phoebe giannisi

(Homecoming III)

lightness lightness lightness

all of life a nostalgia for lightness

lightness of the air in spring

under the trees one noon

words are hovering the sun shadows light

lightness of summer mornings

lightness in battle

when the limbs of Achilles the limbs

of the heroes rise of their own accord

as if god put wings there

where forcefulness is not needed


where there is an excess of forcefulness

forcefulness does not spring out of the will

forcefulness grows effortlessly inside

the body

when the breath of the self is the breath

of the weather surrounding the body

the hand drags in the water

the boat is bringing it

is itself brought along by another force

whether of the engine or the wind

lightness the buzzing of the fly

of the insect tirelessly

scampering ascending descending walking

weightless like a caress

lightness of the air in spring

neither cool not warm

the body spreads and receives it

nothing annoys

only joy at its touch at its

unreserved embrace

an embrace with no intention no goal

nostalgia lightness nostalgia

of Paradise

we say Paradise is

then when

all seasons were spring

the air had that temperature

there was no gravity

you ‘ve no need to fly

so long as you think

you are outside

as if you are inside

that the body moves of its own

there is no effort

it is relaxed

stretched long

it is upright in repose

the eyes look and see

they take pleasure in what they see

they listen to what they see

they sniff the air

the air enfolds

it smells of grass sea

cicadas are heard

sometimes the air may be a little warm

and because it is warm it may be

a little dense that is a little light

the soul stretches

it remembers not

it is inside itself inside its body

I start to walk and I am flying

I am a bird without flying

uphill is downhill

the car is speeding

from the windows enters the outside

I turn my gaze and see

two sparrows

I turn my gaze again

the sparrows have flown away

I do not know how all this exists

the birds in the sky

I know it without seeing them

when I see them

they are no longer there

I was there too

I want to be there again

a breath for a small gift

a small now that does not last

it will stay it will go it will be forgotten

The present moment VI

all of a sudden

as unexpectedly as the eye catching

the flight of some bird

your heart leaps for joy

skipping a beat

something came and found you out of the blue

the absolute present

the thing that finds you

without your asking

the unexpected

a little after that maybe alongside it

the craving

to move ahead fall forward

towards the future

in search of something unknown

for the unrepeatable to be repeated


the first feeling that inundates

every creature

as soon as it comes out to be born

From Homerica (Kedros, 2009), and from Rhapsody, due to be published in 2016, Gutenberg.