Thought

just as you are about to
close a window
and a bird
abruptly flutters into the room
exactly like that
she drops her wings on the lawn
and jumps back
into the sea


News

Everyone said I was
looking in the opposite direction
when the car hit me.

The sun was very tall
at the beginning of the longest day,
the birds kept flying above the spilt blood on the pavement.

The crowd gathered around,
covered me with a blanket,
put a coin on my eyelid.

The traffic stopped. The sandwich maker over the road
made the sign of the cross in the air
and came closer to watch
the phone still ringing inside
the white pocket of my white dress.

The unreturned call echoed in heaven
for a long while.

A week later, news got to you
about the girl’s body found by the railway station
in a silver box.


The Sudden Closure

What is a heart, when all the world is dead?
The sound of letters dropped
will not revert the time.
And what’s a line without a drop of ink,
when all of us have reached the closed horizon?

I do not see my own hands, in mud,
as I am neatly seated in abyss,
nor I can talk about the summer days
(they’ve never been arranged or bricked
in any way).

What is my eye without the face I knew
(reflected on the path), if not the shadow
of a burn in your shirt.

And Dante, arh the liar him, what would he be today,
without the greatness of the sacred cloth,
if nobody had thought,
before the word, to reinvent inferno
in simple fragments of repeated hours?

The longer days make now the clouds look longer,
the thunder keeps the burning town awake,
and us,
immortals on the porch,
define the only emptiness which cannot live in books.
The sudden closure of my tiny palms.


Pockets Full of Wings

We stopped the car.
You smoked a cigarette and watched for a bit
the fast clouds bringing another rain to our promised land.
I went out and did not look back
to catch a dragonfly suspended by a thin thread
over the undisturbed waters.
I could not swim but
I quietly jumped in, following
the only spot of true colour
since my unfortunate birth.
I did not leave a trace as I walked the meadow.
The only memory sitting now on the empty chair,
the poem I’m writing to you
from the grave.
HAM MILL 24
Photograph: John Stadnicki


With the Risk of Repeating Myself

I haven’t finished speaking.
With the risk of yet repeating myself,
the struggle to remain a poet means nothing
in front of an empty bowl of soup.
No, the dark sky cannot disguise anymore
the dead bird on the driveway
and even though art, you say,
can hit me in the head from anywhere,
learning to sleep with an eye open
is not humanly possible.

I do not propose an alternative,
just saying…why not come
and visit the zoo at dawn,
take the cloth off the cage thirty seven and
see with your dilated pupil
my two heads resting on top of my neck
leaning forward.
I promise I will perfectly smile, be polite and well behaved
and even refund the tickets
with utmost consideration for your hurt feelings.

We are not in the same room,
nothing to each other.
My liberty is reflected in broken glass,
by the missed punctuation.
You talk, complain that the weather
in Britain is oppressive, I observe everything
through the cloth and enjoy
the crumbs of potato cake,
within the walls of another poem.

20140511-154500.jpg
Photo: Maria Butunoi


Childhood memories, identity and games – Open Studios Exhibition, May 2014, Stroud Arts Festival

The exhibition for the Open Studios, Stroud Arts Festival, May 2014 is now open to the public in Stroud (http://www.sitefestival.org.uk) and it will be open the following two weekends in Rita Fenning’s studio. (http://ritafenning13.wix.com/ritafenning-web)

The address is: Fieldside, Brimscombe GL5 2SW, Stroud.

You will see a selection of installations, collages, artist books Rita has produced inspired by my poems ‘Birthday Present’, ‘Family Photograph, ‘Lesson of Admiration’, ‘Games’ and ‘The Warm Bones’.

You can watch a video I made and listen to me reading the poems, with a selection of photographs produced by John Stadnicki (http://www.johnstadnicki.co.uk/Site/Welcome.html) for my collection ‘A Short Story about War’.

Here is a preview with some of the exhibited art work and a fragment with my reading. The video contains photographs produced by the artist John Stadnicki.

Many thanks to the sound manager Marc Fairclough from South Gloucestershire and Stroud College and to the video editor, the artist Clare Bottomley. (http://www.saatchiart.com/account/artworks/149322)

Games The Warm Bones project-rita1

Poems: Maria Butunoi

Installations: Rita Fenning

The exhibition will be open during the Open Studios Festival, May 2014.

 


The Accident

It was an accident of my being.
The child came to me and hit my head with a stone.
He hid behind a tree and laughed.

The gushing blood dripped down my forehead,
along my face, long rivers of rust.
My lungs, my heart, my gut, my very eye
leaked away in the grass,
dissolved.

‘I shall build a cathedral’ I thought to myself.
My bare hands picked the stone up,
made the sign of the cross in the air.

Night after night, the bricks worked their way up.
The child watched.

One day, the whole city stopped
and looked in my direction.
The bells echoed
inside my hollow body, surrounded by walls.


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