby hospital.


6th April

One by one windows

open. Someone should welcome

the upcoming moon.

 

Backstage the open

wardrobes, bodies uncertain,

set tables untouched.

 

An alphabet of

sighs, low voices, question marks.

We are all foreign

 

in untraveled nights.


7th April

We don’t see her dead,

ut we hear Antigone’s

mourning. For once more

 

she’s not allowed to

bury her kin or lament

their death as deserved.

 

But this time the state

are we, we hold her back from

their graves and ours too,

 

we beg her to wait.


 

March 2020 – Part 2

April 12, 2020 § Leave a comment

24th March

It’s a sunny cold

outside, a frozen beauty

waiting for the prince

 

with the warm kisses.

I’ll fill the house with the smell

of hot fresh coffee,

 

open the windows,

wave “hi” to occasional

pedestrians, call

 

my mum on the phone.


 

26th March

Mum looks very old

on the screen. A video

call. We laugh a lot.

 

She thinks what I think

though.This might take much longer

than our words pretend.

 

The quietness of

the nights unites us, our fears,

trembling stars afar

 

from each other’s sun.


27th March

This fear in a box

we do not want to open,

but we have no choice.

 

We’re taken by it, it

comes out of our TVs,

it walks down the street,

 

it takes faces of

beloveds, of ourselves too,

it changes, it spreads.

 

Pandora, what now?


28th March

I woke up early

in the morning, watched the plants

growing in the light.

 

A reassurance,

this new day would be as real

as the one before.

 

A well-know story

would surely start with well-know words,

a solace amid

 

an unknown new world.


29th March

We’ve turned our clocks to

summer time, but we’re still not

in control. New snow,

 

falling and melting

on the young dandelions,

whispering secrets

 

in their yellow ears:

Summer and winter exists

simultaneously

 

like life, pain and death.


30th March

Voices in surplus

behind walls, in front of screens,

there’s so much to say.

 

Comfort, distraction,

love, thoughts, fears and promises,

broken vows, chances.

 

When the quiet night falls

everybody works hard on

their inventories.

 

We share our failures.


 


 

March 2020 -Part 1

March 25, 2020 § Leave a comment

dedicated to @george_szirtes

15th March 2020

The world is turning,

we reluctantly spin with

it, dizzy and weak.

 

We hold on the next day,

the next curve on our way,

the blackbirds in spring.

 

Not what we know is

now. Now is not what we know.

Yet spring, yet flowers,

 

yet night, yet dreaming.


 

16th March 2020

Early night poem:

 

My dear, I can’t wait

for the night to fall to listen

to that blackbird.

 

You know, the one that

flies around the neighbourhood

boasting with good songs.

 

A yellow beak in blue

hours, a little light before

darkness. We gather

 

the things that matter.


 

18th March 2020

4am again,

out of sleep, out of absence,

back to the now time.

 

A quiet river

is this night outside. Only

one far away hum,

 

a busy machine

programmed not to need others

And so ignores fears

 

and early birds’ sighs.


 

19th March 2020

We feed each other

the news; it’s hard to swallow

and it burns our tongues

 

not to know if this

is already our future,

if nights will stay long,

 

if summers will come,

if sun and sons will kiss us,

if that memory

 

still has got a chance.


 

20th March 2020

You’d think the night would

have some soothing black liquid

to slow down sickness,

 

just as it does with

movement, sight, noise or choices.

But night’s eyes seem closed

 

to everything but

memories, fears and wishes,

wrapped in rosy dreams

 

or nightmares of real.


 

20th March 2020

Everything around,

too present to understand.

“Mum, said my son, when

 

I’ll be eighty years

old, people might invite me

to schools to tell them

 

about the year of

the great disease, I’ll be their

eyewitness and old.”

 

Yes, my dear, you’ll be.


 

22nd March 2020

Most of the people

are silent, their eyes strangling

to adjust themselves,

 

in the darkness of

this waiting room. They just stand

rigid on the shore,

 

feet deep in the sand,

ignoring the waves, looking

at the horizon

 

where the ships are still .


 

23rd March 2020

A Forgotten Love:

 

Our houses are now

clean, floors and furniture shine,

but the guests won’t come.

 

We’re in other times.

As the day breaks, the call of

an uncertain spring.

 

It’s hart to resist,

and yet it feels unwelcome,

out of place now like

 

a forgotten love.

“Alte Liebe”

January 26, 2020 § Leave a comment

Old Love, you’re still there

in the wee hours, in front,

of the shabby pub.

I remember you:

your shiny skin, your black eyes,

slow moves in music.

One always has to go,

as far their feet can bring them.

Sometimes there comes here.

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