THE APPLE-TREE MEADOW

The rise is steep, we don’t
speak much walking up, it’s just
a matter of breathing and sweat
at one with the mud and the leaves’ mulch
underfoot, on the winding
ribcage of the path.
Mud and stones
and a relief for our bones
when after the last brambles we emerge
in the apple-tree meadow.

The dogs, forced to stick, going up,
to the narrowness of the path,
are now dashing all over,
a scattering of legs’ shots.
Here in spring the apple-blossoms
sprout like fists, like silent laughs.
Here our skin breathes each gust of wind
as if bathed in the prowling
of a thousand eyes.

You know how it would be great
just to walk very slowly here
and then stop, no need to go further,
rest would be all in the grass
where you can leave the shreds that you are
and open up your tight cluster of dams
and pour yourself over like a swarm
into the earth’s veins, settled and unleashed
under the sky’s palm.



THE BIG LEAP

Down the gravel path towards the big meadow
where you for the first time saw a salamander-
those blacks and yellows standing out
while it slowly strove on its crossing-
I throw the stick and think
of my two dogs running after it,
the younger, still very young, actually
just running after her older friend,
imitating her in everything like we all
at a point have done, even before thinking-
enjoying emulating an elder.
I throw the stick and they
rush down into the meadow.
Soon it will be autumn, with less grass
the meadow will look wider, open
towards the mountain behind.
So bare and wide then in winter.
What I prefer. Wide like a long breath,
that makes me think of more dogs in the future
running after the stick, other dogs
and another arm throwing it,
not mine, painful and weak recently,
a younger arm, stronger, not mine or

not exactly mine, in this wider breath
on the wide meadow, trying the right breathing
to befriend the big leap.



THE WIND IN THE LEAVES

April storm,
on the path downhill the gusts
wind and weave
into the beeches and hanging oaks.
A light rain breathes,
swarms of nimble drops,
as if they were eyes,
you feel the silver needles
on the back of your neck,
the touch and run
of the sky’s skin.
A single, vast cloud
hangs, with a lightening
in its dark palm.
You know, walking downhill,
the widespread shuffling,
the busy breathing
of this green that contains
slivers of sunlight
and a countenance so full
of air and horizon
that its seriousness is mellowed
by its own trust.
Here where your solitude
has always been evident,
in the waving maze of leaves,
in the silence that sways.
And you know that if you could choose
the place to disappear
it would be here.



ROUTINE

We are at the table and have just
finished lunch, you are
reading my poem.
I stare outside, at the old
huge banana leaves,
at their slow waving, their vast green
and their rust-like tips ending
with a jagged black line.
And behind, the yellow wall
with stains whose shapes
I’ve memorized,
clouds that never change.
You keep reading the poem, another
possible asset sailing
on foundations of silence. Then my stomach rumbles, as ever
and you say: “What’s this?”
and laugh, as ever.
Time lingers
with the banana leaves, while I am
courting inside
the words you are taking in,
thin clouds’ strips
over the silence.