My poems in 2013

group photo with fishermen

it’s christmas dad
lend me once more your hand to compare ourselves
among the living people i ever touched
only your hand was bigger

if you want to we can go to the seashore hand in hand
to leap wave after wave together
or you can take me to the puppet theater
where the orange tiger swallows pancakes
while we’re clapping along with our big hands

this year i didn’t grow home bread and
i didn’t burn candles
i simply crouched with half-opened eyes
leaning against high cushions
over a cross scratched with my nails on the bed sheets
lying in wait
fishing like you dad
sometimes hours other times days
go by without any catch
apart from your pale and slippery smile
in the last photograph

why on earth didn’t you put aside the fishing rod

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first snowfall

as if I hid my hands
with gnarled fingers
under my grandma’s mohair shawl
the same winter after winter on her shoulders

and my finger bones don’t stay wise
like cuckoo offspring in a deserted nest
they tremble starving
to pick again that rose so perfidiously red
climbing the house pillar

I order them to stay straight
as far as for me there is a cross
or a point
and then another line

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working day shirt

my body like a bugle
I listen
to the hot sea rolling over sand
to the sky sticking to earth like a mellow pumpkin
with all its stars

far and away
high over this mud
gathered under the soles as big as a mountain
there is my country
the place where I can put my finger on warm bread
on the star from the stag’s front
on the bell’s rope in the old church

from sunset towards sunrise
I too I become whiter
deep into my bones
along with this only sun
always full circle
bound to be turning around my house
as if it were the world’s beginning now

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…still wondering

Like a blue yo-yo ball, the earth swings back and forth towards a child’s fist. The child is content like God before the seventh day. It rains with indifference for hours and it is still spring. All humans blessed to be alone stay like seeds and yeast in their shells without the hope of any rising.

An entire district of churches, polished and gilded, rose over hearts. No more place for public toilets, no more gutters for beggars. They sleep shoulder to shoulder, their eyes hollowed out by hunger or thirst. It smells again like dead souls, they all fall from the tree of life like apples baked on the stove, sizzling, sprouting juice and cracking on the peel. The core shows up as if it were pus under the surgeon’s blade. A flood of souls is deleted from the big list.

I come back from the market with empty bags. My neighbor has a bitter-sweet smile today, like a thread of fabric torn from the hem. The small old lady from the attic passed away. She had her rhyme poems in print at some publishing house and a photo from her youth on the cover. She begged for a soup helping and shared with vagabond cats. When I hear that another human blessed to be alone died, it feels like pressing a too ripe pear with the thumb. Against my will a dimple appears, and it doesn’t taste like honey anymore.

In my room it smells like mold more and more. My bedroom is a pantry with rotten fruits between bed sheets. It looks like I will remain a worm this spring, before becoming the ant left prisoner in a deserted mole. From my white flesh only a few fat sparrows from the nearby monastery will taste. No one escapes from the common pit, except for those who know how to dig.

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I promise to stop crying from tomorrow

a woman at the corridor’s corner at the end without windows
young like the bird without nest and old like the homeless spider
stares at me with eyes like curdled milk engulfing a drop of blue ink

she breathes as if swimming for hours only in the same circle
her fingers tremble on her long Virgin neck
of a ballerina at the show’s end
her head falls aside like a too heavy bud on its stem

obviously she cried more than me
the amount necessary for tears to leave her at God’s will

just looking at her I feel like cutting off a reed on a dry lake’s shore
I pull out my handkerchief together with the candle
effacing my last drop
of salted happiness

Note: at funerals in my country it is customary to give away handkerchiefs attached to thin and long candles. They can be lit during the funeral mass by the attendants.

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