Bartolomeo

When you too stop in this great
motorway caff and see
your own exhausted face run
on the windows, on the aluminium counter,

it'll be an evening like this
that breaks up in wind the light
and clouds of the day, it'll be
a great moment:
only you and I will know.
You will set off again
slightly upset, with almost a stir
of memory and the separate silences
of the shelves of objects, the petrolpump men and their caps,
you'll feel behind your nimbly
becoming a poem.

The happiness of time is saying yes
you are there, a hidden power
gives you a shock, not my
maturity, not my growing old -
the real likeness between us
is in a place where it can't be seen.

My son, my traveller,
it's going to be your hell, your talent
this sense of hearing like a dog's or angel's
which picks up as one tune the swing of the planets
and the fall of a pill in glass
two storeys down, where two old people
are being cared for.
This very noisy love
will be your father, the real one.
Stay longer here in the motorway caff,
it'll please me in the dark to see you again…

adieu

Adieu II

If you had stayed here
the conversation could continue
and on the hands that you hold on your lap
I would rest my white eyes.

 

You would be the word's calm
and the tiny dam which momentarily holds back
the full…

 

But no, you were saying,
already gone from your own grief
and from mine, which used to start things off,

 

leaving me and my house
like two useless things
for your heart to be -
God, you who love divas
don't permit her past to
turn into dust

and nail the pain into me
as something good.

A Giuseppe Ungaretti, visto di notte alla televisione leggere "I fiumi"

To Giuseppe Ungaretti,
seen at night on Tv reading"Rivers"

I don't myself have rivers,
I've never lived learning out
with my face over the water
that still or eddying round
carves through the city, ennobbles or in whirls
steals away all its thoughts.
I've not had
flights or wide stone steps on which to lie stretched out
losing under the sunshine
the light of the intellect, dozing off.
I had avenues,
streets broad and full of noise, the high trajectory
of slip-roads,
those open arms of a mother who is poor
veins by which every kind of stuff
comes into town.
I have had avenues of trees
or blasts of vertigo between the steel of walls
and darkened glass.
The confusion
Makes them identical, under the rain
they amount to hell,
frenzy.
But at night, when night
Does fall
they are drawn again,
fresh avenues
of shade and loneliness,
when the drooping necks of lamp-posts
light them up and the switching off
of the last advertisement signs.
They begin to move then, very lightly,
they branch out, perhaps the whole city,
rotates a little;
somebody ends up
face to face with a castle or a
cathedral, others lose their tan
under the orange lamps of a motorway junction -
the avenues at night breathe
with the leaves of plane-trees, broad black fans,
with the grillet of the underground and the lullaby air
that sleeps over children.
They draw breath when
the passenger of the last tram goes -
The avenues give me
a special life
which is not tears and joy,
no, but a windy emptiness,
a sense of going
going on and on
that comes to me from who knows what seas,
what valleys, what great rivers.

 

In the wake of a new report on the loss of robots on the planet Mars

Robots are dying in Mars.
quite a few of them strolled about
up there for some time
but they say that two
slowed down their transmissions, emitted
weaker and weaker signals, and nothing, in the end,
nothing more.
Their motionless bodies
no longer hear the stars.
could it be they learned another language,
found a new darkness
which leaves them astonished about everything? 
Men
with glasses stare at
them on video screens,
observe them
seated on revolving chairs
inside glass buildings.
They have produced
happy, unforgettable names
and dispatched press communiqués,
Tv programs in front of kids
with gentle blood in their hearts
and large red Coke cans
in their hands.
But now they hardly think of them,
whisper about and confuse them.
They are the only things without life -
they will never return.
Vast solitary expanses
if you utter a cry, if you
laugh
I'm the one who hears it,

it's me
that it follows
it searches for my voice.
there is no identifiable debris,
says a bip intercepted from who knows what radar,
there isn't
only history, history
isn't all there is.

Forlì

Forlì II

Now and again you reappear
seated at your bar
in front of the station.
As before you don't have
important things to tell me
again and only that greeting.
But now I have learned
from what eternity it came
and why my heart jumped,
you were the first to point out to me
in the horizon the flight and natural
union of sky and earth.
You didn't possess my millions
of words, but you knew how to give me
that sign, not even smiling,
by which blood recognises
its far-off paradise.