Two new prose poems by Davide Trame


A daily chore of yours
in the cold winter dawn
is dealing with the sliding doors
of the boat's cabin.
Broken for ages. Something
we all take for granted by now,
something we know we have
to come across.
They are out of their hinges,
secured only at the top
and stuck to each other all along
and slightly dangling.
So, in a cloud of breath, you get on board
and it's your turn: you pull and fumble
to get in, as if your hands
had to tear the world apart,
then, once in, you push and pant again
to seal off the mouth of the crack,
if you don't do it, being just lazy
or not strong enough, you are sure
you‚ll be stared at angrily by all
your fellow-travellers, yes you would
feel you have failed this round,
rhythms securing rhythms,
where hinges wait and gaze at you like gates,
where swimming souls must know
their routes and stations
and the rootedness of thresholds.

– – – – – – – – –

The Stare

The shallows along this narrow sandbar
tell you about plain stillness,
the spellbound tramadol online us pharmacy time of salt and marshland.
There's a half-sunk chair covered in marsh green
and an old engine's rusty gears
and the usual scattered tins and plastic bottles,
the hard to avoid here-and-now, our dumped selves
we can't get rid of.
But almost unimaginable behind Torcello's
bell tower, in that cleansing aloneness.
The rubbish, you tell me, has always been there,
one with that stretch of mud.
For a reason, I think, for some unageing
particular carelessness.
Part of the picture by now, part of the quiet.
Part of these mute outlines on the slippery path.
Where long ago I saw a boatman walking towards me,
wearing a grey muddied coat and clogs,
retirement, isolation – I remember I thought,
rowing in his early days along weeds
that didn't hide the nakedness of the channels.
The lapping. The still mud. The stare.

• Davide Trame is an Italian teacher of English. He lives in Venice and has been writing exclusively in English since 1993. His collect Re-emerging is published as an email book by Gatto Publishing.

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