Tag Archives: poem

The Garden – a poem

Do you remember
when we were small
and the garden seemed
as though
it went on forever
in all directions?

My fingers itch
to feel the earth
where surely
scars left by our pounding feet
one full childhood deep
must still be there
all these childhoods later.

If I made friends
with butterflies again,
perhaps the orange blossom
and the sap
would smell
just like they used to
on the breeze.

I wonder if
our trees
are lonely now
or do their branches reach
for someone else
to stop and climb them
like we always did.

Do the plums still grow
as plump and gold
as harvest moons?
And do they taste delicious
like the times
we had to fight
the hornets
for the right
to eat the sweetest fruit?

Copyright David Bastiani 2015

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Holy City – a poem

Rome.
The home
of saints
and pilgrims
shuffling in
their calfskin leather sandals
and russet robes
of righteousness.

While, down below,
barbarians still swarm
around your walls,
hoping for indulgences
and begging bread,
with trinkets lying
in the dirt
where all of us
can see their shame.

But still you let
the gilded chains
gleam bright around
your own fat neck.
You wear
your sordid affluence
with all the pride
a bloated whore
could ever hope to find.

And so I weep the Tiber
‘til the water runs
around your feet
yet you remain
unmoved.
All along, I knew
that my few tears
could never bring you
to your knees
and so it proved.

Copyright David Bastiani 2015


The Fruit Seller – a poem

The Fruit Seller

I wander down
the stairs and out
into the street
with my hair still wet
from the shower
and feel the breeze
cold and fresh against my skin.

The fruit seller has
beaten me to it
again,
with his cart
bright against
the concrete grey
of the tower block
behind him.

Hills of golden lemons
gleam
in place of the sun
which is still in hiding
behind the cypress trees.
And I can already taste
the oranges
from across the street.
A smile of bananas
curves around
the sweetest tomatoes,
plump with juice and
waiting like lips
to be kissed.

I walk past again
in the pink afternoon
but the fruit seller
has wheeled off his cart
and disappeared
leaving behind
a hundred peelings
from the sun
lying in their fading glory
at my feet.

Copyright David Bastiani 2015


End of the line – a poem

End of the line

The tram flashes
its yellow stripes
and slices through
the street.
Abandoning
the caged and silent faces
hiding from the day
behind a thousand wheels.

Only the wasps
are free enough
to fly along
beside us
with their engines buzzing.
At least until
the concrete and the steel paths
brush cheeks
and part like lovers.

Further north
we stop
and wait awhile
in the stone cold shadow
of a wall that maybe
once held back
invading hordes
and there we wait
for new and hopefully
exotic faces.

They clamber up
with a bundle of umbrellas
under every arm
and watch the sky
and pray for rain
with sad brown eyes.
But nothing changes
so they sigh
and go on tapping out
a message home.

We rattle down the veins
that lead us closer to
the city’s heart.
I watch the walls
and try to learn
the rhythm of the words
before they slide
beyond the reach of memory.
Earnest declarations
of love and war
and the invitation
to a party that ended
sometime last year.

We swing away
again and feel
the groaning as we sway
with every twisted piece of track.
I grip the rail
more tightly in salute
and stare across
an old grey head
to where the rest
of Rome is stretching out
the night-ache from its legs.

Until we grind along
the last straight mile
that takes us past
Esquilino and stops beneath
the trees
to spit us out
like orange seed
among the weeds that grow
between the tracks
at the Laziali end
of the line.

Copyright David Bastiani 2015