Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
 
Chris Saitta Jan 3
The scrimshaw of the air, the long whales-tooth of sunlight
Etched with seafarer’s care and his great wantonness for the sea,
A kiss as light as the bottlenose dolphin cresting from the water,
Then night undressed and falling down like sliding beads of watery stars
From the wet coriaceous porpoise skin and a tail of silver fire.
Coriaceous here means leather-like and rubbery
Nov 2020 · 709
Prayer to the Cold
Chris Saitta Nov 2020
Snow is but listening silence,
Sent from our dark past,
Inaudible ghosts made visible
In the butterfly net of cold.
Aug 2020 · 1.4k
Sunset Whispers to Itself
Chris Saitta Aug 2020
Sunset whispers to itself
~No time outlives time~
The meltemi winds crackle the wild millet,
Graze-feed upon the stalks of Greek plains,
The pelican scoops up the honeyed Aegean,
Waves of sunlit anise and almond in refrain,
Vestigial as the sweet persimmon from Egypt,
The hammered warmth from the flat anvil of Africa,
Sunset whispers to itself
~No time outlives time~
“Meltemi” are the dry northern winds that blow across the Aegean in summer
Aug 2020 · 508
Battle Hymn
Chris Saitta Aug 2020
They said passing by me that they would put out their eyes,
The clouds did as they died across the battlefield,
As the gauzy horses stanched the wept blood,
As the thorns, gnats, and briers, wound into
A dove’s nest of bayonets and knives,
The clouds died in insurrection,
And the night breathed freely and the stars cleared the mud.
Reposting since I cannot see whether this posts or not.  No idea why this site is wonky again?
Aug 2020 · 746
Sod of Soil Hearts
Chris Saitta Aug 2020
Love is not a maturation of voices to the more sublime,
But sotto voce, an undertow of groping intonations,
The sod of soil hearts cast across the reaping sea.
Chris Saitta Aug 2020
The horse breathes in the city, the world of unrelenting pistons
And steam from the jingling harness, and the jangling windows
That reflect the bolting sparrows like fire arrows in the coming night,
Viennese darkness is like the smell of the chocolatier mixed with snow,
Sealed in a sachertorte with the alley-crack of the riding whip on coach,
Viennese sunshine is like the baker’s soul, rising on flashing coppers and tins.
Sachertorte is the famed dark chocolate Viennese cake.
Chris Saitta Aug 2020
Love not the empress curve of your cheek,
The many-storied, empty ziggurat of belief,
The man-handled, baked brick built so high,
Your grotty thighs are pasted with all your lovers,
Your lacquered heart is glazed by luminous grief,
Head-bearer of broken vases as your crown,
Filled with dry dust from liquid stars.
Chris Saitta Aug 2020
Snow brings to earth the ash footsteps of Titans,
Winter in its giant vacancy of bygone strides,
The overthrown birth of frost mother and sky,
~The snow proselytizes all our warm tomorrows~
But the totality of loss lies like a starved lion,
Paws crossed, staring at the cold changeling-world,
As a young white-tailed Springbok ages into distance.
A Springbok is a white-tailed antelope found in Africa.
Aug 2020 · 1.0k
The Plowman of the Alone
Chris Saitta Aug 2020
These clouds of Italy are grown on vines,
Infidels of skies, fruit bearers of wine-veined
Marble, fertile in spite of its own lifeless tableau,
Here thrives the succulent garden of the alone,
Where turns aside the burnt nape of the plowman,
Voyager of the cool midnight seas of the mind,
Up to this arable vine of sighs from outworn gods,
And hears his heart once more give up its throne.
Chris Saitta Aug 2020
Maybe the darkest things are the truest things,
Death, the redoubtable lover of all, the atom bomb
Burns beneath cherry blossoms of closed eyelids,
A magnolia grove of forever fasting lips of the dead,
Pompeii and Hiroshima, twin lovers of rupture,
Graves of the wind now, keepers of nothing and all.
Jul 2020 · 1.2k
Questions for My Older Self
Chris Saitta Jul 2020
Do you have eyes, old man, as airy as the sky?  
Do the trees grow through your eyes, old man?  
Do the starry leaves of your mind grow old with you?
Jul 2020 · 197
The Rood and the Rose
Chris Saitta Jul 2020
Love, if it were told how little truth you hold,
How diadems and stars are less than twinkling souls,
How anyone can fill your mercurial fancy in the fold,
How you lie before God and you lie with man,
Love, books are less old than your falsehoods,
Or the rood and the rose.
Jul 2020 · 505
Let Us Love into Silence
Chris Saitta Jul 2020
The shanties of the shore are the tide’s wives in clay,  
The uxorious sea fawns at the blushed lips of the beach,
A serenade from the sung-exhalations of all living things,
Though eternity is the stillness of silence repeating.
Jul 2020 · 918
A Knight’s Farewell
Chris Saitta Jul 2020
All is gone, all my kingdoms, all my sons,
All of valor, all of disenchanted love, but for eyes
That see the world of nothing, slow in its demise.
Jul 2020 · 446
Sunset over Black Pearls
Chris Saitta Jul 2020
The ancient way across this world lies like sunset over black pearls,
The treetops are marble-made that the riffler of wind deforms,
To know all mother tongues from the quarry of rough stones,
To speak everything at once, Bride of Unbecoming,
The moldering walls of lips, the kiss of vacant streets
And the quiet, wet solitude bespoken by back roads,
The whispered origami of the Forum, paper gods in folds,
Smothered in the false pillows of their own repose,
The wolf’s beard dipped in the fresh pant of dewfall,
While lovers have placed on the stones of the Appian Way
Their perfect hearts like votive candles, cupping the flames,
Looking down the swift arrow of loneliness, Sagittarius its same
Heaven-glow and besprinkled guidepost of a starlit Sacred Way.
Mother of Rome, your powdered face has been made ashen by those
Unreturned home, your far-off travels lead only to the graves of sons.
The ancient way across this world lies like sunset over black pearls.
Jul 2020 · 898
Columns of Rome
Chris Saitta Jul 2020
Every Autumn, the sky a little more to stone belongs,
The immovable strata of deciduous columnar clouds,
Every leaf that falls, Rome a little more to earth’s heart recalls.
Jul 2020 · 378
The Pluck of a String
Chris Saitta Jul 2020
The finger upon whose weight
Depends the pluck of the string,
Does pull back the folds of a drape
Of sunwashed loneliness in afternoon.
Windows drift through you, without home,
Without glass, or any warmth from looking through.
Life in its squared sequence does amass, ecumenical,
Until death its finger does pass in its final pluck
As the touch of the thundering universe.
Jul 2020 · 511
Tree of Ruin
Chris Saitta Jul 2020
There the floating scholar of green lines read,
There the shading peasant of sun-fields plowed,
There the fleeing empress of coral red gowns,
There the graying knight of frost-broken vows.
A tree is a haunted ruin of bare limbs and rooms.

