Tears get shores
Layla, Italian poets are mostly
fond of birds: struggling seagulls
in bright or stormy skies, iconic hawks
which slowly glide
or eagles in the high. I never saw
two sudden jays or passing birds
deceived by flashing lights;
I’ve never heard hoopoes
while visiting a grave. Maybe I’m not
the man, I’m not the poet I should -
as clumsy as I am, as awkward, shy,
concerned... Remember, by the lake,
a day some years ago: we always talk a lot
while strolling hand in hand.
A gander by the shore
resembled my whole life; another
side by side was quacking in reply.
I wondered what it had
like me to tell its wife.
Take my hand, don’t let me go
where you know that I could sink,
teach me floating, swimming too
across a drop of shared bright weep.
Let me slowly by your side
get the banks a pain must flow between:
for tears get shores. I trust they do.
Staring into tears: an interesting insight,
fascinating albeit weird. A scientist
did it, I’ve read some days ago,
looking through the microscope
into picked, selected ones.
Snowflakes float: salt crystals, to be exact.
Each one is quite unique - resembling
a fern leaf or rather distant stars,
or lichens in some way, or feathers as well,
or clusters, honeycombs...
I’ve never thought about my tears
like that until just now: I welcome
the surprise - a soothing, clear perception.
We’ve dealt with sorrow, Layla,
each one as doom yet called.
I thought I were a broken man
as many other were, but tears
were pretty incomparable,
mysteriously unique. Moreover -
you, my overwhelming love
who recently had to weep: they’d got
within themselves the wholeness
of the loss, but not the pain alone.
They brought their inner beauty
which only God could see,
they poured it down your cheeks
and you didn’t notice it.
I wrote by then (as I seem to recall)
that tears should be a gift -
at least, I thought, they could
if God is God indeed. I’ m sure,
right now: they were - at least, I think,
to the secret, hidden beauty
which Nature often seeds,
which sows no matter where - as needy
as She is: as ruthless, may I say.
As my fingers feel the strings,
as the palm of my left hand
wraps the fretboard as birds do
on tight wires right over there,
what is eager to resound
is the reason to dwell on
between loneliness and life,
among all I know I share
with carved dried wood:
presence, first of all; gratitude
and inner empty room.
I got carved, as you see: I too.
Nothing’s got to justify
the weeping man I meet
on the curb this glorious, sunny day -
sure, not to me. I offer
cigarettes while trying some soothing
words - a gaze, a sudden hug
as warm as hugs can be. His tears
are blessing me.
I’m sure that being a dawn
is hard to live up to: a brightness
gets revealed and suddenly overturned
while melting with the day. I greet it
from the cobbles as I get
out the door: we share the same
schedule. For nothing that’s on earth
can find its turning point
but giving of itself and many times
was born whatever breaks anew.
Strong wind. I can say where it blows from
for it already raged around
and not long time ago:
it already whipped me up,
rushing through my open eyes
to my inner shuddered soul.
Let me whisper, let me think:
if my heart were made of bones
even now! Were it used
to pumping cold gusts! But not in vain.
(Imagine, Layla: cheering weeds
about no further icy blasts, shot down firs
which stay upright, once for all
while once again).
While a classwork’s taking place
chatting girls are soothing me
like a buzzing honeycomb:
tittle-tattle, love affairs,
a bit cursing (not too much),
future plans through whispered pranks...
Which of them could be my daughter?
For I’d like to stand for each
blessing any tears of theirs
from my tender father’s hearth.
What I mourn is not a child -
I’m a teacher, that’s fine too.
What I miss is feeling that
in the depth of my scared youth
lies a mother soothing me
by immortal lullabies
and a father trusting me,
standing up for this lost child.
Behind snowflakes, I don’t know why,
I sense thin stripes of far pale room:
a crib for flights, I guess, each one
despite my staring, starving eyes.
Don’t let me there, come in,
don’t stay. A glimpse’s enough
for hopes and shapes.
