Sentinel Poetry (Online) #36 – November 2005

Online Magazine Monthly…since December 2002. ISSN 1479-425X




Davide Trame


Sleep and Fury


It’s now

that the wind rises and the sea in front

gets busy with wrinkles and foam,

a crowd of manes of water and light

that can crash through you more and more

while on the shore all is flag-rags

that flutter and snap,

a torn, thrashed, battered, crumbling world,


it’s now

that you see yourself shaking your fists

to the rhythm of the sea’s fangs,

veins of bursting

anger and joy,


but it’s now that you also

see the sea laying down its arms

to the rising and falling

of the furry small belly beside you,

your sleeping dog

under the flapping rags of a canvas

stretched between poles,

sun-bleached cloth

letting stripes of sunlight

running through


and it’s now

that the sea roar

is cries, laughs and white

dry bones and dreams


while for a moment

you really breathe


and ages can pass.





There are the familiar ones

thick with the damp soil of sandbars,

which start to soar but at the end

let themselves get stuck and slide,


then the nervous ones,

gusty, always already away,

taking for granted any run, busy

with nods, snaps, rustles and hums,


and the lazy ones

fading as soon as they can

in fields sinking in the haze

or lagoons with waste blinking in the tide,


you can’t but love those on the sunny side,

their gaze open wide

on Mediterranean shores, tasting each realm

in the surf’s applause


and the foreign ones, from the deep North,

that at once leave you amazed,

luminously ignorant in breezy skies,

a child in a tangle of gold, brand-new chords,


on this Euro Star, in this weather of words.





A word starting at sea,

getting a loud pointed surge in the middle

and finishing in a suspension,

your mouth closed

and in your breath

the same tightness as “climb”.


It entered me

in the quiet of this day,

the slow surf in its trim of lappings

while two terns knifed the light clouds

in a silvery wake.

I stopped on the sea road,

the breeze a gaze on my skin,

and recognized that silence

that is fullness

and tastes beyond anything

you can strive for.




Lerwick, Shetlands, an afternoon of fog,

the fog-horn of a ship, inexhaustible,

invisible and obsessive in the middle of the bay,

in that thick layer of air we didn’t

feel so far from our place,

here in Venice we wallow in the fog.

The next day we visited an abundance of frightening waves

in the openness of the North Sea, rocks, gannets and seals,

my face pale as my oil-cloth.

In the evening we went for dinner

to the island in front,

in an insignificant squat house,

the restaurant a room, small,

with benches of soft leather as in a bus-depot,

but what a richness of sea-food,

and the nothingness of the place got instantly adorned

by the warm haze of our vast dish

as if bounty wanted sometimes to hide

behind a layer of platitude, as if

it relished being discreet.



Sea Stretch


It’s there, somewhere,

the border you’ll pass

where things will start ceasing.

It’s here also, waves beaming

just behind your gaze,

lapping where you walk.

And you’ll continue to sail

in the currents you trust

until the vast

naked strand of a morning

with no more errands to go on,

no routes to follow,

just this unshielded stare,

the essential blade of the surf.

Will you wait in the roar?



Autumn Coming


You say it’s coming early, too early this year,

it’s the declining light first of all, you are right,

the padded shutters of the evening

ready in the air too soon before dinner,

the velvet violet shadows on the grey pavement,

the much, much quieter birds in the shrubbery,

but it has been the rain most of all maybe,

its close, enveloping bounty, as ever

it has filled us thoroughly and we have

walked less, spaced less, breathed less,

being just closer to each other exchanging

busy glances, assessing more intensely

the corners of our rooms, the armchairs

and desks so full of our glows

and breathing words.


It’s coming very early, no doubt

with its quiet, familiar allure,

I’ve been struck by the wet, rusty-red

withered plane-tree leaves

with their frowning and their flapping,

their closeness coming forward like sentries of the street,

like the intimacy of elephants’ eyes,

things embracing, telling us they are a little aged but back

in closing circles,  I know you love the lasting light

of the joyful green grassy sprightly spaces,

but I can’t think it’s too bad now:

the evening slugs on the balcony doorstep and we in the wake

of their adhering certainty after a latest shower of rain,

the world like a huge child all hands and eyes

wanting himself and us

to never leave.





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