Wallflower

Photo by JB, 2018

 

Stock plant uses violence against silence
of the moderate stones that grasp greedy
tonight breaths of last sun on the hill.
Soon we’ll go back to Italy again
 

You’ll stay here, where you work, maybe for
a year that you’ll add to prior ones.
You’ll stay here to prepare your main hope
that is future and family: news
 

It is hard letting you could do it
like the wallflower lives on the stones
near the time marked there, on the tower
of the closed nice church. Never mind.
 

It is difficult standing apart,
son, and let you go, who knows…there
on each unknown road, you so, so new,
while we are old and heavy and closed
 

Our greatest strong prayer you are
you, together with your sister young.
May God help you to be, to be better
than I am, I who now line up rubble

 

Montferrier sur Lez, April, 4th 2018

 

Italian version

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Arles

Photo by JB, 2018

 

That’s the Rhone bend, entire universe
made by control and impressive power
On the bridge broken by the last war
lions lost stand on column as guards

Creeping culture degrades itself as
evening does at night when always fades.
It’s dusk, setting of the western sun
after drunks of so selfish Lumières

Dirty and urine smell welcome us
in the beautiful town of the past
Now they sell to each visitor views
of their Roman remains and lost pasts

In the square vague chatter of tourists
mix themselves with the sad rituals
of the fast passing life. Coffins, crowd,
ice creams, photos and laughs

The church gate shines with its carved stone
that vibrates at the sun towards Christ,
majesty, centre, pin, sense and meaning
of each thing and of this sculpture too

The cathedral: a relict inside
something else that’s the world,
passing flesh. Not a symbol alone:
beauty going to high sky, real presence

 

Arles, April, 3rd 2018

 

Italian version

St.Sara

 

Salicornia rounds up herself reddish
in the flat sweep expanse filled with
salt that denies greener bright hopes.
Far I see St.Marie and its church
 

Life is eaten by salt, wind and time
every year and for years, for a lot.
It sits tired in a flat backdrop
longing for something that could protrude
 

Then beyond Little Rhone, then forward
where more water this water receives,
earth is fading into a liquid nothing
wall or pass to so different worlds
 

At the seashore strong violence gives
reason to sky and sea to be roar
against rocks and the stones of the port
that protect boats and reflux and me
 

Wind and water run over impulses
to be still, to be calm and to stay
as if everything were just like no thing
and each place were the same everywhere
 

There was time when Saracens came here
from that water, now only a background.
The church was both for people and bones
of the saints a safe fortress with crenels
 

In the crypt Sara waits among hundreds
of lights and she is hope for the ones
that now own no more place or that keep
too much lands in their heart. Here I pray

 

St.Marie de la Mer, April, 3rd 2018

 

 

Italian version

Cold and peace

Picture by JB, 2018


Cold and peace. A stone church is deserted,
swindled out its old decorations,
all ruined, returned, again risen
surely pale yet now surely alive

There’s a silver cross, it’s as a flame
brightly shining. It hardens immanence
of tangible solace and hope too.
Inside it a Wood crosses our flesh
 

In the cloister, where it now survives
– it was sold – spring and warmth
exalt us like the beautiful apses.
Truly I regret old times of saints
 

Hammer blows on the face of my Christ,
all the heads ripped off from white angels,
columns sold, above all the stone graves
desecrated. Every space marred, spoiled …
 

Stupid beasts pushed out history
which built them and destroyed their own faces
so erasing each sense, beauty, hope.
Cold and peace and memory are left
 

St.Guilhem le Desert, April, 4th 2018

Relic of the Holy Cross, Angel without face, body of St.Guilhem. Picture by JB, 2018

Italian version

 

It is difficult to know who best deserves the title of Most Cretinous Philistine – the people who sold them [the columns of the cloister], those who bought them, or those who now decline to return them. The cumulative damage of these various acts of vandalism [begun with the French revolution] was so severe that it is now impossible to determine the number and sequence of its columns – or even the dimensions of the cloister

Garrigue

Photo by JB, 2018

 

Grass and shrubs here devour all the light
and become lust for life and for colours
while distil fragrance into the air:
helichrysum and dreamy remembers

Buds swell fast among the sharp thorns
ripping each winter’s hard and brown scales
yellow colours spread right all around
and the heather’s flesh is purple blood
 

Oak trees show hard and prickly, strange leaves
dark and small; they are head bent so close
to the ground. Valerian lights up as it’s a red
flame and rough bindweed is slithering down
 

In the clear afternoon a strange calm
envelops me; I look at myself
into limestones corroded by years.
We were sounds and too colors. Thus once

 

St.Guilhem le Desert, April, 4th 2018

Italian version

Baux

Pic by JB 2018

 

It no longer exists, nor its rooms
nor its battlement towers. The castle
is reduced to a tourist fun chance,
its shaped stones were removed, dispersed

Still alive is the village; the white
rocks are cut and experienced again
while pine and holm trees are now the bush
calm and warm and dark green spread so much

The so powerful strength of a time,
the splendour of tapis and silk velvets,
the luxury and the glory are all faded.
They are only pale spectrum and far

As Baux does, I am often a ghost
made by hopes and illusions: past days.
I recycle my stones; they are old
as lost dreams, as a presence not true

I would like to be more, really alive
I should be what I am, what You want.
There’s a me in my shaped white heart
please discover it, please come to me

 

Baux, April, 3rd 2018

Italian version

Ochres

pic by JB, 2018

 

Vivid red earth here burns and her blood
raises as violent cry to sky,
as a flame that begs for existence.
Ochres are a magnificent spasm
 

They shine as does the light in the deep
upset when a day starts, like life does
in the dark depths of woods
when they rise from the winter frost time
 

We were primitive, we were naïve,
like beasts innocent starved of senses.
With the hands and the earth here’s a dough
made by amazed, just early beauty
 

As this earth I beg You; my fragile
female flesh yearns for You. You graft me,
for You can, in the space of my way
while I ask never filled true matters

 

Roussillon, Le Sentier des Ocres,

April, 2nd 2018

Italian version