is the best place to start
when you’re lost for words
because, apart from the troubles
you’ve saved yourself from
having to think of a beginning,
all you need to work out
is how to retrace your steps
walk backwards, in heels if needs must
in lines in the sand and the dust
and trust me, it gets easier.
Because maybe it’s just a phrase
you’re going through.
And you’ll figure out
that in your end may very well be your beginning,
but – and this is just a feeling, Toto –
we are not in Little Gidding any more
so carry on. Walk.
Run if you must, run from the living
run through the dead, empty words
that brought you here in the first place.
Run until the air burns in your lungs
sounds stick to your tongue
piercing your throat
with peaks of voice.
Pick apart the rain now rushing
on your skin, washing the world
clean of the steps you
took on your way to the end
of your life-long sentence
the full stop with no real cause
attempting to order the clauses
clawing at each other
scratching each other
into your mind and fingers
wanting to spill onto the page.
And when, not if, you lose your thread
make sure to tread carefully
on your own or someone else’s dreams.
Apologies can only do so much
and minds are fragile things,
thumb prints can burn and stay
on blood and ink and skin
so think before you speak
but always, always speak your thoughts.
And run, or walk if you must
carry the weight, count the prints
you left on your route here
close the circle and return
back to the place where you started
all the way back to
I write words every day.
I don’t know where I’ll go
I know I could stay silent.
Those who know, don’t speak.
Mute in the womb of time
where people even cry.
will be enough to understand and say
what the voice cannot.
I touch every instant, every day
the cry and the thunder. I live around.
I could stop and wait.
[Original Italian by Margherita Guidacci, ‘In silenzio’.]
To find the right words
so that language may shine through:
loose change down the couch.
We took ourselves and in our image
created something more.
We took our limits and our flaws
we took our hatred and our love
and created something different
but close enough to home.
We wanted you to fight our battles
we wanted you to be
the things that we could not.
We made you orphans, exiles, rejects
because that was what we were.
We gave you magic, gave you science
gave you everything between.
We gave you names of power
because our words had failed.
We didn’t know how much we needed you
and we know you were never real
— and we still do.
we see past your coloured clothing
we see past your troubled starts
we see past your endless reboots
we see past your every frame
of every page in which
we gave you life.
we look up and hope to see
ourselves in you.
Soar high, word, burrow deep
reach nadir and zenith of your signification,
for at times you can – a thing-exclaiming dream
in the darkness of the mind –
but do not leave
me, do not arrive,
I beg you, to that celestial destination
alone, without my warmth
or at least my memory, be
light, not void transparency…
The thing or its soul? or my and its suffering?
(Original Italian by Mario Luzi)