But thought scurries around like a five-lined skink
With its tail shimmering blue as oil floating on water.
Jul 2020 · 360
The Ghost of Faith
Chris Saitta Jul 2020
She kept bed-side by me all along,
Her prayer like a flower behind my ear,
Asleep, I think I hear the petals fall.
Jun 2020 · 1.1k
Empire of Peasants
Chris Saitta Jun 2020
Death is to become sunshine,
To break open the self to the world,
In sunwheat gold and peasant hearth,
(The sun is the only empire of peasants)
Every grain of annihilation is still a seed,
And the sunlight carries the sleepless dead,
Their melted voices are warm upon our ears,
The sounds rooted in, but when we do not hear,
No more than the dead worshiping the dead.
Jun 2020 · 411
Forever and a Day
Chris Saitta Jun 2020
Methuselah, old profligate wastrel of evergreen time,
In giant generational strides, close the striking distance,
Take my face in its failed vision and drink out the eyes,
One fang at my cheekbone, the tendril of silver music
Shown through, pull out its roots and the topsoil of skin,
Blow from your cadaverous lips to the beadhole of ear,
And whisper about the hours of my hummingbird life.
Here you sing alone with weak-winded isotopes of your half-lives.
Jun 2020 · 580
Of Aesop and Sparrows
Chris Saitta Jun 2020
The soul has as its sextant the ribs opened wide,
The heart its compass in fluid circuitous diatribe,
When each to zone the geometry of Greek sky  
With its powdery fabulism of centaurs and jars
From Aesop’s wine of words, the untimeliness
Of sundials to Charybdis’s bloom of giant watery eyes.

To know oceans by the dry riverbed of my pulse,
To scale only as high as the sparrow’s tomb of my heart.
Charybdis is one of two sea monsters (Scylla being the other) in Greek mythology.  Aesop relayed this myth as well.
Chris Saitta Jun 2020
Says the soldier to his love,
When he holds her handful of fantasy
That itself recalls holy wine and bread,
The blood seeps into his own hands is all.

Says the soldier to his love when he crawls
To impotence of mud and stone sediments
That augur not a fleshen but a fossil birth,
Like the bone of the once-masticating jaw.

