Taste of past places

I wanted to write a cadralor for the dverse prompt. I don’t think this is one really, and it needs more work, but it’s late. I’ll look at it again another time.

Taste of past places

We never ate out when I was growing up.
No money for that kind of thing
and where would we have gone?
Only with you, always with you, to sit watching you,
the sensual joy of watching enjoyment, indulgence,
and on your skin, the candlelight.

Hilltop town encircled by vineyards,
Giotto colours, background of ochre and eggshell blue sky.
I never even imagined living there.
Too close to perfection, even longing
for a green-shuttered house of orange stone
would have been a sin.

Shrieking brakes and voices raised,
anger dying down as easily as it flared.
Laughter and the roar of a scooter.
The gutters were full of cigarette packets, Nazionali,
And the streets always smelled of urine,
and pizza bianca from the darkly enticing trattorie.

So many times we slipped in among the students
and workers, the noisy, crowded places
where food was cheap, and there was no menu.
Always spaghetti with tomatoe sauce. Basil leaves.
We were i ragazzi francesi
not knowing enough Italian to put them straight.

Nights I smell things. The migraines do that.
Perfume sometimes or odd, dead things.
But I never smell pines and Nazionali,
sun cream with sand in it, pizza bianca,
Frascati and red Colli di Trasimeno.
I never smell the past that was where we began.


What we would do, if we could

Painting by Anders Zorn.

What we would do, if we could

I would heave these shadows overboard,
watch them shred in the spray,
blow away in the mist,
and let the sweet sea-light
flood all the dark places.

The dog with black ears
keeps a wary eye on the drunk,
singing now, but when he remembers
his bitterness with the world,
he will heap it all on that uncomplaining head.

Sun bakes beach sand brittle,
shrivelling the green of spring,
and we are blinded by wave-glitter.
There’s a haven over the water, they say,
but who dares swim in such fire?

A chaffinch sings in the summer tree,
filling the holes in the silence.
Flowers bloom between your words,
and you ask, how I can be sad in such a garden.
You don’t notice the roses falling.

Just spread grass beneath my feet,
forest shade about my shoulders,
let the wind make music in the leaves
and let me sit with you
while the rain drops diamonds.

Something better is coming, perhaps

Cadralor inspired by yesterday’s Mechanical Oracle word suggestions.

Something better is coming, perhaps

The letter stays unwritten,
the bell tolls in the rain,
and faces turn away, thin lips tightened,
keeping their words of kindness
for themselves.

The river has burst its banks,
the bridge unpassable.
Caught between here and high waters,
I wade into the leaf-swirl,
become a broken branch.

Summer oranges
in the sieved sunlight,
the smell of bread and coffee,
such wealth in this room
that has only ever known poverty.

The scales are level but only here,
on this cusp of time and place.
Beyond, greedy hands are building the pyre.
So much ash in the balance,
and I have nothing left to counter it all.

Night trees roll in a wave of ink,
the fierce day is over,
its heat drenched in the cool swell,
and joy in the shadows runs wild,
dark and sweet as purple wine.

A better place

The Oracle has her work cut out for her, to create a little optimism.

A better place

Who are these people who want?
To be, to have something different?
Refugees from themselves, ship-searching,
looking for an ocean of their own creation.

There is bitterness in this dawn
that drips with cold mist,
the kind that rots and rusts
even the brightest things.

They tell me there’s an entity
up there in the sky or down in the cool earth,
a mother watching, guiding.
I think I feel her presence, a mother screaming.

Perhaps the sun rises for this,
to end these mad dreams,
to dry up the mists that hide what’s really there,
the fallen trees, the orange decomposition of leaves cars.

Only when the storm dies
do we hear the sea whisper, of blue and better times,
a place where the only pounding is the surf,
and spring is soft rain and apple blossom.

Things that fade, things to come

Things that fade, things to come

The roses have fallen
wind-plucked petals
but their music still plays.

