img153Manual i

This left hand of mine now packing this page with script
and this right hand steadying the same page’s edge
together reach out to your hands that hold and turn
the same copy in another time entirely your own
or click or flick an icon to resurrect its appearance

which curiously means that exceedingly far
across time and space and despite our mortalities
you and I join hands through poetry in a kind
of peace and harmony that is unshakeable and this
is a bond and a pledge and a gift


These hands touch things that are not things at all
memories dreams absolutions victories reflections
these hands also repeatedly pick such things up
responsibilities disadvantages obligations loyalties
take them on take them up refuse to let them go

Regardless of disputation dismissal attack and
despite ageing and the gnawings of doubt and pain
these hands are capable of latching and indeed clinging
on stubbornly to certain things that are not things at all
that nevertheless can seem more important than life


These skilled hands descend from hawk-eyed
flint-shapers spear-hurlers and master-archers
who possessed the most accurate and unfaltering aim
the manifold talents of these hands came down also from
the most gifted of cunning and calculating craftswomen

mat and basket weavers and bone-needle workers
spinners and embroiderers and tapestry workers
collectors and breeders of grasses and tenders of gardens
preparers of dishes and drinks for ceremonies
brewers of analgesics and soporifics

(These poems have been published in Traduzionetradizione No. 11)

Mnanual xi

From Manual, Shearsman Books, Bristol, 2014
The Ghost of the Mediterranean, the poetry of Richard Berengarten

foto di Melanie Rein

foto di Melanie Rein