December 2020

January 1, 2021 § Leave a comment

6th December

To strangers: Come back!
We’ll meet at the train station,
northbound or southbound,

people just again
heading to an unknown place.
Ask for directions,

or miss the same train;
we can start then talking, find
out we once lived less

than six feet apart.

———

15th December

Invisible rain,
as if going through a cloud.
On the other side

the night is waiting
in its confessional box.
Our secrets are new

only to us. We
tell them in low voice, release
them from their wordless

life of working hands.

——-

26th December

There has been no snow,
the cold has stayed in our hearts,
preserving our souls

through the long winter
that has started in a spring.
We’re not who we were,

we talk less, plan less,
certainty has left for good
our dictionaries,

a call for writers.

———

28th December

In difficult years,
they took the same decisions
every day anew:

to stand up and cook
if nobody would do it,
to live, even if

other people die,
to laugh at a joke they knew,
to forget until

there’s a chance not to.

———

29th December

And so we prepare
a fine gateway for our ghosts:
pride, illness, hate; we

light candles, burn herbs,
all gods should be satisfied
with our offerings.

What‘s next should be pure
oblivious to us fools,
what‘s next should be new,

much to burn indeed.

November 2020

December 2, 2020 § Leave a comment

9th November

Light in the darkness,
that good day in a dark year,
sunny everywhere,

the streets in music,
no face masks can hide laughter
or hope, or relief.

The winter is still
ahead full of bad mood clouds,
we see it, we know,

we’ve needed that break.

——

14th November

Sometimes we wake up
in another person’s dream
wondering about

when to start telling
people who we are and how
we got stranded there.

In the common sea
of worries, not run errands,
there’s a huge lost crowd

dreaming of islands.

—-

Resolutions 22nd November

After this we’ll fall
fast, into each other’s arms,
we will kiss strangers

in the crowded streets,
we will throw away our masks
and be our new selves,

we’ll hug the sad trees,
promise them a life without
hard rain, storms and floods.

We’ll do that, won’t we?

——

23rd November

Stars full of questions,
the night silenced in a cold
black shirt, Sunday’s best.

This winter doesn’t know
where to start or where to end,
it comes unprepared,

without names of months,
no feasts and celebrations,
like a vagabond,

a salesman of cold.

——

25th November

It’s your birthday,
my darling, you don’t know that
I wrote you a poem.

I will whisper it
in your sleep, in languages
for newborns and gods.

Many years have passed
and we’re becoming now less,
less of everything,

but there’s more to learn.

October 2020

October 31, 2020 § 1 Comment

15th October

Days are randomly
short or long, there are no rules,
we pass them waiting.

Never before had
seasons less significance
than in this grey queue

we’re standing since months.
We reconstruct them, autumn
now, we remember,

when the birds are gone.

——

19th October

We fear not missing
the time before not touching,
not meeting for fun.

What if we remain
too sensible for ever?
Cold faces, limbs numb?

That was then, before,
they’ll teach at school, before
we found out we can

live without our past.

—-

20th October

We put our headphones
on to meet. We expand space
to place minds and words.

How can we not do?
Communication. That kept
us going so far.

Planets do not touch
each other but still belong
to the same system.

There’s a magic thread.

——

23rd October

The streets are empty,
nobody but fallen leaves
and their soft rustle.

We knew of curfews
from history books, stories
our grandpas told us.

Now we’re a page too,
in a future book about
a year when the leaves

were louder than we.

—-

27th October

We stand on thin boards
facing a next wave swelling.
Behind its water wall,

all stars are hidden.
Can we ride it to the shore
or will we go down?

Strong swimmers or not,
this sea is where we live now,
searching for islands

and friendly creatures.

——

31st October

This unworded world
has still got the languages
we knew but our tongues

are tied. Wide-eyed we
walk our routes and look for all
names we remember.

Someone will find us,
a friend we know might be there
and will share the key

that unlocks meanings.

September 2020

October 3, 2020 § 1 Comment

6th September

We’ve lost your rhythm,
September, but keep flying,
blind in changing skies,

like migrating birds,
on their way to their winters:
Reading the north wind,

praying to the south,
the elders in the front line,
youngsters right behind.

May we find our way.

————

9th September

The blackbirds have stopped
singing and nights are falling
silent and lonely.

Our lines disappear
on paper, on low horizons,
on faces and palms.

We‘re home but still gone,
unmapped landscapes of habit,
frightened but eager

to find new landmarks.

————-

12th September

Dusk without blackbirds.
Their fatigue after the long
summer saddens us,

leaves our nights naked.
There’s still warmth and green, but not
their sound of promise.

Oh how we ignored
this summer had no future,
stone on stone our wish,

ignorance our sin.

————

19th September

Unnoticed the leaves
keep falling softly in light
they no more reflect.

Like someone dying
of thirst in the sea, they faint
and go down, down, down.

Sometimes the wind saves
one on the top of a bush,
or a plastic bin,

they are not picky.

————-

23rd September

Last day of summer,
so they say and there are signs:
the clouds gathering

like vultures around
a dying deer; crazy wasps
invade our kitchens,

for a last sweet drink;
people sitting in gardens
even as the rain

starts falling. Who cares?

————

25th September

Leaves fly like letters
unwilling to reach addressees
with depressing news.

The world is too loud,
sinking boats, burning mountains,
where sunsets were due.

But as the pen slides
on the paper, old habits
of promise appear.

Friend, hang on in there.

——————

29th September

The sparrows gathered,
in groups and started flying
from the hibiscus

to the lilac bush,
maybe empathic for those
who must now migrate.

They flattered their wings
with great passion, competed
for the best places,

a shrill goodbye choir.

—————-

30th September

Will life as we knew
it ever come back? Will we
learn to remember?

I sat with my friend
on a bench, her son, my son
have birthdays to come.

The evening was mild,
she and I had been children
in a mighty world,

one not looking back.

————-

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.

 

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