Edward Caruso has been published in A Voz Limpia, Australian Multilingual Writing Project, ‘La Bottega della Poesia’ (La Repubblica, Italy), Burrow, Communion, Mediterranean Poetry, Meniscus, n-Scribe, Right Now, StylusLit, TEXT, Unusual Work and Well-Known Corners: Poetry on the Move. His second collection of poems, Blue Milonga, was published by Hybrid Publishers in 2019.
Shadows of shortening days,
rainfall bathing the face and its emotions.
In this interlude, Calabrian wine,
coastlines adrift beneath the Pleiades,
wild sage and salt.
Once beyond familiar coasts,
libations to the gods speed me on.
Of farewells that relinquish all ties,
solitude, mine again,
this crowded departure room,
Cypress hillsides, white-pebbled paths.
Beneath diamond skies a hand takes mine.
In a home whose owners
have just passed away,
on arrival I talk of fatigue
as rain falls through sunlight.
With those few to share grief with
after once lodging under this roof
I glimpse discoloured walls of orange tints.
What I search for:
child-like gazes in a family that visits,
dank homes with remote clocks.
Swirling winds; thick grey clouds.
White-stone dwellings that smell of damp.
Aubergines and zucchinis roasted in embers,
sizzling in plates of diced tomatoes and olive oil.
All that comes in the cognac laughter
of those who call my name and insist their doors are open:
the butcher and mother who’s going blind,
their presents of sausages and just-made biscuits;
the cheese-maker who takes my palm, wants cigarettes.
This town of whispers and card players,
sentences that taper off after four or five words.
I take refuge in an espresso’s perfume.
Follow the downpour across hillsides.
A graffito, ‘Roma piagne, Torino canta’1.
Smoke dissipates in low-level clouds,
shepherds make their way through town,
the Tiber lost from view, thickets
taking over lanes.
Midday hunger, dandelion fields and olive trees,
this flow of water some kind of Mississippi
without the rusted guitar notes.
Wherever song lies, in silence, the space
a moment where it could be possible
to intimate what it is to live without loss.
diggings beside ancient walls,
the Tiber sung into melody.
anyone who joins in:
the light of midday and falling chestnuts
on crowded paths.
Breezes through grass stems
and sheets of newspaper carried past hedges
infested with nettles.
This, a day of rain and polished marble
framed in one church for its turquoise,
russet and white markings.
In search of the artisan
whose masonry keeps me here.
Eternal light of the smooth-flowing river.
Sweat lines reach the jaw.
I gaze down,
unable to see my reflection
in a crowded train.
I bang its door as it speeds on.
Castel Sant’Angelo, a golden moon
beyond the luminescence of surfaces
and absent stars, traffic flowing underground.
Indian summer, glazed hillsides
and graffitied trains,
silhouettes of dour faces,
keep me upright.
Night draws me back to the moon,
a stone covered in shrouds
above the Tiber.
The homeward walk.
Streets that resemble postcards.
1 Rome cries, Turin sings.
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Poetry in this post: © Edward Caruso
Published with the permission of Edward Caruso
Photo courtesy of Brendon Bonsack