At the Monument

January 9, 2019 § Leave a comment

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On New Year’s Eve a 50-year-old German citizen drove his car into different groups of people celebrating in the streets of the cities of Bottrop and Essen, in the industrial area “Ruhrgebiet” in Germany. Eight people got, some of them seriously, injured: a Syrian family of four (whose 46-year-old mother was in critical condition and had to undergo a difficult surgery), an Afghan woman and her 4-year-old son, a 10-year-old Syrian girl and a 34-year-old German citizen of Turkish origin. It came out that this was a hate crime and the man intentionally targeted groups of “foreigners”.

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The Kaiser Wilhelm I. monument at Porta Westfalica is a monument finished in 1896 to honour Kaiser Wilhelm I. who was the first Kaiser of the German Reich after the French-German war in 1871. The monument was built in the regency of his grandson Wilhelm II., a regency marked by the rise of the German nationalism, antisemitism, militarism and colonialism that led to the Herero and Nama genocites in Africa, to the WWI and in extension and result to the rise of Nazism, the WWII with its millions victims and the holocaust aiming the extinction of the European Jews.
At Wilhelm’s feet quite a few families that a hater would classify as “foreigners” (among them myself, my parents and sister) take photos of the massive monument and statue but mostly enjoy the beautiful and peaceful view underneath: the river, the valley, the old train station at the bottom of the mountain, all look like a miniature landscape of a model railway. We all love this view.

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Between 2018 and 2019

January 8, 2019 § Leave a comment

The sky breathed out its last colour

with a deep sigh. Night watch

for those who fear thoughts

sounding like broken glass

like a river going dry, like a fireball.

 

The saints of the other side

keep promises in their pockets

for emergencies like that

and for girls fainting in the kitchen.

 

Now we’re here, amid of mute stars

that have been waiting in darkness

for their ignition by a heart,

one of those out of beat.

 

Why aren’t we allowed to mourn,

over those cracked ancient souls,

why must we remain silent

as if we weren’t the right gods.

 

There is a time without place

where we can still meet and lie,

for if you cannot touch their skin

your language will go under it.

 

In the end the day will break

our worlds in two again

the light, sometimes heavy, sometimes light,

the night behind, sometimes heavy, sometimes sight.

We get up to go on getting up.

Dawn

December 9, 2018 § Leave a comment

Dawn, I’ve just arrived and I need your guidance.

My face is now damp by your dew

and so my lips can move again.

Through my nostrils your air feels like a medicine

trying to reach my heart still sleeping.

Your light cuts houses and trees out of the sky,

sets me in between them, tells me to Go!

Dawn, I recognise you, we’ve been playing this game for years:

You wake me up, you kiss me, you tell me your name.

I won’t forget you Dawn, goodbye.

Once More, Thoughts on Poetry

December 2, 2018 § Leave a comment

I like poems that do little useful things for you
like telling a friend you’ve been such a jerk,
keeping one company when bored in a long queue,
or teaching some manners to a misanthropic, rude clerk.

I equally like those that tenderly take care of each word
make it touch and fit and turn to the one before,
and have nothing against those that let loose, even lose control
the unorthodox, the paradox, the ones that cut like a sword.

Like a poet I most like said in a much finer way,
poetry is the not-adult-wise child in each of us inside
that takes our hand, feeds our heart, says a pray
when dangers and fears have sent all others to hide.

Nocturnal

November 4, 2018 § Leave a comment

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One doesn’t know how certain nights end,

a clock bell might ring,

a bed side might turn cold,

a dream might feel like yesterday.

The heavy eyes aren’t heavy anymore,

the book is getting thinner at the wrong side.

Counting hours is no help,

only the whisper of a slow song.

(24 August)

*****

The soundless night is that of sorrow,

that one with heavy curtains

and covered mirrors.

No matter how hard you try,

you can’t remember your favourite song,

the words are missing, the tune is failing

to break through your inner wall.

(29 August)

*****

Timing

I set the clock back to find the words

and then again forward to lose them.

I‘m the night itself, the dusk, the dawn.

I count the hours faster and they’re past

I count them slower to make them last.

(9 September)

*****

The Night Moving

How does the night move?
There must be a moment
when it moves over your body.
You are half night, half day then,
you are a sister to the moon,
a brother to the deep sea,
half of you mourns the dying stars,
the other half worships the burning.
You like the chill, you need the warmth,
a blackbird sings at both sides.
The night and half of you
moves then away.

Published in Zócalo Public Square (14 September 2018)

Autumnal

November 3, 2018 § Leave a comment

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The other day the world was shinning

like the good silver at a beloved daughter’s wedding.

Our feast on the world will come to an end one day.

Every time I think of it I take a photo.

(3 November)

*****

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Under the skin another skin,

and another and another.

The day we disappeared

was a spring day in autumn,

each fallen leaf had touched that skin,

briefly, first and last.

(19 October)

*****

 

May Moon

May 30, 2018 § Leave a comment

The full moon is here

counting gone stars in its light.

No apologies.

 

There is a silence,

no wind, no voice, no promise.

Just the naked night.

 

Moon’s time expires

even sooner in hard rain.

She shines in goodbyes.

(May 2018)

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