Song for Pieve di Caminino

Songs of the Everyday

At Caminino they make merry
Among the ghekkos and the fairies
In amongst the olive groves 
Where the prosecco fountain flows,
Where the wine forever flows 
In amongst the olive groves.

And there is a fig tree there
Competing with the prickly pears
For the devotions of the guests
Who come to eat and drink and rest
Who come to find eternal rest
Among the spirits of the blessed.

An ancient chapel stands out back
And those who venture up the track
Beyond the figs and prickly pears 
Can see the ghosts of monks at prayer
A thousand years and still at prayer
Beyond the figs and prickly pears.

And here they give you caponata
And the veal is tonnato
And the boar is freshly slaughtered
For the baptism of the daughter 
For the baptism of a daughter
A cinghiale freshly slaughtered.

And the children shout and run
And the men discuss their guns 
As the smoke of their tobaccos
Charm the fairies and the ghekkos
The merry fairies on their ghekkos 
Inhale the perfume of tobacco.

And as you drive back to your place
Hot tears will flow upon your face
For you to mourn all that is pretty 
As you cry tears for the city.
Yes, you cry tears for the city
That taught you everything you know
About the ugly and the pretty.

At Caminino as the night turns dark
The guests have played their final parts
And exit as the curtains close 
In amongst the olive groves
In amongst the olive groves 
Where that magic fountain flows.

 

- o -

 

dedicated to that very magical place, Pieve di Caminino, its hosts and their new daughter Maria Giovanna.  

http://www.caminino.it

Buried

Songs of the Everyday, Visions

Buried far far beneath the evening sky.
Where the trees have lost their shadows,
where lonely lights hunt through the depths
and the last of the supermarket shoppers
shoot cigarette smoke with the guards
before they hang their heads home.

Want to be up there, upon that mountain,
among crystal air and pink gold clouds.

Whirlpool

Songs of the Everyday

Daddy, you know, this floor,
it’s a puzzle of a whirlpool,
he said, crouching down in his pyjamas
squinting at the parquet floorboards
as I was trying to wake up.

And as I did I saw that he was right:
the grain and eddies of the wood
were jigsawed and reassembled
into a thousand discontinuities,
stitched together randomly
until it was safe to walk,
so we could live and love
without falling through and drowning,
or always thinking of the ever present
danger beneath our feet.

9 May

Uncategorized

Who was it
Who walked out
Into the burnt wheat
And reaped smoke?
Who slept on the charred dirt
And ate raw horse
And stripped bark,
Lost teeth and friends
And saw everybody die
And kept on running
As the bullets stitched his legs?
Was told that he was dead
But lived again, again?
Who ran across the field
Bellowing “for Stalin!”?
Who was it
Who won it back for you
But gained nothing?
You do not know
because you do not know
or you do not remember.
Run now, to the hills
Or go out in the garden
Look up and close your eyes
And be silent
And you might taste the bitter drops
Of ashes scattered
High above the spring breeze.

Secret garden

Songs of the Everyday

You always do this, she says,
as he smiles victoriously
with the teaspoon between his teeth,
knowing well that it tastes sweeter
stolen from her cup.

He watches her undress
from behind his fingers. She knows it
but she knows he cannot reach.
He knows he could
but the forbidden polaroids are sweeter.

We never do this, she says,
eyes closed as he strokes her hair and face.
They know it is a stolen glimpse
through the keyhole
into the secret garden.

Sometimes

Songs of the Everyday

Sometimes all it needs
Is a walk through the snow
And a stroll up a hill
And a shuffle through the leaves
And a hush at the waterfall
And a rush to get in from the cold
To drink and to eat
And to drive through the dark
With the little ones asleep in the back
Back home.

What a wonderful war

Uncategorized

I am your enemy now.

You will come for me tomorrow night,
gathering noisily with the others
outside my shuttered windows.
You will come to kill me, tomorrow night,
With a gun or a machete or a stick
or whatever it is you’re given.
You will watch afterwards
as they smother my wife in her screams,
and then you will rape my daughter,
you know, the younger one, the one
your son used to read out loud to
on the porch.

You will do it
because you are afraid.
Because you are afraid
that I will do the same.
That’s what he warned us all about,
the butcher, as he sipped his tea,
that big belly napping on his knees,
and he looked us straight in the eye
and wagged his finger.