early words
Fall of 1983,
Victoria, Vancouver Island. B.C.
Revised 2016

“Always at the commencement of work that first
innocence must be re-achieved, you must return
to that unsophisticated spot where the angel
discovered you when he brought you the first
binding message… If the angel deigns to come,
it will be because you have convinced him,
not with tears, but with your humble resolve to
be always beginning: to be a beginner!”
(Rainer Maria Rilke, Muzot, November 1920)

-----------------


 

Today

 
Today I pay my debt for existence,
it was overdue.
A black&white photograph fell from the wall,
the eyes were still looking at me,
she was a beautiful girl
(her love was beautiful) but
memory is no longer a shelter.
Today I felt the need for madly falling in love
but I realised later of my dismay in secure situations,
so I went back to my old typewriter.

January is not being kind,
February will be welcomed with open arms.
I wish I could read that poetry again
with the same willingness to accept as I used to do,
yet the book seems well placed among the others
and I do not want to alter the casual tidiness of the shelve,
it looks comfortable there –enough of poetry-.
So well I knew what I wished to write about when setting
this page ready for creation (or destruction),
the problem is now I no longer care for it,
I just sit here,
watching form-feeling and meaning running away.
Tomorrow is void.

***

The waiting

i was waiting for the bus
their faces i was waiting
metal metal shine & crash
so, city faces, so many city faces
luna tic tic tacs i was
waiting for the bus

***

Contempo Café

The gipsy woman passed by the windowpane
as we calmly drank coffee,
-she carried carnations and roses- when I looked back at you there was a moment of silence
and your coffee, still hot, was a mirror where you hid your gaze.
I turned back to the window and it was raining,
the gypsy woman had walked down the avenue
with the carnations and the roses.

***

No

no even the possibility of getting out of here
riding the arabian camel from my pack of cigarettes
and writing about how easily one can go to sleep by the pyramids
under the beautiful stars of the desert
could save me from suffering this malaria
that I caught after penetrating in the dense jungle
that appeared to me
on the label
of a can of imported coffee.

***

Black & white photo

As I was playing out in the garden
i so little so happy was
being watched through my mother’s
blue eyes
click
the moment went on to be
a black & white 
memory

***


My sweet old insomnia

My sweet old insomnia,
that’s how I’d like to call it,
as if by naming it I wouldn’t have to accept that it is only me tonight
who sits here again
watching the moon quietly smiling at the stillness of the lamp posts.
Yes, at night, the sound of the clock turns different,
aware of its power
ventures into my ears to remind me of my fleetingness:
“We are nothing more than leafs…
redeemed in the Spring,
condemned in the Fall.”
I often question why is it only at night when I write,
with the tastes of tobacco and coffee
and the silent glows of distant stars by my window.
I wish I could wake you up then,
to drag you from your beds and shout:
“Listen, look, how life is passing by!”
though I wouldn’t want  to disturb the children
for I know how peacefully they rest at night
-more peacefully than we  can ever imagine-.
But perhaps it is only to experience the presence of black&white
photographed portraits, their eyes,
that I’ve come here for, once again…
to experience the sadness of knowing that memories
have only two colours,
or sides,
or tastes.
Or else, to try accepting the course of life as it is,
to understand it,
at least to grasp it
(guessing, half certain)
with words
describing it as a ping-pong match between night and day,
the moon and the lamppost,
the you & i.
It was cold when I first experienced that fear in Halloween eve,
I never quite understood the smiles of the pumpkins
-rotting- nor
why did it have to be so cold
and frightening.
I wish I could write a love song now,
to someone I once loved
to someone I love now
to someone I will love, but it is late
and I will be afraid to wake you up
-I think of you as a child- since
I know how much love demands from us these nights.

There must a million trains departing tonight
with cramped passengers longing for the arrival as soon
as they feel the wheels motioning forward,
yes, there must be many trains rocking like cradles
with a tedious solemnity –just like pendulums-.
The stations will always be empty,
for everyone remains in the trains, quietly,
as if expecting morning lights to help them in deciding,
with more recognizable landscapes
and faces,
hoping for some kind of revelation that will give them the certainty
of having arrived,
safely,
finally.
I had managed to escape from the presence of the clock
and the loneliness caused by the insomnia,
but silence frightened me again.
It is earlier, it is later,
the sun will eventually rise –I have no doubt of it- but
will it matter then?
I have spent a long time watching this blue depth,
the moon has a different smile now,
the lampposts have grown taller and thinner, bluer…
such is the magic of the night.
You will finally awake,
sip your coffee
and commence your daily living.
But now, just a little before, I want to ask:
will we recognize each other?
will our children smile back?
will the lampposts look blue again?
and the trains,
will they be departing? arriving?

***

I have travelled

I have travelled to that kingdom more than once.
In fact, I must admit it has become a habit,
daring to trespass the boundaries
of this my soil,
and to travel beyond the mirror,
and the shadows,
and light and positive imagery.
And then, once there, become
the searcher, and the catcher, and the keeper of gates.
Yes I have travelled,
to Garacunda, and “Neverness”, where the lions went,
South,
and swung along the river Blue, descending the sacred mountain,
and played with bamboo reeds,
and heard music of familiar tunes,
and seen and talked to a little boy (lost) of celestial irises,
and became to understand the “eternal beginner” poet.
Yes I have, often, watched sun and moon together,
and walked beside the twins,
and drunk form the lady’s vessel,
and even spoke to the Wise Man,
touching the skin of his eternal companion
the Green Iguana.

***

Whatever

Whatever, in the coldest thought of my mind,
as if all words had been already written
and spoken,
and all images seen and painted

and yet, some kind of obligation, or law, or duty
chains the fingers to play this cacophonous rhapsody
with no previous arrangement nor disposition;
and to leave it all there, interrupted, unrelated,
to a next question:
“What of it?” or “Where would you be then?”
as if one could answer that easily.

Whatever, in the coldest thought of my mind,
would be enough to give these lines a weigh of their own,
and make them be, in spite of all.


***

It is an empty theatre
 
It is an empty theatre where you just walked in, the ticket is yellow as the leafs
that will again fall this year over the wet streets that carried you here, this
afternoon.
The theatre is solemnly empty, quietly you sit on the back row
(you insist in keeping the distances) and I appear then.
There is silence. I do not see you -I am the actor- and you see me
-clearly- for you are the audience, my only audience.
I jump then, shout and cry. I try to find your eyes but the lights blind me and I
cannot hear you breathing: the act is over.
The lights go off from the stage and I hear the clapping of hands, slowly at their
sound I recover my sight. We face each other.
I take my bow. No flowers, no bravos, only the clapping of your hands. I take a
second bow and leave you there, alone in the theatre –so empty-.
You leave then, and walk down the avenue to the café.
I was waiting for you there. You say you love me.
I touch your hand and you smile. It starts to rain.
I would like to bring a rose now but the rain has sent the gipsy woman down the
street, to the train station.
I want to kiss you –we are young, irresponsibly young, living as birds that migrate
every year down south or up north-  you want to say something and look at me
straight in the eyes. Please, don't. 
I could just light the night that it is already spreading itself upon the streets.
And then you say you love me.  And then I see love making you beautiful.
Yes I would like to guard you, protect you from being alone. But you know it is time to go now.
The gypsy woman is back on the street.

****


 
 

 SANTIAGO GARCIA DE LEANIZ

 PHOTOGRAPHY