Poem for Nigel F.
By the by, God, have you ever seen my life?
It is your celebration, of course – and mine:
Nighttime, nighthawks, a soul marooned
On a desert island only sabres can slice:
Is it the word? The moon, maybe?
Be then eternity and the heavenly vaults my witnesses,
And ask them to declare why my soul crumbled to dust,
Maybe an ancient sibling rivalry with her sister death?
Remember those fights, the blazing rows, and you, God,
Looking at them as you do at crippled girls
And crushed beggars on the streets –
Who’s the blackguard, the wounded light
Afraid to give you shelter and her eyes
When the sky shouts ‘no’ and the biting anger of the grass
Shreds the deaf branches who never heard the voice
Of warring angels, and the green on sale,
Their only choice being raw light or sour shines –
Nor can you hide in a sparkling shelter
‘Cause the heat blights the scene,
The fire shrugs off your hunger –
Nor can you run to a jonquils field,
Nor to the water, what help have you got?
Alien limbs while an oblique demise takes it easy?
So, get rid of your lust for those bastard voices
And don’t you dare bug the sky:
He’s got lotsa weapons, your soul has not –
Just stay put and wait:
Maybe one day flowers will hustle life,
April will throw you a burning sky,
And your seeds, all of them, all of them,
You’ll gather to shout and rebel
‘Here comes the first season, here comes her light’ –
Meanwhile, beware of wrecked cells,
Pomegranates and crooked promises –
Ever realised anytime they pop in for dinner
They look so restless?
I know, it slips your mind, but your name is food,
A food they can’t wait to eat up
Under the shining stare of a retired cellist
Who thinks bluebells are dying to chat him up,
As they are in love and who says flowers can’t talk?
Who says mothers morph into a mortal sin
When joining their men from a lost Eden?
Some even ask for an answer they never catch,
That limbs are inseparable from rocks and stones,
From trees and leaves, and souls are even worse
Than blasting stars –
Then the polite rejections come along, like fences, like walls –
And, of course, many sheepish smiles.
Born in Italy some decades ago, Gabriella Garofalo fell in love with the English language at six, started writing poems (in Italian) at six and is the author of “Lo sguardo di Orfeo”; “L’inverno di vetro”; “Di altre stelle polari”; “Blue branches”.