Numinous Childhood

From Childhood to Eternity Those eyes, still so fresh with the dew of youth, Will see things no poet’s pen could ever entrap; Noble Mexican tapestries, French vineyards of olden silk, Azure domains, verdant realms, celestial weaves, Waves without ships or men, races of a thousand hues, Greeks, Kurds, Quechuan and the ancestors of man….

Carnival of the Dead

Carnival of the Dead Today is the dawn of an old winter. Death, so friendly and chatty, descends Like a pregnant ash cloud to kiss the roofs of our mouths. A carnival of life mocks the dead, Their dancing further burying the black corpses Until their remains lie so far buried That we are allowed…

Inner Landscapes

Childhood   What world is this With so many blues? Birds fly like planes And houses Have balconies for faces. Olive trees Shake hands With palms. And beaches Drown with the tide. Oh mother, I don’t know!     The Pen   Like snow To a mountain, Or the cocktail To the man who screams…

The Andean Diaries

    Buenos Aires and the New World We have left Europe behind. Everything we know, all the crusades, the world wars, the feel of home, even the Mediterranean is behind us. And now we were somewhere new. An alien world that bears traces of where we come from. We don’t feel like travellers we…

The Voyages of a Devoted Reader

Literary Travel Guide to Europe and the Americas   Travel guides. Is there anything more miserable, more cliché-making, complacent and sheepish than those small, compact dictionaries-of-places that you can conveniently, nay embarrassingly, carry in your pockets? All you need to scream out ‘tourist’ even louder is a sun-hat, bermuda shorts and sandals. What happened to…

Day of the Dead

In the Xicotencatl, somewhere in the soul-deserting streets of the Coyoacan neighbourhood, Alicia found La Santa Gula. It was the only place in the whole of Mexico City where she could hope to speak Maltese. Her Spanish was pitiful, lazy, and speaking it elicited painful memories that used to be happy. No: she changed too…

Seventeen Summer Haikus

  A painting that’s green An embrace of golden arms What a day to swim.   Forts without colour A sky undressed by summer Hues of life and death.   At the funeral An insect lies with the worms And the slum lives on.   Time after time now I have asked why lesbians love…

Silhouettes on the Sea

On Sea   The word hovers in the lilting air It sucks in all meaning into itself. Ravenous, greedy, a vacuum crunching up all life All so it can devour all meaning. To cannibalise it, for meaning is also a word, And strip away that universe of connotation Until all something is rendered nothing. The…

Triptych of Fading Pleasure

  Pleasure’s Fading Shadow     The child does not know the man So as the fig does not know the fig tree. And if the child knows the daybreak The man knows only the dusk.   The cold shoulder of passing years Casts a veil of black silk over the nine muses. What you…

Hekk Ikun

Hekk Ikun   Mur aqbadlu jdejh. Mur zejjen il-kwiekeb mieghu. Mur sorgi fuq il-lewn maghzul, Mieghu.   Kollox mieghu. Ja melodija tas-sejjieh, Ara, mohhok hemm: Ser titlaqli jdejja Biex tmur hdejh, U ara, hares sew, Kif tmur tigri wara dak it-tifel B’ghajnejh Zonqor u xaghru xemxi U tbissimtu moderna daqs l-eternita’ – Araha titlaqli jdejja…

Love in the Meander

  The embrace of the future Deposits warmth.   A future generation adores you And you feel the cymbal of immortality.   That love is like space and time Meandering, interweaving, mysterious.   A child hugs what you’ve always been And you feel what you will always be.   In the eyes of that embrace:…

A Poetic Foundation

  The poetic foundation of a new novel…     I   That one embrace, Arms clasped Fingers entwined; That lasts lifetimes.   Mine’s and yours. If only I knew it then.   II   I would forsake the tides of history To guarantee your happiness: And I will. But quickly, before the clouds Veil…