Emerald (Softness)

Oh but the spire of that church
Points right at my heart
And so do the masts of the boats
Scattered around
The sound
And so do the poles of the flags
The blue and the golden
On that shore
And the arrows
Of the cranes
Tall towers
Sharp sharp
Because I spoke to you
And my heart
Is bleeding
I am
Of everything
That you bring.

You may think
That the moon emits
Her own light
Because that is
What the sun thinks.
As the green trees
Are alive
With birdsong
So you are
What the bird sings.

Green moss.
The emerald softness
In your voice.


In the machine

A little puzzled,
Sad, perhaps,
Though sadness
Had not yet set in,
Was I the day
I was inserted
In the machine.

I looked around
And I saw
Things more or less
The same
As they had been –
But something clicked
Inside me,
And synthetic current
Through me
In the machine.

I wanted only
That little warmth
That always pours
Into my chest
When you come close.
I wanted only
To hear
That golden softness
In your voice.

But all is null and void
As we become
The wheels and cogs.
As we rotate
And put in motion
Other wheels
Inside a tower
In fog.

‘Oh but we thought
It would be so efficient
To keep it neat,
Sealed and closed.
Oh wasn’t it the point
To separate Dolly the sheep
From goats.
Just think, the beauty of
Straight lines,
Bright lights
And geometric forms.
Just think,
The steady hum
Of clean processors
Instead of dirty noise
Of human voices, steps and coughs,
Their whining rambles, sneezes, songs,
Their halted speech
And broken lines
And all one has to read –
Just think –
In between those!
The partial.
The trivial.
The silences.
The peaks and troughs.
And gods forbid –
The tropes!
All that can be left out
In our brave new worlds.’

Oh had I known
We’d find ourselves
Like this

Oh had you told me
That our cautious, stumbling words
And bodies
Would be erased.

I’d not imagined
You and me
This giant monster
On the staircase
Rub shoulders
To produce
The energy
That fuels
Its pace.

But can I still,
As ever, furtively
The shifting shadows
On your face?

But when I touch
Your shoulder,
Can it be,
Despite all this,
A proxy
For an embrace?

But will my tea,
Your coffee
From now on
Metallic taste?

But can I sneak away
And hide
And write to you
Black lines
With ink
Which leaves
No trace
In the gigantic grid
Which will consume
The planet
Swirling silently
And violently
In space?

In my own words (Black-and-white)

When the silver bullet
Shed by the sky
Lay in my hand,

I had no god
To ask
If I deserved it.

All I had was you
To lift my eyes to,

My surprised fingers
Closing around
The heaven’s gift.

Please help me
In my own words
What happened.

Red story threads
Are dripping from
My hands.

I code them
And print
On black-and-white sheets.

So our shadows
Can make sense of them
In the sunlit room
Of tomorrow,

Black coffee
White clouds.

(My cup
In my stained hands.

Or maybe
The earth
Is shaking.

The blanket
Of ash
Veils everything.

And nothing
Will be the same.)

À la guerre (Red thread)

Was it my heart,
Or was it the drums,
Or was it the bombs
That went boom boom boom?

Because all is fair
In love and war,
As they equally tear
Our hearts
Into shiny red shreds.

I took tiny light steps
Up and down
The stairs.

I was looking
In you
For the red thread.

And war talk
Is like love talk:
Sweet and bitter,
And shredded
Beyond repair.

I love
This gentle dusk
Which now veils
Your face.

And you and me,
Safe now
From the blizzard out there
Behind the glass walls –
We too
By this brutal blitz force
Will be erased.

A little closer (Until it ends)

If you
Just let me start
Right here
With a glance
To lock my eyes
With yours
A word
A smile
A jest
A little laugh
The softening
The silencing
Of these hard lines
With which we draw
The borders
Of our lives
There yours
Here mine.

If you
Just let me come
A little closer
For my gaze to trace
The soft inflection
Of the fabric
On your chest
The little space
In which
The collar
Of your shirt
Your neck
The little speck
Of stardust
On your back
The glint
Of sunlight
On your finger ring
The fold
Of fabric
In between
Your shoulder blades
Where used to be
Your wings.

And here
Let me begin.

If you
Just let me start
To lightly touch
To follow
The light
Your silhouette
The cotton
Gently yielding
Under the progress
Of my fingers
It’s time
And I
Step back
And ask you
To reveal
The dots
On canvas
The constellations
Have ever seen
The waning moon
The Saturn rings
The room
Is spinning
Or is it I
Who spins
Among the stars
So scarcely strewn
The Northern sky?

Will you
Forgive me
For the breach
Of trust
Of all agreements
We had reached
And for the loss
Of bets
I placed
Which are
By croupier’s
Sloppy hand?
A little crack
That will become
A gap
A rift
Which pulls at us
And pulls apart
My heart
A sacrifice
I bring
Which brings me
To the brink
Of darkness
To ensue
And to consume me
Eat me up
If you
The gift.

I pray
Allow me
To trace
With my bare hands
The story’s arc
Until it ends
To spend
The last few moments
Taking in
Your face
I pray
Just let me fall away
From you
And slowly
Into the dark.

In your room

Your handwriting
Looks at me
From everywhere
Close kinship
To the trophy
On my wall
The post-it notes
The books
I’ve read
And haven’t
The papers
To convince
Screaming words
The frozen pond
Of coffee
In which I saw
Your face
Last spring
Your absence
I am
That I’m intruding
My gaze
Glides faintly
Through your things
Trying desperately
Not to read
And not to take
It in
I’m looking
For a place to stop
An island
Which doesn’t speak
To me
The language
Of your distant
Which frightens me
And thrills
A book
I took
With me
Which took me
Across the earth
Last winter
Looks at me
Inviting me
To lean on it
The gift.

To enter
Your room
I think
I need to pay
With parts of me
I’m ready
To discard
To make me light
And thin me out
To let me
Through the keyhole
Of your door
Which opens
With a click
Though thick
And awkward
Of my own key
Which unlocks
Your room
But not your heart.

I do
And hasten
And my pulse
Is fast
So is
Which I postpone
Until I relish
Of your room’s
In which I hear
The echo
Of your voice
A trace
Of you
So near
When I stand in it


The storm took me
Across the world.

And I know:
On its way back
It will bring me to you.

As you are
Forever beating
In my heart:

In the hurricane’s
Very eye,
As in its outer rim.

Winter solstice (Golden sword)

To meet you,
I walk into
The eye of the storm.

And I do it
With my own eyes
Wide open.

And when I am inside,
The sun shines
On the frozen inlet.

And the snowflakes hang,
In their diamond splendour.

And I’m yet to find
My way out
Through the storm’s outer rim.

With my eyes
Wide open
Through sleepless nights.

But please, allow me
Remain suspended
For a few minutes still

In your diamond presence,
And rest enveloped
In your words’ embrace.

And as I rise to leave,
You press into my hands
A golden sword

Forged from
The scarce
December sunbeams.

A handshake
I pay
A dear price for:

A part of me
Cut off
To make me light.

Light enough
To turn into
Pure light.

Light enough
To walk next to you
On golden threads.

Darkness (The fruit)

There is an apple,
And it hangs really, really low.

And it is so beautiful,
So red
And golden.

Like nothing
I have ever seen.

A dream
I never knew I had.

Brushing against
My fingers,
But not for me to pick.

And as I reach for it,
My hand shakes.

And as I pull,
The whole tree

And as I bite into it,
It’s bitter, bitter,
And bitter tears
Roll down my neck.

I wanted
To pluck you.
And so I did.

And now I sit
And swing back and forth
In the darkness
Which engulfed
The world.