I poeti di Wakefield*
We observe the Calder flow
where boats are berthed around bollards
with tight lines
we observe the boats in the hour when
those living in them water the flowers
and remove dried leaves of solitude.
We observe verses surface
from Almshouse Lane’s walls
poems written on tile splinters
to form mosaics
places of passage
door of recall and recollection
where nothing retracts
and those passing by give way
to possible elsewheres.
Red – and maybe white –
seem to be the colours of poetry
like the two roses confronting on Wakefield hills
red from the bricks
white from the windows
from where we look at the great tits
painting feeders with plumed colours.
The Wakefield poets enter The Red Shed
embracing all what man can sense
walls tell of women and workers’ struggles
miners relate their great strikes of 1984/5
miners relate miles and miles of tunnels
where their days were wrecked
in the acetylene lights.
In The Red Shed beer is good and inexpensive
and the words rescuing man’s city
the poems, measure of being and existing,
don’t break the generous dream of rebirth.
Through poetry we discern the Cathedral labyrinth
we walk its ways where beauty
is embroidered with needles and thread of light.
We know the poets’ hands faces houses
in the blue-gray meeting under skies of lands and lands.
We listen to the voices in motionless depth
through Wakefield One glass windows
putting expressions on the scales
hands and eyes flying
weighing poets’ light souls.
George Potts’s bagpipes breath hard
with sounds of ripe wheat and barley and heather
and widen time
where verses dive and sail
and cross over
the soul of the world.
30 August 2014
* Dedicated to John Irving Clarke, Jimmy Andrex, Laura Potts, William Thirsk-Gaskill, Amy Charles, Sarah Cobham, Jean Jaques, Jennifer Burkitt, Angie de Courcy Bower, Viv Longley.
Wakefield – Mondovì Return
Here we are silent before
our visiting one another’s soul.
Although you say there is no word
we now find some surfacing
in different languages,
like children of the same land.
How many colours for poetry? And places?
Your kitchen, where I’ve never been,
never will but know since ever.
Your daughter’s empty bed.
Your pretend-to-be-a-home bath tiles,
ancient memories staring dark-lined,
snowdrops announcing spring and someone’s smile.
Your father’s last toast of peaceful brandy.
Here we are chatty
preparing for our fist nicetomeetyou
and synchronous farewell.
I’ll be in touch
I’ll write a poem
I’ll take your white handkerchief,
make your winddream come true,
hold your hand stained red,
smell cinnamon helping with jobettes.
Hope for your and my better day
(still night, I know,
still winter in Yorkshire –
not much better in Piemonte –
still feeling broken and
not knowing what became of our coins).
But while we untangle and unravel
we feel we’ll meet again
Silvia Pio to the Wakefield poets (using their own words)
Photos by Lucia Ianniello