III.

Shatter my stillness
let the colours run loose in my veins
razor-sharp and burning,
blinding liquid light
Shatter my stillness – if you can

let me lose my self
let me simply be the moment
confuse directions altogether
see how my bones turn into glass
see my colours twinkle through them
hear their screeching sound – pitch-black
echoes of your words

Shatter my stillness, if you will
just don’t ask me if I am afraid.

II.

At times, as I look into the mirror
I see you in my own eyes.
Just a sparkle, that has never been there before.

Yet at times, as I look into the mirror
I see nothing but emptiness
grown a bit greater again.

At times, as I walk beneath the wind-blown clouds
I feel the endlessness you so readily saw in me.
But at times, as I catch my reflection in a window,
I realise I’m invisible once more.

At times I hear your accent in my words,
taste faraway places in my morning tea

– then I revert to drinking coffee
as colours pale, snow falls, and stories fade.

I.

At first, it was your presence
– for all that you were so far away –
a presence of all that we shared
in the winds and in the rain
in the completeness I lived in every moment
without yearning or regret
in my very smiles, even.

And still: still I’m as content as can be
still I think of you when it rains
still I smile in a way I’d never known before.

But now, each day a bit stronger, it’s your absence
in my decontrentration
in all the things we never did
in how I remember you more often
yet can recall less and less.

La fuga genovese

I left – to get as far as I may
I also had to come back
to believe that even if I disappear
the town stays anchored.

You left – to get as far as you may / there was a time when
you also had to come back / to show that it is possible and
to believe that, though you had disappeared / it is worth coming back but
the town stays anchored / returning is not a duty.

It is part of the process, a return / a moment to place in a box
to show that it is possible / all this passionate life
that it is worth the effort / (dis) illusion, love and conflict
and that it is not a duty / to come inside to close it all

So you placed in a box / as if one could start all over
all that passionate life / to live what there was before
(dis) illusion, love and conflict / the hope that not all was lost
and came inside – then closed it all / it sung with a siren’s voice

Every bottled-up story which / whith so much force, such enchantment
was still present / was calling me to return
only if resumed and lived through /the endless music of the town
could reach the end / embraced by that folded sea

You left – to settle / for that moment, so fleeting
for a past-already-historic / but too powerful
to doubt its present of a time / to let it go
was imposssible – even for an instant / a counterpoint was needed

Not wanting to / I left – and I am content, at last, with having
let got of that moment / that past-almost-historic
it was, after all, possible / to doubt its present of a time
having found a counterpoint / it does not even cross my mind

Birds of Babylon

“Thou didst love the brilliant Allalu bird
But thou didst smite him and break his wing;
He stands in the woods and cries “O my wing”.”

(Gilgamesh to Ishtar)

 

Since then, I hear them all.

The flutter of frightened wings in the trills of flute and zither.
(my own wings, though nonexistent, shiver in answer.)

Since then, I hear them all.

The thunder of Anzu’s wings, as he storms over, struggling under the weight of his stolen treasure, the Tablet of Destinies.

Allalu’s wordless songs of joy, entrancing, flowing through me as I dance.

 

Since then, I hear them all.

Anzu’s rebellious cries, a fiery staccato.
Hear me now, ye all, and undestand!
For I have read the Tablet, and I know these laws are unjust and cruel.
Help me now, ye all, to break it,
let us make our laws anew!

My own name, now whispered, now called out,
sweet-sounding in the voice of Allalu.
(– and I feel the Mother of my name stirring deep within me.)

 

Since then, I hear them all.

Allalu’s sweeping verses,
caressing words of promise and of love.
My dear, I’d fly away with you
my love I’ll fly away with you

The eerie chirping of the spirits of the Dead,
praising and cursing their Lady Ereshkigal
under the same breath
praising and cursing their Lord Nergal
under the same breath
praising and cursing Anzu, for whom they died
under the same breath.

 

Since then, I hear them all.

Siris’ wailing lament, endlessly calling,
Anzu, my son, my beloved,
who didst fly the highest!
Though hid behind the face of Marduk
’twas the cruel spirit of the law
to cast thee down
into the deepest of the deep.
Anzu my son, my beloved,
where art thou now?

Silence.

Echoes of another story,
of a taste of blood on my lips,
of Allalu’s cries of pain, my own tears
mingling with his, my own doing;
in its place, now, only silence,
bitter honey and clouds to drink,
– and the Mother of my name
turns elswhere, sleeps again.

 

Fate’s mesmerizing song,
as its soft feathers cover my eyes again.

 

Since then, I hear them all.

Babel silence

Dear Reader, the following is a re-telling of the story of Babel. I quote the original story from the Bible (King James” Bible, quotes in italics), but, though I do not mean any disrespect, I do treat it as a literary source and not as a holy text.

