Pensive, on the cusp. A place to be alone.
In bad company, though. No one believes it’s
the time, or scans the blue. All just scream and toss
like mad. They don’t know why but feel impelled to
scramble down. It is no common height. They can
find no path away, giddiness numbs their brains
and melts their legs. Is this chastisement? I’ll have
to confront the upheaval pressed by throngs of
clueless loons. No more times of day, one endless
sunset. Impatient, edgy, yet home and dry.
Could what I’m watching be already sunrise?
None of the survivors remembers. It must
have been cold, sunny with a uniform snow
cover and a high albedo. Or else my
unconditional love for the White Lady
would be hard to explain. I delivered my
first cry in a delivery room of a
maternity hospital managed by nuns,
nowadays a luxury old people’s home.
I can only imagine mom’s joy, beyond
words despite the long pains and the C-section,
until her eyes alighted on my right foot.
To elect the left as my takeoff leg came
naturally, the very moment I stopped
crawling on all fours. It was certainly not
such a minor anomaly to blame for
my sporting failures. Ballgames never were my
forte, teams annoyed me. I was a loner,
but for the rest a defiant kid like most.
Luminaries had expressed discordant views.
In the end my parents, haunted with doubts, did
not give full credit to either. Lucky me.
Decades later roads would pass final verdicts.
The time came to put head and legs to the test,
challenge the giants looming in the distance.
The manifold infinities could wait. It
took Tiberius and Drusus less than a
year to make it a province. I find treasures
to this day, as I walk through the steep defile
to the brink between two worlds. Down one side a
tear will swell the Danube, down the other one
the Po. At the foot of awe-inspiring walls,
above the smugglers’ track, gentians try man’s trust.
Those slopes and crests have branded me deep inside.
call them heroes may be regarded as
an overstatement, but that's precisely what
are to me. Back when I used to ramble
from bad to worse, incapable of telling
from Calypsos, they often banged me
out of trouble with their mighty roar. Eras
have been kind to them. After over half a
century, the dinosaurs' merry-go-round
is still revolving freely, to the delight
of most ultramodern, sophisticated,
mammal-like parasites who'd want them extinct.
Get it together. Tidy yourself up. Put
on a winning smile. Make a nimble approach.
Don’t look awkward or stilted. Break the ice. Try
not to stutter or clutter. Avoid clichés.
Use pauses. Go easy on wittiness, a
bit of banter is fine, too much is baleful.
Wait for a reply. How many times did I
revise this hendecalogue? Probably not
enough. Why has it always been as tough as
laying siege to a city? I thought I was
Odysseus, but I was Agamemnon.
does not exist. It must remain
a fancy, dragging us on, from league to league,
alert to reefs, shallows, tempests, mermaids. An
eternal token of all that we pursue,
which shifts away as we draw near. Tenebrous
landfalls, I've sighted many. Some I've shunned, and
some I've rushed into. I never ran across
Tiresias, and if I had, I wouldn’t
have inquired about my future. Neither faith
nor fate. Dreams, at last, have made me plot my course.
We're through what we're through to be right where we are.
They say you never forget your first. True. I
tend to forget all the others, except the
last. The roads you run on, the towns you traverse
and the hills you ascend, they all have no name.
The final destination is always the
same. And to think I started it almost as
a joke. I didn’t plan on such a mileage,
nor did I imagine it was my bag. I
don’t bring good news. Before, I didn’t know where
the coastal plain of Marathon was, nor had
I ever heard about hemerodromi.
The old roundabout had long been my passion.
I wished to pay a visit to the real
place, where it had spun from. I've paid quite a few.
I’ve seen the circles, the squares, the dales, the moors.
Now I know what I’ve seen is a second home.
And not too far from home, what a twist of fate,
one day I found a gorgeous piece of it, as
if waiting for me. My missing half, which I
was looking for, and which had left home in turn
a fifth of a lifetime before. Twin loves and
twin firesides, that’s what Albion means to me.
rushes to the hospital seemed like a
distant memory. Commuting between home
and the OAT lab was the new routine.
The sea was calm again, even too flat. No
one suspected the weather change underway.
Clouds had been gathering unseen beyond the
horizon. A vast disturbance, no normal
storm, which soon occluded the sky. To its depths.
Acclimatized to downpours, then regular
rain, at last soft drizzle, utter stillness took
us by surprise. Till we had to let her go.
go visit the precinct at random, now
and again, driven by instinct. If there are
people, I normally don't enter. I like
it deserted, at the close of day. It makes
me hyperreactive, expands my mind, but
only if I stay amid the yard. A while.
Those walls of grave plaques cause me catalepsy.
I could do nothing there for more than a few
minutes. To transit the abode’s heritage,
reach past and rise up, I must be quick, then walk
away. Each time return a perfect stranger.