Patrick Williamson

 

 

(England-France)

 

 

 

I travel the road of ashes

 

how light they are

flesh experiences

unfolding wings

 

tension in the small of the back

 

the gap between

launch and attain

 

absence invisibly split

made whole when pierced

 

man’s strength in that

core of words

 

tenderness stored

in those circles,

 

aim, draw, strike

you step back

 

rewind, melting

heart form

 

less

 

 

 

VISITING THE COUNTRY

 

The valley’s soft smoke rising,

the flat-roofed houses

where men sleep as wind rips past rock

and stones, reaching into

the pungent warmth of alleyways,

 

now only a few old men laugh dryly

about the young’s need for clamour & the city

« they’ll be back again », they say

walking slowly, guarding their flocks,

faint tinkling figures on the slopes

 

how little do I know

as we stride, run, and climb

the rocky paths & visit the dark

of a church whose outstretched Christ

stands in a corner, the power of fear,

the bell tower, blood red.

 

On the pinnacle before the gorge,

stand in awe, laughing with the ease

of language, the gestures of spirit.

 

I am your sight and your silence,

& we are twelve seated, breaking bread

drinking wine, we are waiting

on each other, at table,

by the silver embers of fire.

 

 

 

The depths

 

The sea is a great mouth eating

our final helplessness,

 

shaken as in a snow globe,

a world in eye, in that moment

 

I become salt

and lie on the wounds of the earth

 

and it shivers with rage,

 

we have one thing left to solve

before we go

 

under the globe of light-shade

 

we never turned a corner

in our lives, never knew better

 

soundless, open-mouthed

fish that bury ourselves in sand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

____________________________________________

 

Patrick Williamson, a British poet and translator, who lives in France. I also work with music and filmpoems (Afterwords, set to music by Mauro Coceano). My work is increasingly focused on Italy, where I have published two collections Beneficato(English-Italian, Samuele Editore, Pordenone, 2015), and Nel Santuario (Samuele Editore, 2013; Menzione Speciale della Giuria in the XV Concorso Guido Gozzano in 2014). Editor and translator of The Parley Tree, An Anthology of Poets from French-speaking Africa and the Arab World (Arc Publications, 2012). Recent and ongoing translations of poetry by Italian writers Guido Cupani and Erri de Luca.

 

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