POETRY

STRabismus
Nef

DANCE
DEMEANOR
THE MASK
IN A SILENT WAY
IT'S ABOUT TIME
FLORALS with LOVE
LUSTERLESS FALCONS
SUNDAY
SYZYGY
HAIKU 575
BIRTHDAY
QUARTET FOR THE END OF TIME
THE ETERNAL DEBT
THE CARMELITES
AIR , SPRING
INDIAN SUMMER
BEACH GLASS







DANCE

At the beginning everything was white.  
Death always gives birth 
to the color red.  Space bathed in scarlet, 
turned upside down in the dance.  

He appeared, 
the first man, lightning 
flashing in his eyes.  

The edge of the veil trembled.  
A moment later fire leaped out: she appeared,
dancing in the flames and stretching her hands out towards him, 
looking the same 
in her nakedness, but strange.

He stepped into the fire, their virgin dance smoldering, 
carrying them to the stars, 
purple, lilac and white.  

Nature of man became lighter and fantasy
became reality.  Here, she, 
her sacred body grew twice, 
then another, and another, more...  

Time went by.  Red tinted yellowish, 

so many men welcomed 
the dance.  They tore the veil into pieces.  Clasping 
hands amidst apples, flowers, and leaves, 
now they were free -- green.

Dance changed form, colors faded into rain, washing away the yellow sins.  
The gypsy girl gathered her long hair over her belly and breast, 
swept through the dust on horseback, her hands and feet bare.  Her dance 
brought passion to men, orange, mauve, and cherry-red.  

Woman changed.  The new found power, a dance of seduction, 
her dark silhouette floating to the clouds.  Playing with golden locks, 
adorned with a crown of roses, she became a Queen -- royal leopard skin.  
Bending on his knees, man sent her his   air Kiss.  He dreamt, 
in a dance of worship, the name of woman, and dueled 
for the honor of her name -
royal blue and beige.

Time changed.  His dance grew frenzied, 
legs crossed in embrace, to face 
her bosom covered with lace, 
white and scarlet-red.  

She berated herself, became chaste;  
fastened a cloth over her head, 
deadly white, and painted 
her long robe black.


The dance grew faster.  Man rose from his knees.  
He deserted the past, the new moon leading his way.  
Discarding his purple wigs, he became her King.  
He greeted her with a smile, " Since today,
I'm free!"  Pulling his mantle, he left, gray and gold and gay.  


Her eyes turned yellow with jealousy.  
Holding a Bible and a whip, she tensed her muscles, 
pastel lights spreading a web of shadows.  
She gently slipped off her stockings, 
silk and sheer, leaping and jumping, she 
ran after time, racing the man.	

But nights were the same as before, 
when it was scarlet and red.  
He was free in the mystery of 
her dreams, pure silk and pink.
	
The new looked almost the same,
they mixed up color, clothes, and name.
The wall-clock chimed -- ten, eleven, twelve.  
Chasing man, woman forgot herself.  
Man dissolved into similarities.  
The dance moved in a circle, 
chasing chaotically all the colors.  
He started to dance with man, and she 
wanted to change places 
and dance with both of them, twisting limbs, 
spinning torsos, and forgetting faces.

Linen falls from the sky, clothing all.  
We dance the end and the beginning,
again.  Alone.  White and red.


                             1997
DEMEANOR

My Ego died tonight.
I saw purple bubbles,
in the shower,
streaming down me.
The telephone rang a few times,
while I washed my face.

The day is a memoir.
I carry with me a mirror,
in the shape of the sun.
Red sky, blue-ink 
horizon line.
Emerging, deepening,
So fast.
So slow.
So odd.

                             Oct' 1995
THE MASK

1.

Painted in silence, I walked through the crowd, 
red-red wine spilled over my burnt lips, it has no taste.  
I wonder why, your love tastes like life.
How fragile is the glass?  It's colorless surface 
blends with a stream of water
fallen onto the rock.

2.

Silent chord magnified passion - a magnet of Nature, 
drawn tightly to the earth.
My silent lover, the heavens were yellow, my face turned away,
a hand paints the dreams of a yellow bird that lands under the tree.
I watch the sky with my eyes closed, it's pink-azure,
my silent lover, I'm scared of my dreams,
in the darkness, I'm lying to myself.

3.

I loaned my ears to the sculptor.  He made it one, 
giant sea-shell of glass.
At times, it looked real to me…

Leaning on walking stick made of rose, 
for that I had my freedom.

                             Oct. 14' 1997
IN A SILENT WAY

Branches of black
stitch the raw
air.  I 
stand alone, among
solitary clouds,
Mute green earth,
stalactites, stemless flowers,
woven into the clef
of alto night.

Love can't be seen,
even with the lights on.
But intensity has an eye,
speaking

                             June' 1999
IT’S ABOUT TIME
   
 
The walls vibrate 
in diminishing voices.
Thunder breaks in,
crushing the mirrors.
Silver burns my eyes.
You drop into an armchair,
pulling me after.  
Igrab the barbed wire, 
the wet knot of sheets 
slaps me, ardently.  

Like those dots,
my heart beats
on that pillow.


                             NYC, 1999
FLORALS with LOVE

The city is wide open,
measuring footsteps,
too many for the rain
to engrave.

