Born in the shadows
Of extermination camps,
Wailing bombs and
I was destined for Stalin's
Stainless steel butcher shops
I escaped through sinuous streets
Cobbled with fear,
Barbled with wires of hatred
A time bomb in my chest.
When found on the sidewalk
In white stockings
And high-gloss, patent leather shoes
Cruel street children cut my belly open,
Cleaned it out with paring knives
And shaving razors
And stuffed the cavity with straw.
Faltering through undermined fields
Of ideological fences
I finally reached the Iron curtain:
Closed! The act is over.
On the other side of the tunnel
I cannot speak.
My hollow voice doesn't sing Lullabies,
Only ugly grunting
But a straw doll cannot hate!
INTO THE DARK SHADOWS
OF ILDY LEES POETRY BOOK: PAGES OF HER
ARTWORK ARE WINDOWS TO A GLOOMY TWILIGHT
INHABITED BY STRANGE CREATURES AND HOVERING PHANTOMS
VEILED IN AN AURA OF CRYPTYC SENSUALITY. THINK OF ME, SHE SAID
AS OF A GENERATOR, CAPTURING ALL THE DARK SIGNALS OF THE
UNDERWORLD AND TURNING THIS FANTASIC MAGMA
OF ENERGY INTO POSITIVE INSPIRATION
AND HEALING POWER.
A N G E L I C A
Angelica was a pale rose
That grew on a heap of trash
She posed naked for young painters
In exchange for gifts or cash.
She was graceful but not trustful,
An alley cat on the roam
Who would fallow anyone
For a hot meal or a home.
Then a loner came along
From faraway Tuscany,
He wanted to marry her:
Lock her heart and keep the key.
Angelica, the wild rose
Like the wind, a free spirit
Couldn't be held prisoner
By a man who locked her in.
He would not accept her answer,
And what happened, no one knew,
On the heap they found her body
The next day a red rose grew
Are you clutching your boys turban, yarmulke.
Or his favorite baseball cap?
Are you bending over the crumpled pages of the Koran,
Or the Bible?
Are you whispering, fading prayers in Arabic, Hebrew,
Or in English?
Are you hiding your mourning behind black veils,
Or the flashing screen of incoherent televisions?
Who ever you are,
Your loss is the same.
I wish I could tear open your chest
Lift out your injured heart
And heal it.
The diamond lozenges of your teardrops
Are etching caterpillar tracks
On the sand dunes of my private hell-hole.
Indebted to you,
Who picked up the tab
With your tender
flesh and blood
To pay the price of peace
For all of us!
Venice is bare in off-season
No laughter, no tourist boats
No young lovers in gondolas
Only folks in winter coats.
A lone streetlamp broods in silence
Not even the pigeons fly.
An old painter captures the mood
As a stark barge passes by.
I am watching, fascinated
He whips the paint of his knife
And I quest for deeper answers:
After death, is there still-life?
THE LEANING TOWER
When I first got off the bus,
My heart spun, my tounge felt sour:
I wondered if I drank too much
When I saw that Leaning Tower.
Maybe there was an earthquake here,
A tornado, or thundershower
Undermining the foundation
That tilted this helpless tower.
Italians are great artists,
Architects with divine power.
But why on earth would they build
Such a crippled, crooked tower?
My guide put a new slant on things
As we talked almost one hour.
Now I see from a straight angel
The truth about this limping tower.
It was built on shifting soil
Like our love that could not flower.
Will they both come crumbling down,
My heart and this hopeless tower?