Poesis

Let’s sit down this time
on uncomfortable wooden chairs
and listen.
For once, the poet standing in front of you
is loose in the city
with no clothes on.
The circus is over,
the laughter has now replaced
the thick-white silence in which
you hear each other breathing.

Let’s sit and look up
at the stretched rope between cement and glass
and observe the holding hands soldiers
flying into the cracked sun.

I follow them slowly
with measured jumps
thinking that poetry does exist
by itself.

My words leave tiny reflections
on your naked bones and
once I am completely gone,
absorbed by the rarefied air,
each of you will remember only
the dust particles which
used to have my name: noun.

Now they returned to the womb
sharp verb, consequence
of listening
of reflection
of explosion
of language.

I am what none of you can face.
You are all going in different directions
looking to find me
in nothing.

The Flesh of the Word

The danger with hiding a poet from sunlight
is that you can never tell if he, the poet,
will ever grow to see
the walking stone up the hill,
the fall which always follows
very soon after.

His bones will never solidify
to carry well the memories
of lost days,
the echoes of mourning
in this deserted city.

There, where he exists, camouflaged
by the old rags you wear to work every day
he looks so familiar
you can mistake him with ease
for a younger version of your self,
the one which has something to say
to the world
but no voice.

Trapped, both of you, in a
permanent sunset
faithful imaginary friends.

Nothing moves forward,
nothing goes backwards either
without the ripen flesh of the words.

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Poetry collection ‘A Short Story about War’ published by Yew Tree Press, ready for the Cheltenham Poetry Festival, 30th March 2014

My poetry collection ‘A Short Story about War’ is now ready. It is a limited edition published by Yew Tree Press, Stroud, England, with a purpose: to support bursaries for children garbage pickers from Tondo, Manila.

The collection contains photographs created by the artist John Stadnicki, which produced the design and the concept.

‘A Short Story about War’ will be available at the Cheltenham Poetry Festival on the 30th March 2014, at 5pm. I will be reading texts from it at The Strand, Cheltenham. http://www.cheltenhampoetryfest.co.uk/eventdetail.php?ID=80

The collection is available to purchase and will be sold on Amazon soon.

My thanks go to the poet Philip Rush for his editorial determination, work and constant support; and to the editor and storyteller Fiona Eadie.

Thank you to all the people which inspired me and to the Stroud Pamphlet Poets for the feedback they gave me during the readings at the Stroud Valleys Artspace.

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Maria Butunoi

Duel

I do not happen to know
the purpose of our war
but I’m working hard to
remember the words you
scribbled on the piece of paper
which set fire to the entire land.

Then I could not catch
the imagined rain on the glass roof
nor the light of the earth
so
the battle just happened.

Out of the blue, both of us
ready, awake,
on the horse’s back,
measured with precision
the distance between
the polished guns.

The bullets hit my left arm,
my knee,
hit open my skull;
the flesh exploded in thousands of pieces,
covered the yellow sky
with hair and skin.

At the end,
the music kept playing again,
you followed the clear road,
I followed you:
nothing more than a perfect, unfinished poem.

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Selfie

I can see how the white cables
come out of your pockets and ears;
you darling keep the headphones
around your neck
with the elegance of a pearl queen;
your bed socks are full of music,
they vibrate when you sit
neatly on your side of the bed.

Under my half of the duvet
I’m in need of sunshine so I look
at the weather updates
every five minutes.

Just in case I fall asleep,
send me a text darling
to declare how much you love me now;
the words you cannot say
when we look at each other
will appear tomorrow
in the printed newsletter
you forward to all your followers.

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Photo: John Stadnicki

Morning

You hurry to polish the shoes in the hallway
the black mud covers the white stone
the music is loud and
I think I can hear the tap dripping but
prefer to cover my head
under the blanket and pretend
I’m asleep. I choose to look away
as you leave the house and let the door open.
Not going anywhere today. I will
sit by the window with an unopened book.
The sun hidden by my expensive curtains.
The running water floods the entire house
and I’m happy
at last
drowned in my own thoughts.

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On the Ropes

My face is unblemished, up on the washing line.
Perfectly balanced, I gaze at
the small city with big eyes.
I try not to forget you although
I am asleep and barely remember your name.

My existence grows very still:
my feet have roots in a cloud,
the wind does not wind,
the rain does not rain,
the stone stays in the same place, inside
where my heart was.

The perfectly knotted ropes hold my weight
for a long time
until you
unexpectedly knock on my chest
reflected by sun.

You enter my body slamming the door;
my hands keep holding
your unsteady eyelash.
The heavy air breaks my back
as I fall.
The sky is all yours now.

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Ink on paper: Maria Butunoi