Edward Caruso has been published in Right Now, n-Scribe, Unusual Work, La Bottega della Poesia (Italy) and A Voz Limpia. His second collection of poems, Blue Milonga, was published by Hybrid Publishers in January 2019. In August 2019 he featured on 3CR’s Spoken Word program.
Song … empty valleys.
Etna’s silhouette. Day turning to night.
A yellow moon
pale over the horizon.
Hills lined by vandalised tombs:
money for bones and stone pots,
magic long gone.
Petrol refineries by Syracusa,
migrations, this island’s tarred shores,
in a sea of eroded plateaus.
Empty roads cut by wind,
above riverbeds the sun’s glint,
ruins, stones whose piled fragments
once lined horizons.
Sea views and fugitive deities:
Some days we watch the Tiber,
study gnarled tree trunks like ancient statues,
dried leaves strewn across clover.
Some days there is a sleep so deep
in the river’s flow carrying away reeds,
strata of clouds above, burnt oaks below.
Name each element. Study its contours.
That moment of capture an awakening,
a teeming world in scents of abandoned fields.
If Homer could live with this chiaroscuro light,
cast lots with the goat herders of our isle
and look into himself,
should verses form,
if he has to wait for them to come to him,
how many days of offerings?
the solitude of refuge beneath an arch.
Narrow streets that turn to views of rooftops,
creepers blanketing window sills.
Indoors, a cathedral service,
Spanish and Italian,
hymns and outside rain that draws in crowds,
choruses the embellishments of spheres,
a 1000-year-old nave’s ceiling unadorned.
The mind, its own refuge,
seeks old paths, Berceto’s cathedral,
seven candles flickering,
an outside voice speaking of sunlight
before thick rains obscure a gravel path
that once linked Canterbury to Rome,
woods and ploughed stretches
just as quickly
bathed by endless joy,
shafts of sunlight.
How to live with the sea,
luminescent grey, as this platform bobs
each time a barge sails past.
To see this shore
after years of living inland,
rigging a slow creaking,
during my sitting
on this pier.
Try to imagine,
our moorings let loose,
the chain links of this pathway
pulling apart and snapping,
a ceaseless sinking and rising,
siren that stops and starts.
This coast with its apartment blocks,
barriers and highways close enough to touch.
That infinite scraping and swaying,
paved banks of this promenade, within,
back and forth, up and down,
tide swirling beneath.
Poetry in this post: © Edward Caruso
Published with the permission of Edward Caruso
Photo courtesy of Brendon Bonsack