New Poetry, Fiction, Essays

5 poems by David Subacchi

Circle Logo

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.


You might also like

Stephen House

Stephen House: has had many plays commissioned and produced. He’s won two Awgie Awards (Australian Writers Guild), The Rhonda Jancovic Poetry Award for Social Justice,

Read More »

And The Winners Are-

Spring Summer Chapbook Contest Winners. Our guest judge, Southlight editor, Vivien Jones announces her winners in CBC III as well as talking about the quality

Read More »

3 poems by Emma Lee

Emma Lee’s most recent collection is “Ghosts in the Desert” (IDP, UK 2015), she co-edited “Over Land, Over Sea: poems for those seeking refuge,” (Five

Read More »

Share this post with your friends

You may also enjoy
Robert Klein Engler  lives in Omaha, Nebraska. He is a…