Friday, August 20, 2010

and a poem from Italy's Yellow Semi Colon Pages 07.10 ...

Boccaccio’s Ghost

It’s not late, or at least
Not very—a full harvest
Moon, in all her peach
Glory has barely crested
The horizon—but, as I
Begin to cruise the smaller
Passageways up here

I know he walks with me;
Every evening at some point
I feel his presence as if,
Like an old friend, he has
Just stepped from his house
And, matching his steps to mine
Begins to stroll also

In a tenth century village
There are many nooks
And darkened spaces,
Many spirits for that matter
But perhaps you only meet
The one most helpful to you

I have come here
With a crisis of faith of sorts
Oh no—not a religious crisis;
I long ago learned to let that go
At least, for the most part

No, here, to this medieval village
High atop one of Tuscany’s
Famed hills, steeped deeply
In the intoxicating scent
Of olive groves, their fruit ripe
To the point of picking,
I’ve brought my indecision
About my creativity

Toted along like battered baggage
I have carried these questions
Everywhere without understanding
I was waiting for the perfect
Place to lay my burden down
And unzip this luggage

Letting my life questions
Tumble about freely
Wondering whether
I should stay the course,
Maintain whatever
Status quo it is I seem
To have set for myself
When oft’ I find I am
Despairing of its ever
Being the right action for me
This writing thing I do

I wasn’t here but several nights
Before Giovanni Boccaccio
Began to walk with me,
At first in companionable silence
Then, an occasional comment
About his own doubts
While writing the Decameron
He thought he knew in his heart
It was the right thing to do
But still, doubts plagued him
Even unto his death ...
Even then

I find myself musing about
This great writer’s uncertainties
And wonder at them
With something akin to shock
How was it
He did not know,
I wonder, how amazing
His ideas were—were?
Are ...
Even now

After a week or so
of listening to me moan
Boccaccio is chuckling
in the dusk
He knows I will come
To comprehend;
I will continue
to write without ever
knowing if it is great
Or even good work
And that,
The writing is the thing

He promises me it will
Not always seem enough
But ultimately?
It will be ...
It will.


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