I know you sparrows bounce again
to careless gifts from gods of passage.
Maybe a gust just played a trick
while petting weeds or curbs
for fun. No god can feed
on forlorn pain.
A drizzly evening: warmer
than the afternoon, still cold
but not too much. Youths
around, strolling hand in hand
through the ancient roman square -
yet free from stalls to greet a holy day,
welcoming them in its full glory.
This is the place where I live in
like an abstracted passer-by, rejoiced
for nothing but the rain right now:
while life is all a swarm
the air is teeming too with tiny
lightweight drops. I bet they still fall down
so eagerly to bless.
Tears keep close to each other
while I cross the roman bridge
to the left bank of the river.
White marble paving stones
are as slippery as ice
but I can’t mind, as if I were
walking in a dream. Tourists
can snap selfies even in the heaviest
rain while swallows sweep the surface
of the flood like mad runners, catching
flies they usually feed on. How many times
I dreamt to cross the bridge
the other way in hope
of getting lost forever! It was
forty years ago, or even more.
I’d just crossed the yard of the catholic school
pacing slowly in the rain, and mostly
alone. It was always rainy or foggy
in the Seventies, how could it be?
I waited for the bus near the riverbank
staring at the flood
as scared as only a child
could be, particularly after dusk. Getting
home again… my only wish was getting
somewhere else, better into a grave:
it proves me lost since then, but I know why.
(Words are trying to shelter me
but tears must flow: a river
is the place they properly deserve
to melt with life itself
as life resembles a river
for having banks and bridges).
Music, Layla, for a while:
the time needed to resign
from the team of those who hold
grudges, anger and contempt.
Talk to me while music’s on,
sweep in it my pain away:
look as suddenly I rejoice.
Saving music is your voice.
When I allow my eyes to narrow,
when I squint them in contempt,
they tend to tighten right away
and then the room which spreads around:
things do disappear quite soon,
even mountains, oceans too.
Nothing’s worthy, nothing’s good -
what a strength has got a mood!
It’s my fault if I consent
but I’m sure that I can’t say
if you are to blame like me.
Empty time to spend alone
waiting for a friend of mine:
wasted time, someone could say,
but I feel it’s precious, sure,
in a coffeehouse like this.
Teaspoons clink like chiming bells,
students chat with no restrain
but no fuss can bother me:
thus I know I’m disdain-free.
Teenagers always shout: I’ve nothing
to complain. I’m humming
random tunes to bless
their yell as well.
I’ve never heard a fir to claim that it did win
against a fierce hailstorm in summer
because it dared and fought successfully
as boldly as it could. I’ve rather seen, so often
and quite close to firs which passing hailstorms
left alive, some wasted vines: their wounded grapes
laid scattered all over the ground, crushed,
while hopeless weeds around were softly
mourning them - deeply, indeed,
for they had felt so proud of each one
till kindly allowed to grow!
They knew how much was lost
even this time.
A shared burden is naively believed
to decrease to half the weight
but we both could tell the truth:
it gets heavier, multiplied
in such a way I get amazed.
Even joy can reach the highest
when it freely finds a home
at the border between the two of us -
a grief, a hug, a weep, a kiss:
no matter what the occasion rose it to.
So does the pain you share
with me. From my weakness
I should guess it’s a further
gift of joy.
Ashes aren’t remains: not properly, I think.
I was too shy to pet
those roses and their thorns
as tenderly as I felt
them richly to deserve;
I used to talk to sparrows, to stroll
through cherry-trees -
it was long time ago. I happened
to be born; I wondered you loved me
so plainly year by year, so truly
day by day. I cherished common
words, enchanting to my ears.
I suffered - yes, I know, but often
kept my secret,
perhaps less than I should
more carefully have done.
I wrote some poems I hope
to have quite soon resolved,
just thawed into a dew: as words
are not remains, not properly, I think.