Swamp within Parco Isola Gerola, Emilia Romagna, Italy

           At A Loss


             On a mission. A tiny clod amid still, muddy waters.

             Alone, no dueler in front, I draw.

             Through the cylinder’s bores—the pupil and the gunpowder,

             as the cock rests, waiting for the forefinger.

             There’s no getting round it, the hour is striking.

             A prayer, or a shot in the dark.

             Something is sparkling on the burnished metal,

             and it’s no glitter one can keep clear of.

             Smell and taste—of old, of new;

             of without-a-name and without-an-aim.

             Everything would end by the bang,

             sharp and soon forgotten.

             Light, darkness, dusk.

             The unconditioned jerk of the eyelid

             and the chore of the thumb;

             an instant of sorrowful evening.

             Loud croaks from all around the spot.

             Either big puddle or small pond,

             still greedy frogs leap-infest this foul world unseen.

             Staring motionless, as if stunned—no smoke from the barrel.

             Isn’t it funny? Nothing and nobody is attending,

             yet I feel taken by too many things.



               First published in Poetry News (UK)