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5 Poems. By Davide Trame


I am on the quay watching the progressing
moon eclipse.
The night is large here on this expanse
of grey concrete by the lagoon
with its fog-promising wind.
The dark patch on the moon has reached
almost the half of it, red moon they said
and showed how it had been once,
black-veined red embers in an orb
like in a camp-fire you could poke in
while chatting after dinner.
They said next time will be in twenty years.
And this is what brought me here,
standing and staring above.
Twenty years. This can be the last time.
One of the many last times.
It’s still early, the night is quiet
but behind me I hear people already
crowding the streets, children stamping,
shouting, clapping, with that feeling
of cheers like at the end of the year.
The black patch is progressing further.
But no red embers yet. The night is long and vast.
Last times take all their time to last.

a line


It’s here the haze
of the grey spindrift of this sirocco day.
Haze and roar spreading on the tarmac
even before the end of the avenue.
A huge breath of damp light into the pines
and on the hotel white walls the invisible
audience’s uninterrupted clapping.
The swooping clamour of hearing eyes.
A flashing forwardness.
You are going to it, for the umpteenth
and first time.
At the relentless beginning.
You were here once as a desire only
then as a body after body
nodding at the brewing, foamy crowd,
at the swelling, seeping, flooding horizon.
The mothers. Whatever.
The leash now pulls more strongly,
you are almost running.

a line


The wholeness of it,
on this morning of sea calm,
in autumnal sunlight, the mellow
slanted spots a-glitter.
You want with your stare
to simply match its own
that is a pointed knife
and a distended blade.
You want to open a gash
into it and taste the harsh
quiet skin, the salt in its hush.
When touched it reveals
the electric burst
of an eel’s heart.
But the wholeness.
A fist hardly retaining
the sparks of its hues.
The painter you are not
knows he should
stand in it, stand
until his last breath
with the brush of his soul.

a line


A city child against your will.
See yourself as a five-year-old in your grandparents’
country home kitchen on Sunday evening,
the Sunday of every leaving,
you sat sniffing on that wooden parapet
by the window, you were leaving that
and the mountain outside that you wanted
to explore “for ever and heather”,
and the curtains between this
alcove of a room and the scullery.
The curtains. There was all you wanted
on that rough texture, that smile of golden leaves,
it was a sober, quiet landscape even if
there were deer hunters hills shepherds chestnut trees,
and a setting sun well settled,
good for the next rich autumn.

a line


Late winter, the sun already fairly high at noon,
an expanding luminosity we know well,
it will grow to a fierce point
and will be blandished only by the sea’s hand.
We walk by a row of trawlers, some
are hauled up, massive hulls in mid-air,
they are repainting them, we smell
the thick, sharp and bitter tang of tar on wood,
the whites, reds and greens of the paint in the sunlight
blink and sting with the ready horizon.

Most of the shops are still closed, light and shadows
lull our steps in an airy hush, the bollards
face the waterline in a lion’s abeyance
glowing in the salt of their lightened silence.
You point at the clear, transparent water washing the pier,
its mint and turquoise-green letting us see
the anchors and ropes on the bottom
and the pebbles, big like cheeks.

And the pier’s pavement: stone slabs
like amber skin, smoothed down by ages of wind.
We walk them step after long step
along the rise towards the church
with from house to house shots of sunlit openness.
I breathe and gaze at the ochre scarred plaster
that has withstood whatever came
from out there
and that simply stares
and is stared back
by the plain force that has no barrier.

a line

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