photo: @John Stadnicki
People travel towards the water.
Believers and non-believers, abandoned,
wet books with pages turning themselves,
in the hot breeze.
In times of peace, the bread chooses wisely.
It chooses us.
To hear the summer from miles away – a sudden blast.
Toxic petals float in the air and
drop vertical shades of colour
on busy roads, on silenced barracks.
We all are the collective eyewitness,
the sleep-deprived well;
knowing litter pickers, mending
the gaps in this violent history.
A poem for ‘Europa‘ by Andrew Heath https://www.amazon.co.uk/Europa-Andrew-Heath/dp/B01LYHL716
For further information on Andrew Heath’s music, please click here: https://andrewheath.bandcamp.com/
It was, after all, a beautiful day.
Your hands, resting on the white tablecloth,
the lost sheep in a perfect desert with no compass.
You passed me the tea, I took the newspaper and
arranged my dress in a neat knot on my lap,
smiled and looked the sun in the eye.
The fresh air suffocated us.
The summer, gone.
‘Too much beauty’ I thought to say before I slowly placed the cup in front of me,
‘too much of you’
but I kept a symmetrical distance between my toes and yours.
I stood up and went to the other side of the room
to watch you watching the sea.
On the floor, the breakfast crumbs.
Memory of my passing.
Photograph: @Maria Stadnicka, Lines’, Stroud
I always arrive late for everything.
Stuck in a traffic jam by the docks,
missed Noah’s boat but
survived under water
accidentally trapped between stolen books,
trapped by a word heavier than a stone,
lighter than a feather.
Hidden in the overcrowded wooden train carriage,
radicalised by the anonymity of my blue name-tag,
with a heart growing outside my body.
Each beat painfully visible to the guards
around the Monopoly table.
On the waiting list for ballet lessons,
radicalised by the price of uranium bullets on Mother’s Day
handwriting an apologetic note.
My deep eye silenced.
The familiar solemnity of a world without a face.
Photograph: @John Stadnicki, Bristol MMXVI
Poetry reading: Maria Stadnicka reading the poem City from the collection Imperfect published by Yew Tree Press, 2017. Poem published in International Times, January 2017.
Music: Katie McCue
Video footage: World War One Archive
Installation – visual poem: @Maria Stadnicka, ‘Antarctica’ MMXIV- paper, wood, ink, acrylics, pastels
Tomorrow will come with a sunny spell,
the rain will stop at the border so
we will begin the long-waited rebellion,
as they say,
at the right moment.
To satisfy our need for greatness,
we will politely ask the just questions and
sit on the pew
in return for the hand-written answer.
We will finally go home,
or so we believe,
to master the only remedy left for pain – patience.
Photograph: @John Stadnicki, ‘Street Cafe’
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.
Photograph: @John Stadnicki