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La Piccioletta Barca - Issue 17

Old Folk for New Poets – Part I

by

The Cellist of Sarajevo – By Anna Citrino

I imagine him sitting inside the ruined buildings
on his straight-backed chair, his white shirt

shining out from beneath the dark of his tuxedo.
He leans forward into his instrument, draws

his bow across tensioned strings–notes tumbling
out into the streets in ten thousand untold hopes,

the crescendo of lives lost, homes destroyed,
quavering in the air between the staccatoed gunfire.

Music breaks from the opened hole in the wooden
heart, adagios of longing that flutter into the air, searching

blindly for a home known only by instinct. Faces
peek from behind curtains. The neighborhood listens

inside the shadows of cracked open doors. Bullets
hurling overhead and still he plays. The strength

of his upheld arm. The weight day after day,
running down the scale of abandoned dreams.

I think of him now at the end of the school day
while sitting alone in my classroom as I sift

through the debris of books, papers and messages,
quietness ricocheting from the walls, and wonder—

what voice, what sound will rise up from the center
of this room when darkness falls?

The Troubadours – By Isabel Hernandez Gil-Crespo

It’s bound to be a lonelier wait now.

Wrinkling the shores
of midday monochrome
the high street tide reveals
missed calls and meals,
puddles of purpose
in the middle of an hourglass
where moon-fed songs of passers-by
erode the hum of recollection.

Look, they say,
if we’re not loud enough,
she’ll lurk behind our ears,
and steal our stories like the beads
of some translucent rosary.

Don’t they see
we are all stranded here,
selling fables to the wind
and chewing on the bones of laughter.

A Rusty Tale – By Vasiliki Poula

A rousing dance bestirs the air
As light ripples into pleats
Floating in the darkness

Old she looms,
Wheeling round the thirsty plains
And the arid moor feels bleak
The trees grieve
Stripped of leaves and nests
Birds now filling a sky-shaped cage

On this turbid night,
The moon is raving mad
She weaves a shroud around the shadows
A web to catch the sighs,
For she is last in the succession
Doomed to rule
Yet the empire has already fallen
The power and glory, all gone

Sunset furnishes fables for the wretched
Luring songs from the ashes of the dead
The echoes of wrong become right
In the tongue of fiery conviction
Merely to hold on for dear life

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