Colours of Rain and Iron
You said: death, silence, solitude,
like love, and life. Words
of our random images.
And each morning the wind rose light,
and time with the colour of rain and iron
passed on the stones
and our muffled drone of the damned.
Truth is still far away.
Tell me, man, split on the cross,
and you with your blood-clotted hands,
how shall I answer those that ask?
Say, now: before other silence
fills up our eyes, before other wind
rises, and other rust flowers.
Cicadas, sisters, in the sun
amongst you I hide,
in the heights of poplars
and gaze at the stars…
To My Father
Where Messina lay
violet upon the waters, among the mangled wires
and rubble, you walk along the rails
and switches in your islanders'
cock-of-the-walk beret. For three days now,
the earthquake boils, it's hurricane December
and a poisoned sea. Our nights fall
into the freight cars; we, young livestock,
count our dusty dreams with the dead
crushed by iron, munching almonds
and apples dried in garlands. The science
of pain put truth and blades into our games
on the lowlands of yellow malaria
and tertian fever swollen with mud.
Your patience, sand and delicate,
robbed us of fear,
a lesson of days linked to the death
we had betrayed, to the scorn of the thieves
seized among the debris, and executed in the dark
by the firing squads of the landing parties, a tally
of low numbers adding up exact
concentric, a scale of future life.
Uomo Del Mio Tempo
You are still the one with the stone and the sling,
Man of my time. You were in the cockpit,
With the malevolent wings, the meridians of death,
-I have seen you - in the chariot of fire, at the gallows,
At the wheels of torture. I have seen you: it was you,
With your exact science set on extermination,
Without love, without Christ. You have killed again,
As always, as your fathers killed,
as the animals killed that saw you for the first time.
And this blood smells as on the day
When one brother told the other brother:
'Let us go into the fields.' And that echo, chill, tenacious,
Has reached down to you, within your day.
Forgot, O sons, the clouds of blood
Risen from the earth, forget your fathers:
Their tombs sink down in ashes,
Black birds, the wind, cover their heart.
Nemica della morte/Enemy Of Death
(For Rossana Sironi)
You should not have
ripped out your image
taken from us, from the world,
a portion of beauty.
What can we do
we enemies of death,
bent to your feet of rose,
your breast of violet?
Not a word, not a scrap
of your last day, a No
to earth’s things, a No
to our dull human record.
The sad moon in summer,
the dragging anchor, took
your dreams, hills, trees,
light, waters, darkness,
not dim thoughts but truths,
severed from the mind
that suddenly decided,
time and all future evil.
Now you are shut
behind heavy doors
enemy of death.
You have blown out beauty
with a breath, torn her,
dealt her the death-wound,
without a tear
for her insensate shadow’s
spreading over us.
and beauty, failed.
You have signalled
into the dark,
inscribed your name in air,
to everything that crowds here
and beyond the wind.
I know what you were
looking for in your new dress.
I understand the unanswered question.
Neither for you nor us, a reply.
Oh, flowers and moss,
Oh, enemy of death.
Ed È Subito Sera
ed è subito sera. »
pierced by a ray of sunlight,
and suddenly it is evening.
nelle criniere dei cavalli obliqui in
corsa lungo le pianure, vento che
macchia e rode l’arenaria e il cuore dei
telamoni lugubri, riversi sopra l’erba.
Anima antica, grigia di rancori, torni
a quel vento, annusi il delicato
muschio che riveste i giganti sospinti
giù dal cielo. Come sola allo spazio
che ti resta! E più t’accori s’odi
ancora il suono che s’allontana largo
verso il mare dove Espero già striscia
mattutino: il marranzano tristemente
vibra nella gola al carraio che risale
il colle nitido di luna, lento tra il
murmure d’ulivi saraceni.
firing the manes of horses, racing,
slanting, across the plains,
the wind that stains and scours the sandstone,
and the heart of gloomy columns, telamons,
overthrown in the grass. Spirit of the ancients, grey
with rancour, return on the wind,
breathe in that feather-light moss
that covers those giants, hurled down by heaven.
How alone in the space that’s still yours!
And greater, your pain, if you hear, once more,
the sound that moves, far off, towards the sea,
where Hesperus streaks the sky with morning:
the jew’s-harp vibrates in the waggoner’s mouth
as he climbs the hill of moonlight, slow,
in the murmur of Saracen olive trees.
Wind at Tindari
Tindari, I know you
mild between broad hills, overhanging the waters
of the god’s sweet islands.
Today, you confront me
and break into my heart.
I climb airy peaks, precipices,
following the wind in the pines,
and the crowd of them, lightly accompanying me,
fly off into the air,
wave of love and sound,
and you take me to you,
you from whom I wrongly drew
evil, and fear of silence, shadow,
- refuge of sweetness, once certain -
and death of spirit.
It is unknown to you, that country
where each day I go down deep
to nourish secret syllables.
A different light strips you, behind the windows
clothed in night,
and another joy than mine
lies against you.
Exile is harsh
and the search, for harmony, that ended in you
to a precocious anxiousness for death,
and every love is a shield against sadness,
a silent stair in the gloom,
where you station me
to break my bitter bread.
Return, serene Tindari,
stir me, sweet friend,
to raise myself to the sky from the rock,
so that I might shape fear, for those who do not know
what deep wind has searched me.
Nostalgia and Regre/ ( Ora che sale il giorno
Now the day breaks
night is done and the moon
slowly dissolved in serene air
sets in the canals.
September is so alive in this country
of plains, the meadows are green
as in the southern valleys in spring.
I have left my companions,
I have hidden my heart behind ancient walls,
to be alone, to remember.
Since you are further off than the moon,
now the day breaks
and the horses’ hooves beat on the stones.
Mirror/Ed ecco sul tronco
And see, buds break
out of the tree:
a newer green in the grass
eases the heart:
the tree seemed already dead,
bowed on the slope
And all I know of miracle;
and I am this watery cloud
that reflected today in the ditches,
the more blue, its fragment of heaven,
this green that splits the bark
that only last night was not there.
Already the rain is with us/Già la pioggia è con noi
Already the rain is with us,
shaking the silent air.
Swallows skim the dull waters,
by the lakes of Lombardy,
swoop like seagulls after tiny fish;
there’s a scent of hay beyond the garden fences.