Swans Commentary » swans.com November 20, 2006  



Two Poems


by Guido Monte







(Swans - November 20, 2006)  

     I . Basho's water sound

                                   the darkness lit up, mantled with stars—
                                             we 're maskers...but at the end
                                             everything passes over us

     fuerunt olim, once upon a time, primordial lands...
                                        pristinae terrae—
                              life faded away slowly
     (as sometimes happens, leniter vitae labante memoria)
          and vanished into the water sound

     II . History

                                        "tell me who can go everywhere"—
                                        to laugh at our nothingness,
                                        you needn't go somewhere else

                         and the land was left barren

               war'a hawat toh waboh
                         "...si la sfarsit marea
                                        sa inchis deasupra noi,

                    till the sea closed upon us"*
     ( misan ainaihum, ormai non vedono più
                                        now we cannot see them)
                         navigamus hinc alia aqua
     we're going nowhere

     III . Four Conclusions

                                so it's said:
                                        "nobody we are,
                                         mixed with nothingness"

     eka) ru/remostrances,
               against the criminal presidents
               for slowing down the fall-out clock,
               l'orologio della pioggia radioattiva,
                         pentru a inceta liniutele ciasului
                         de la pluoaia radioactiva;

     dva) sneha/endearments, to soothe
               your smooth skin (worried skin,
               about time going by,
tempus fugit;)

     tri) nayana/eyes, to attract on
               rivers suns mountains oceans

     quattuor)                         darkness, tamas...

                         So 'ham,**          HOM


the author thanks Giusy Chirco and Raluca Hartea.
* ...till the sea closed upon us : Dante A., Inferno XXVI, v.142.
** The Sanskrit mantra So 'ham means "you're That."


* * * * *

Pulvis et umbra n.2 (Dust and shade n.2)
(Marie Rennard, Theocritus, Horace, Kazue Daikoku)

Under a tree in the shade
I'll sleep in a flower of sand
enide sighe men pontos,
while sea is silent—

and in the deep reds of dying sun
sigonti d'aetai, winds are silent—

Dans l'ombre, dans l'ombre humide
spatio brevi spem longam reseces,
in the shade, in one short breath
treasure your long desire

et words mixed with laughter


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About the Author

Guido Monte teaches Italian and Latin literature in Palermo, Italy. He blends living and dead languages, and ancient and modern poets, in search of deeper relations between different people and cultures. He was born in 1962. You can find more creative writing of his own on happano.org, Words Without Borders, Segue, the multilingual magazine Litterae, and on BlazeVox (PDF file), an online journal of voice.



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Swans -- ISSN: 1554-4915
URL for this work: http://www.swans.com/library/art12/gmonte08.html
Published November 20, 2006