a life creative
I wrote this canzonetta in June 2012, as I sat on the banks of my old life, about to “let go and push off” from a marriage, friends, a house, a good job and all the expectations that go along with our anchors, into the unknown that is the grout of my life.
Since April last year it has been sitting in the drafts folder waiting for a spare moment to translate it into Italian…No mean feat.
I’ve decided to publish it anyway in its original language…and it just so happens as this poem publishes – thanks to the modern comfort of scheduling – I will indeed be waking in Firenze at the butterflies-in-the-tummy end of three months on my own in the gold and silver city.
Il momento giusto.
I woke in Firenze; I needed worlds of time and space
to press my face hard to the bed while my soul talked
and talked, up and over all angles, closed the case
and opened it again, convinced me, and then chalked
on the pavement the cost, the outline of one marriage, unravelable as lace,
until here I am, my core made molten, the mind forked
three ways, binding the wild and harvesting grace
enough to scuff lightly over streets the masters walked.
I was anticipation, the crosswinds that blow
impatience, the assassination of practicalities. So we talked
around the subject until whip-edged honesty bloomed. I traced the furrow
in the mirror, ploughed deep and true when I chalked
up the score, what it would be, what it would mean to throw
such outrageous tidings into other’s ideals, but the forked
tongues who sang their songs of woe
faded in lost ears, when I returned to the streets the masters walked.
L’anima, with the head as captain and the heart as guide,
was prone to misgivings and playing safe, but when all three talked
lightly of not returning home, they hadn’t lied.
The thought of flight to all that came before left a chalked
flavour, dashed with salt, in the gaps between cyprus and tide
and the wash of white where cliffs kiss sea, charting that moment my path forked.
These worlds of days of heat and home debride
the reforged spirit of the streets the masters walked.