The woman wandered the forest
looking for beauty, not knowing
she carried it with her.

Rust has a smell of blood
the taste of iron
in the veins of all things.

My fingerprints on the rock
washed by the rain
ephemeral traces.

When this storm is over
I will see beyond the horizon
the white sails of the sea.



Show me what you mean,
not that mad glitter that deflects the questions.
Can’t you see? I keep it all
and wear it, diamonds, in my hair.

The morning is full of sun
and the songs of careless birds,
but my skin is the colour of wax
and there are shadows beneath the bed.

Do not ask the man in the grey suit,
what is life, nor who and how.
He knows only how to count his profits
reads only share prices and the holy book.

Stop, you say, as if my will is malleable,
and if I run, it will never be away.
Have you never watched reeds in the wind?
They bend, but they never break.

Time on this bare hill is red,
geranium petals soaked in water.
I paint my face and sing,
because this is my dream, and it is blue.

Looking backwards forwards

This cadralor was inspired by the randon words Merril posted yesterday here. If you feel inspired, please use them and send her a link to the poem.

Looking backwards forwards

The seed fell in the night
and was enfolded by the earth,
reaching down tentative roots,
stretching up to the dawn ,
its glorious tree-destiny.

I sat before the painting
that most passed by,
intrigued by something
no one else could see,
a memory of a long-ago home.

Night falls fast now,
and the river’s voice is loud,
forcing its violence
into the peaceful feathered thoughts
of summer flown.

Through the window, the sky is square,
the clouds untidy blotches
on washed-out blue,
a painting full of clichés.
I walk out to take the correct measure of things.

My mother knew more than she ever said,
for fear of appearing stupid, out of turn.
I remember her especially in the kitchen,
the love in every gesture,
in every cubed vegetable in my soup.

Fierce and tender

The Oracle’s poem more than a message. A cadralor.

Sky is blue as a bird’s egg
but the lake is black.
Time blows across its surface
filling its depths with wreckage.

The garden wears a smock
of stalks and last years leaves
keeping the green growth bright
cradling the budding flowers.

These roads and city streets teem
clashing rocks and whirlpools of brash clamour.
My eyes and ears full of purple sunset
blackbirds singing.

Temple-churches full of blood
and the worship of death
suffocating with cut lilies
and the sound of weeping.

Wind-whispers weave stories
from storms and a transfigured sky
red and purple seep earthwards
the scent of roses.

Silver linings

Finally getting round to posting Saturday’s message from the Oracle which turned out to be a proper Cadralor.
The painting is by Marc Chagall.

Silver linings

It’s live, she said,
I know I’ll speak too fast,
my tongue stumble on the words.

But the cat in her lap
stole the show.

They lean together like reeds
at the water’s edge, to chant,
worship, but the wind blows away
the quavering song,
leaving the dead in peace.

The wedding party was a mingling
of joy and grief, men and women
with their separate ideas.
Only the red-haired fiddler
was lost in the tune.

Will this rain never stop? you cry.
The sea tosses spray in your face,
the wind tosses petals
torn from early roses,
and suddenly, you laugh.

In this cool spring light,
a storm is a thing of beauty,
steel shafts of rain echo the tall sedge stalks.
I watch summer budding
in lightning flashes.

Things that might have been

Things that might have been

I take a handful of random words,
rearrange them to make some kind of beauty:
twilight purple and pink on a lonely lake.

I watch the morning sing and the jays raise
the sun above the trees on their joyous wings,
the chick dead in the night forgotten.

I said some harsh things in the heat
of the moment, the heat of the night,
and the harsh light of day has set them hard.

I wish these flying, soaring things that toss
storm waves from their backs and surf the wind
could speak the gentle tongue of dogs.

Knit up the ravelled sleeve, gather pebbles
shiny with dew, catch the last sunset rays,
before wish becomes regret, and the night falls.