Conversation with a Stone

(‘Perhaps this is not a poem…’ C. Milosz)

And because I was made a poet
a lot of blood is spilt
on the neat grass, when I walk.

For fear that I will have
nothing to give back
I collect old books.

My word confesses to its imperfection
with the honesty of a fractured second.
Not that I mind,
not that I have high hopes,
only tall steps.

Because of this self deluded truth,
it happens that waking up in a desert
is not a surprising coincidence,
but a certainty, like a niggling pain in a missing limb.

I am not grateful to sleep facing the wall
but hey! someone needs to show a bit of courage
and say nothing
when nothing is to be said.

And though no one will remember
the poem once written but me,
after all, forgotten things are
the only possessions worth keeping.

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Photo: John Stadnicki
http://www.johnstadnicki.co.uk/Site/Welcome.html

Monologue

She keeps on looking behind
at the corn fields,
her blue dress follows her skin
as she walks ahead of me
into the wood.

The colour of her ink has now changed
with her
everything reminds me of home.
When she leaves, the house leaves with her,
the noise of the smashed flower pots
wakes the neighbourhood up.

I am not awake:
dream her dreams,
jump out of bed at night to go to the bathroom
and yes! look at the box of chocolates,
shining emptiness,
look in her bag
for treats, for sweets,
for a word, for something
once the talking is done.

She reminds me to close the door
in the dark, tripping over her hollow slipper
yes! I suppose
the only surprise in solitude is death.

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Photo: John Stadnicki

No

An empty chair
Nothing more than a human
Broken in tiny fragments of light
For which nothing is
Enough
Ready
Or
Too heavy
Before the take off.

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Photo: Maria Butunoi

Thought

just as you are about to
close a window
and a bird
abruptly flutters into the room
exactly like that
she drops her wings on the lawn
and jumps back
into the sea

News

Everyone said I was
looking in the opposite direction
when the car hit me.

The sun was very tall
at the beginning of the longest day,
the birds kept flying above the spilt blood on the pavement.

The crowd gathered around,
covered me with a blanket,
put a coin on my eyelid.

The traffic stopped. The sandwich maker over the road
made the sign of the cross in the air
and came closer to watch
the phone still ringing inside
the white pocket of my white dress.

The unreturned call echoed in heaven
for a long while.

A week later, news got to you
about the girl’s body found by the railway station
in a silver box.

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Photo: John Stadnicki

The Sudden Closure

What is a heart, when all the world is dead?
The sound of letters dropped
will not revert the time.
And what’s a line without a drop of ink,
when all of us have reached the closed horizon?

I do not see my own hands, in mud,
as I am neatly seated in abyss,
nor I can talk about the summer days
(they’ve never been arranged or bricked
in any way).

What is my eye without the face I knew
(reflected on the path), if not the shadow
of a burn in your shirt.

And Dante, arh the liar him, what would he be today,
without the greatness of the sacred cloth,
if nobody had thought,
before the word, to reinvent inferno
in simple fragments of repeated hours?

The longer days make now the clouds look longer,
the thunder keeps the burning town awake,
and us,
immortals on the porch,
define the only emptiness which cannot live in books.
The sudden closure of my tiny palms.

Childhood memories, identity and games – Open Studios Exhibition, May 2014, Stroud Arts Festival

The exhibition for the Open Studios, Stroud Arts Festival, May 2014 is now open to the public in Stroud (http://www.sitefestival.org.uk) and it will be open the following two weekends in Rita Fenning’s studio. (http://ritafenning13.wix.com/ritafenning-web)

The address is: Fieldside, Brimscombe GL5 2SW, Stroud.

You will see a selection of installations, collages, artist books Rita has produced inspired by my poems ‘Birthday Present’, ‘Family Photograph, ‘Lesson of Admiration’, ‘Games’ and ‘The Warm Bones’.

You can watch a video I made and listen to me reading the poems, with a selection of photographs produced by John Stadnicki (http://www.johnstadnicki.co.uk/Site/Welcome.html) for my collection ‘A Short Story about War’.

Here is a preview with some of the exhibited art work and a fragment with my reading. The video contains photographs produced by the artist John Stadnicki.

Many thanks to the sound manager Marc Fairclough from South Gloucestershire and Stroud College and to the video editor, the artist Clare Bottomley. (http://www.saatchiart.com/account/artworks/149322)

Games The Warm Bones project-rita1

Poems: Maria Butunoi

Installations: Rita Fenning

The exhibition will be open during the Open Studios Festival, May 2014.