People are talking into 
honeycombs
under their umbrellas
as they pass.

I'm standing at the corner
where wild flowers wait
for the window cleaner
to wash away the dust.

I feel like eating them.

                             Aug' 1998
LUSTERLESS FALCONS

Everything looks sharper,
mirrors darker, eyes fiercer,
in the room made of glass,
silver, marble, and copper.
Fluid like hothouse flowers
women make love to music.

Back-to-back, men
who will never meet again,
sit there,
in the neon-colored corner.
                             Nov' 1998
SUNDAY

Early morning,
women's hands tremble, 
pink, cold, appealing.
Abruptly, the phone rings.

Hospital vans are windows 
of resurrection or paradise.

Now its noon,
along Amsterdam Avenue
young mothers 
push their daughters
in bright strollers
away from strangers.

Are those wedding dresses
wrinkled and worn out?

In the park, men
jog at dusk through 
the tremulous trees.
                             May' 1998
SYZYGY

I am calling it spring. 
The fire is set
and I watch the pyre
of my death, 
invisible papier-mache of
flesh, burning 
while the people
leave Brunnhilde’s rock. 
A woman in a checkered raincoat 
chases the yellow 
edge of the platform.
She is wearing my hat. 
What do I know anyway
about this goddess.
Only children find 
what they’re looking for.
I can’t even make the loop
hang down from the tree. 
It frightens to have no fear. 
I think of the moon, or time, or
no time.   I move.
She moves.   I stop.
She stops. 
High sky resembles a giant,
Wagnerian shadow.  I jump into
a buttonhole of air. 
       I want
my flannel pajamas 
back. 
                             
HAIKU 575

An icicle drips drop - drip
drop - drip - drop - drip - drop - drip - drop  
drip - drop - drip - drop - drop…


                             Hot Springs, CO 2005
BIRTHDAY

Roses arrive in the morning,
with a loud buzz.
I split a hair,
as the door opens
its unbroken chain…

And I grab thirteen thorns.

                             Sept. 14' 1997
QUARTET FOR THE END OF TIME

                      on music of Olivier Messiaen 



dream is never just a dream
no metronome of time or sea strings 
the glacial slowness of 
how 	what signature it leaves 
in a kaleidoscopic movement
two-three-four-five-four-three-two…

time signature  
the snowflakes paint window white   
a dream of mirrors 
crushed


remember taking the bus alone 
for the first time


marionettes in snow 
keep falling 
grasping to nothing 	
clothed in dream 	 look alike
as buried doll shares secrets with a snowman 
who stares and stares at 
the angular sun

to know how a shadow that passeth away 
keeps color-ship move on a musical wire
the birds flit up and	air

conductor applauses the sky

                             Dec' 2003
THE ETERNAL DEBT


They learn to hide their stolen identities - 
a desperate people of many colors.
Lured into a free world, 
they arrive penniless, 
selling their bodies, 
piece by piece, 
praying and hoping for
		the eternal debt.


Traded by their parents, 
beaten, raped, and terrorized…
bound from head to toe in duct tape,
shot in the head, kidnapped and stabbed,
you see them everywhere - 
they're invisible.
A caged bodies sold 
over and over, into compliance,
always in debt,
		in the eternal fire.


At the other side of a gate,
man in gloves plays golf.
If it feels right, it's wrong,
if it feels wrong, it's right.
He can win or lose, love or leave it, 
knowing nothing of merciless moon
 in the eternal fields.


Morning shields the wounded 
clouds and slowly erases the stars,
and when the dawn washes away,
no one escapes, to return home, 
not even child unborn - 
a cardboard baby,
nobody's 
no one.

                             Nov' 2004
THE CARMELITES

        (on music by Francis Poulanc)


        " Death and life are in the power of the tongue;
        and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof"
                                         (Proberbs 18:2)




Nun's death too small.
A stripe of morning light
holds them instead of
one another as 
a blindfolded prayer - 

Thy demeanor chasten down 
to a knot in the throat.
Disrobed of a linen's gray,
their blood and flesh;
when voices take over
the silence breaks.

They're leaving now, 
walking that cross, 
In saeculorum saecula,
In saeculorum…
Alleluia.


                             Jan' 2003
AIR , SPRING
The trees welcome sunlight -
spring is everywhere,
riding to air 
dance.

On the other side, 
sun has darkened 
the sky, whitening clouds 
diagonally.

The birds are here, 
now, rhyming pauses, 
one for each 
raindrop.



                             Montauk, NY, Apr' 2001
INDIAN SUMMER
Indian summer, 
full moon  
spicy to look at


suddenly, night falls  
her sheer tunic at my feet  
o, love-in-a-mist!

we are riding, cheers
to journey, the mountains 
catch fire at distance. 




*) love-in-a-mist, a Mideterranean plant


                             Colorado, Sept' 2004
BEACH GLASS
         to "the brides of the sea…"
 

The breaker climbs
up the rocks,
its edges, like claws.

They fold themselves in
these sea creatures
who hide their painted nails.

The sky frames the bridge, 
lifting the ocean,
threshing its jewels,

a beach glass.

                             St.Croix, USVI, 2004

POETRY

STRabismus
Nef