5 poems by David Subacchi


    David Subacchi lives in Wales (UK) where he was born of Italian roots. He studied at the University of Liverpool and has published four collections of his poetry in English and one in Welsh. He has also begun to write in Italian.


    (A poem for International Women’s Day)
    O but you never made a fuss,
    Even though with seven brothers
    You knew how to make yourself heard
    If necessary,
    But you didn’t complain,
    You just got on with it.

    When he came over to marry
    You went back with him,
    Away from your mountain home
    And the burning Italian sun,
    To a colder, wetter land,
    With two languages.

    You couldn’t speak either,
    But you learned fast
    And you helped build
    Home, business and family;
    In wartime, when they
    Took him away

    It didn’t break you,
    Although it nearly did;
    Even when it ended
    And he was released,
    A few busy tears before
    You just got on with it.

    She’s working all hours she says
    To keep him in trainers
    And mobile phones,
    The one he wants for Christmas
    Only costs six hundred pounds
    He’s not having it,
    He’s got two quotes
    They both came out the same,
    But he’s not having it
    He’s not having it.

    His father says
    That he’ll contribute,
    But he says things like that,
    Makes promises like that;
    They tend not to happen
    Or something gets in the way,
    Something more important,
    Events take a turn
    In another direction,
    Not his fault of course.

    She’s working all hours she says
    But not getting anywhere,
    Not winning;
    The fairy lights and tinsel
    Just add to the agony,
    The open church doors
    For her appear scary;
    I was forced when I was young
    She says, so I’m not going now,
    So I’m not going now.


    Where is Wales in this library
    Between wooden shelves
    Or sitting obediently
    With more confident
    Bulkier neighbours
    Is she leather bound
    Or plastic covered.

    Is she hiding quietly
    In the reference section
    Grimacing silently
    At teenagers
    Playing with phones
    Holding chewing gum

    Or is she at the desk
    With the homeless
    And the aimless
    Asking for assistance
    With impossible projects
    Seeking reassurance
    That she is not worthless.

    He wouldn’t stop,
    Twenty five years
    Of absence spilling
    Off his tongue,
    Startling, then enchanting
    All he encountered
    In the quiet town
    Carved into a mountain.
    By a medieval fortress.

    At breakfast, lunch
    And dinner table,
    In between mouthfuls
    Of pasta with vino locale,
    He charmed wide eyed
    Companions, more used
    To mundane conversation,
    Each flattering tale recalling
    The past adventures
    Of families and friends.

    His memory sharply selective,
    Knowledge encyclopaedic,
    Ability to embellish
    Expert, without parallel;
    Even at night when
    The bottles stood empty
    Amongst the breadcrumbs
    And empty coffee cups,
    They stayed to listen.

    The night before
    We travelled home
    He didn’t go to bed,
    When I looked out
    He was sitting on a bench
    In the empty square
    Waiting for dawn,
    Still smiling after entertaining
    Workers in the bakery
    Throughout the early hours


    I am neither crow nor raven,
    But am sent as a punishment
    To the mainmast high above deck,
    Where each movement is magnified
    And nausea overcomes me.

    I am neither crow nor raven,
    Will not be released to find land,
    Must endure every roll and lurch,
    Eyes peeled to spot any hazard
    On the faraway horizon.

    I am neither crow nor raven,
    Only a wretch pressed in service,
    I cannot escape the tempest
    Or perch on the crest of a wave,
    I am bound to the ship below.

    I am neither crow nor raven,
    Nestling in this dreary basket,
    The end of a rope is my fate
    If I fail my lonely duty;
    Would I had wings to fly from here.



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