A Kind of World

If we want the world to move forward,

we must hold hands. Documenting the pain and the joy,

on the same page,

with water, with fire, with ashes

not with ink.

 

Freedom means nothing when the healthy and the sick

eat at separate tables.

Even the trees sit together. They know that life is actually simple.

But once people renounced their entitlement,

it will take more than a revolution

to reclaim such a right.

 

For too long we took the wrong turn.

 

What kind of world is this if

the madman tells us that

we should be ashamed of ourselves?

 

Photo: @Joss Beeley

International Times and ‘Imperfect’…pre-election dossier, 19th May 2017

The box arrived. The first books now being sent to the British Library. And, in the middle of it, a new poem published this morning in ‘International Times’ – the newspaper of resistance.

‘A Day at the Office’ – pre-election dossier.

http://internationaltimes.it/a-day-at-the-office/

 

The World According to a Child Soldier (III)

On my first day at school I learn to

say ‘yes’ to everything and to accept the dogs’ fight

for the best seat at the open-screen cinema,

although I have a V.I.P. ticket.

 

I learn how the silence starts with a dry pen,

how it ends in a battlefield,

among abandoned bones.

 

I learn to agree with the history,

for it has the right to choose terror

over Vermeer’s ‘Girl in Hyacinth Blue’.

The options’ book has a few missing chapters but

my teacher says that acceptance, not hope,

is the best weapon against dreams.

 

I learn that I was not born a slave but

I became one.

boy

Photograph: @John Stadnicki

A Day at the Office

On Monday morning, I receive an updated version of

my handbook to freedom.

The spring is ready.

Without any fault, all of us hear the truth with a different voice,

as we continue the historic dispute over the body count.

 

The perfect war victims are lost

in the overwhelming testimony to the reality’s carnage.

Another century of fear unravels before Vivian Maier’s blunt apron,

like an atomic flower that grows overnight.

 

The collective memory has started rehearsals

for a prayer written on damaged bridges.

Those who have never been taught how to be free

escaped in the wild to make the world theirs.

foggy-railway-1

Photograph: @John Stadnicki, ‘Directions’, 2014

In Other Words, Freedom

The fatal morning Europe woke up and thought it had something to say,

there was nobody else left in the world able to listen.

Oh, earth, the bones had gathered to queue for bread,

by the front door at Saint Joseph seminary.

 

An ordinary day for ordinary death.

The bakery opened and closed.

The workers arrived on time for a last shift then went home.

The ovens had no traces of grain.

 

The ink stained hope filled up rusty water pipes.

The crowds’ whisper went on, up the hill, out of the city.

 

After that, freedom meant nothing.

It all came down to

who could hold the front running place the longest.

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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

Thought

I do not mind sleeping in the frost
knowing
somewhere you
travel the seas.
Free like a full stop on a clean page.

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