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Peter Hughes


Four Poems After Giacomo Leopardi


via Leopardi 35

all over the place you are
my little disconnected leaf
where are you going       home
is miles upwind of here
the wind that ripped me off
my personal beech tree
is this same wind that comes &
goes with me past woods &
fields I edge along damp
valleys & up over the hills like
everybody else is
swept along with
nettles & laurel
chrysanthemum & dock


via Leopardi 36

whenever I was young
& I was always far too young
or far too old
I hung out with this Muse
who snuck me into nooks
on more than one occasion
acquainting me with the top
four or five mysteries of nature
motivational speaking & this
characteristic looking over one’s shoulder
posture & I asked her
how can we become more
literary & sophisticated
whilst retaining the whiff
& let’s call it lustre
of a decent engine oil
but we ran out of time


via Leopardi 37

Al:  eyeing up the moon again
reminds me of a dream I
had in which it plummeted
towards the earth becoming
huge & mental
we crashed into this meadow
kicking up a scintillating
swarm of sparks & streaks
of light & paranoia
hissing through the corpse
of each singed blade of grass
which bowed towards the new
hole in the sky through which
anticipated darkness flows
one way or another &
this is why I’m shaking

Mel:  you can’t be blamed
for being slightly scared Al
your shattered window-box
IS full of fucking moon

Al:  I know - mind you
the summer stars are always falling

Mel:  there are trillions of stars Al
we won’t miss a handful of those
but there’s only the one moon
& no-one sees that fall
unless they’re dreaming


Via Leopardi 38

I’d visualise these unexpected plate
tectonic situations featuring
awe-inspiring lava flows through Norfolk

tall tsunamis bellowing up the Hun
then plummeting down catastrophic falls
past startled flint mines to the underworld

I prayed for geomorphological
impossibilities to isolate
the two of us on some new-fangled isle

but then you vanish from the district &
vision quickly dissipates to dump me
in another ordinary morning

skies clear & even the most delicate
leaves are motionless in this still absence
apocalypse is nestling in my head




Copyright © Peter Hughes, 2016.