It is said that in the beginning the Lord
– the Lord.
I will use this word so that you understand, but as I started to say –
it is said that in the beginning the Lord was neither She nor He, being both Mother and Father to this World as well as a Child to it; and that the Lord was everything and everywhere, and every word was the Lord’s name.

When creating humankind, the Lord (who then was neither She nor He, being both Mother and Father to this World as well as a Child to it) bestowed upon us the Gift of free will; and it was only in our free will where the Lord was not, and it has ever led us to strange paths.

And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speach. And it came to passe as they iourneyed from the East, that they found a plaine in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there. And they sayd one to another; Goe to, let vs make bricke, and burne them thorowly. And they had bricke for stone, and slime had they for morter. And they said; Goe to, let vs build vs a city and a tower, whose top may reach vnto heauen, and let vs make vs a name, lest we be scattered abroad vpon the face of the whole earth.”

My beloved was one of those most skilled in music, and I name-daughter of the Morning Star; and we would sing as the Tower was being built, sing songs of growth and resilience, of greatness and of love.
And all the words we would sing were also the name of the Lord.

If anyone told you this story, they would tell as follows:
And the LORD came downe to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. And the LORD said; Behold, the people is one, and they haue all one language: and this they begin to doe: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they haue imagined to doe. Goe to, let vs go downe, and there cōfound their language, that they may not vnderstand one anothers speech. So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence, vpon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the Citie. Therefore is the name of it called Babel, because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad vpon the face of all the earth.”

But it was not so.

The Lord, who then was neither She nor He, being both Mother and Father to this World as well as a Child to it, and who was everything and everywhere, except in our free will, started to doubt if we still knew that every word was the Lord’s name – and therefore saw the Tower as a threat instead of the prayer it was. And so the Lord (who then was neither She nor He, being both Mother and Father to this World as well as a Child to it) did indeed confound the language of the Earth.

I laid awake that night, unthinking and unseeing, all my being centred on the rythms and lights flashing through my mind, stranger even than usual; and I could, as every night, faintly hear the flowers growing in the dreams of my beloved.
But on that first day we hardly even noticed anything – I did not even relise my beloved had been given different words than I. Our songs were still the same, after all, and so were our smiles; so we kept on working and singing our songs of growth and resilience, of greatness and of love, to help build the Tower.

Now if anyone told you this story they would tell we left off to build our City and our Tower because we did not understand one another anymore.

But it was not so.

For even as we began to realise that there were new words, and that not the same ones had been given to everyone, there were already some who had started to learn them and help and explain. And we all revelled in the richness of these new words and tried to learn them all.
So on the second day, at down, my beloved and I went up to the top of the Tower – as it was – and sang all the knew words we knew to the skies, for we still believed that every word was the Lord’s name. But in this we were mistaken.
For some of the new words were indeed the Lord’s name, but some were not; and in some of the new words the Lord became a He and in others a She, and some named the Lord as Father and others as Mother to this World, and yet others as a Child to it.

And so it befell that the Gods came to be many, and each came to have a different name; and ever since that moment these Gods had existed since the beginning of Time.
But some of these Gods (who were now many) were called He and others She; and some were Mothers and others Fathers to this World, and yet others Cildren to it; and now none of them could be everything and everywhere, and now not every word was one of their names.

If anyone told you this story they would tell that the most horrible thing of those days was the cacophony of the new words that could not be understood.

But it was not so.

It was the silence: that horrible, screeching, deadly silence.

For the Gods (who were now many) could not bear with the thought of not being the One; and they could not bear hearing the others’ names.
So they took the words from us and scattered them abroad upon the face of all the Earth. And they took away our voices and tied them to the words each of us had been given.
On the third day the City remained silent; for having our voices taken away we could not sing our songs of growth and resilience, of greatness and love; and so we could not keep on building the Tower. And we began to fear the silence and longed to sing our words to the skies.
And some forgot that in the past every word had been the Lord’s name (who had been neither She nor He, being both Mother and Father to this World as well as a Child to it), and they longed ever more to sing the names of the Gods they had been given and which they now knew as the only Ones.
And some felt the pull of the words that were scattered abroad upon the face of all the Earth, and left.

On the fourth day I woke up in the small hours of dawn, realising I could not hear the flowers growing in the dreams of my beloved. And then I knew he also had left the City to find the words that had been given to him – which were different from mine – and his voice that was now tied to them. And I knew that even if I found him again, we could never sing together as we had done before, for his voice was now tied to his words, and mine to my ones, and we could never again weave songs of one another’s words as we had done in times when the Lord was neither She nor He, being both Mother and Father to this World as well as a Child to it; when the Lord was everything and everywhere, and every word was the Lord’s name.

 

At sunset, I flew away.