When did the starlings fly?
I did not hear their sweet goodbyes.
Only the candy floss caught in the cypress trees
Tugs gently at my memories
Of festivals already come and gone.
Leave me to winter’s misty song.
My little starlings, close your eyes.
There’s time for one more lullaby
Before the dust from your impatient feet
Wells up among those cypress trees.
You will go forth to right our wrongs;
Leave us to winter’s lonely song.
Come darling there’s no need to cry.
Those simple truths are also lies
That tell us that they must be free.
That’s cotton wool up in those cypress trees.
Let others go to right their wrongs;
Leave us to winter’s bracing song.
Where do the starlings fly,
When summer storms retreat to amber falls
And fields swelling in the salty breeze
Now harden into smokey stubble
Rough and familiar against your cheek?
Now that we’ve kissed our last goodbyes
Beneath a sky evaporating into grey
Beneath the final wishes of a feeble sun
When all the pretty days are gone,
Where do the starlings fly?
The dogs are tearing at my insides.
This is how the guilt begins
And the loving dies
And the laughter dies
The regret begins
It tears its angry way outside.
You thought that what you did was right
You woke the fear curled up inside
This is how the end begins
This is how we die.
When the haze clears
The sea moves closer.
The distant unknowns of the horizon are now within reach,
And the islands perched on top of its razor edge
Tease the eye with only half concealed mysteries.
Her hot brown skin is covered with the finest sun bleached down.
As I look closer,
The ever more familiar pores and wrinkles
Are a shifting and expanding landscape,
That teases me with half concealed curves.
The air cools.
The days relax in their afternoons’ long shadows.
The excited din in glistening heat and waves
Is now replaced by a contented quiet.
The sea is a skin
Covering the world.
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Punta Ala, Tuscany, 1 September 2010