David Samuel Hudson is a Maltese author. He has a creative writing Master’s degree from Bath Spa University where his novel manuscript was shortlisted for the Janklow and Nesbit prize. As a journalist, he was awarded the national journalism prize for his investigative work. He was chosen as a National Book Prize adjudicator in 2020. He previously worked as an English teacher, copyeditor and translator. He is currently working as an administrator and content writer at the University of Malta. His fiction has won prizes in the United Kingdom and the United States and has been featured on Business Weekly, NPR, and the Chicago Review of Books. He’s published in Scribble, Fatal Flaw Magazine, Litro, Everything Change, Ad Hoc Fiction anthologies and others.
The steppe is hard,
matted buffalo hair that
goes all the way down to the coast.
the esparto grass and the tubers—
shades of hard brown like
a Maltese bible.
The Pembroke garrigue
has an echo of young lovers
or perhaps that’s the Mediterranean
making honeycomb out of limestone.
notice me, it says,
like one could notice
the softness of the Azores Jasmine,
small and white as the crazing
on a broken heart before the tears
amidst the salt on the Lower Coralline Limestone,
harder than hawsers trained
in the dizzy spells of routine
to pull, to work,
to draw back the luzzijiet
into the hard, gnarled, calloused
mitts of men who hold fish from their gills.
Somewhere on this coastline
is piece of clay, a soft relic
that’s flown here by chance.
the moon rises
like it’s porpoising out of the water,
like it’s come from softer shores,
greener and more lunar
than luna calante
as I wonder how the world
behaves beyond this steppe—
how alien to me sometimes
is the sound of the English language
as a response to the graft of Maltese.
night falls black like a cassocked
preacher about to lie on the hard
all is priestly and hard
except for this one piece of clay—
in which I could carve
Poetry in this post: © David Samuel Hudson
Published with the permission of David Samuel Hudson