Said the soldier to his love, when he fell face first
Into the nuptials of lily, delphinium, and dark earth,
I only wish to be the petals for your wedding, my love...
Chris Saitta Jun 2020
From the first, the fluid-filled sacs of stars,
The yolk of yellow lightning and oily rain,
Then the placental storm, birth-giver of roads and oxen loads,
Witch towers made from silk hair and the peasant sucklings of plague,
Whelped there by the milk of the river Arno, by turns pacified or stern.

The Dark Ages is a storm nesting in the sky, built by posthumous stares,
Piece by piece, a raven’s birth from eyes and saliva of roads and rivers.
Of the woman who gave birth, the sway of leaves where once fell hair,
Only her lips hover in the air of warm sun,
Like a fountain in the bare palace courtyard
Suspiring, flowing, extolling…
As absurd or self-serving as it is, I shine a sun on my own poems because this site is broken; you can literally post something that no one will see, but every other post is seen.
May 2020 · 1.0k
The Lost Wellspring of Voice
Chris Saitta May 2020
I remember the hidden chapel bells in her voice,
The little cloister of her abbey looks that opened
To a lovelorn courtyard of cisterns and well works,
The sounding pulleys and ropes from the springs,
I will miss her nothing said to my infinite misgivings.
May 2020 · 538
The Old Painter of Sicily
Chris Saitta May 2020
A vintner of aged leaves in the wine-press of the sun,
Thin-skinned like the lucent grapes from the vine-runs
Of the island trellises and teal-cordoned waves, lowest slung
Fruit-laden bough of sky, Sicily, whose ateliers of rolled cigarettes
And uprolled sleeves like tides tease smoke into studio paints,
The black apple wine of storm made into mouthfuls of pulp rain,
Before the sunrise is gathered again in fishing nets and crab pots,
The coastal towns with their salted roofs of pied clay and pigeons
Along the lava stone streets, and night from the chanteuse of Egypt,
Singing her coral to heron, as when her bird-like barefooted slaves
Left tracks across Old Kingdom wastes, so this dreaming old man
Leaves his wrinkles to these grapes and across the sand-island pillow,
Asleep with his fathers, hay-hauling peasants of wandering darkness.
Atelier is simply an artist’s studio.
Chris Saitta May 2020
Mothers come gently to our rooms, the sunset kiss on the forehead,
Woven homilies from their baskets of forgiveness and spools of yarn.

But for the grave, this heart its coiled sunset unspools, so long entwined
In woods and seas that redden now into the soul of all sunsets combined.
May 2020 · 912
All Heaven May Blaze Alone
Chris Saitta May 2020
Seer of joy but sayer of sorrow,
From numinous lips, the heart burns down,
The convergence of pulse in ash wireframe
Is love, in keeping but not in heaven igniting.

Excise my heart and let it keep as an island
That only beats when the waves come across,
And all the ancient world speaks in me
With light of burning lips and crushed hearts.

When someone dies, the world becomes this
Unreplicated moment of beauty, an essence
Unconfined and filled with no other self
But selves complete, though all heaven may blaze alone.
May 2020 · 903
Because Stones Do Not Pray
Chris Saitta May 2020
Because stones do not pray, even in their centuries’ quiet,
Because the vines are long, only for the sake of length,
Not like the drab Orpheus-song that always up-ruins.
Because vestal Autumn is a bride of noon-time rain,
A faithful stream with her white mist of suffibulum,
Beside the path whose footprints are half-notes from the grave.
Suffibulum is the white veil of the vestal ******.
Mar 2020 · 1.8k
What I Will Miss
Chris Saitta Mar 2020
When I die, I will miss
A woman’s long hair in the wind,
Not a timeless thing, but a thing
Without concern for time,
The way Rome always reminds
Of Greece, and Greece reminds
Of salt air and vines.
Mar 2020 · 1.4k
The Bewitching
Chris Saitta Mar 2020
Death undoes itself like a woman undoes her dress
With knowing look and shrewd-salt of beguilement
Of supple shoulders and bared back, of life shimmying
Down the legs of the longest dark road of disappearing.
Mar 2020 · 1.5k
Aubade for a Forgotten Lover
Chris Saitta Mar 2020
The goddess of the spent moon skulks to her feathery bed of fiery dawn.
Wrens through the uplands wend the fence weft with piecemeal straw.
Lips painted like pomegranate groves, dashed with fructifying sweets.
A kiss is a far-off and warm opening of lips like the sun into forest gleams.
Mar 2020 · 625
The Lit Fuse
Chris Saitta Mar 2020
The lit fuse of her lips touching off
A din in the black powdery night:
Illumined and immolated am I.
Feb 2020 · 490
The Unknown Dictionary
Chris Saitta Feb 2020
Death is the dictionary of unknown words,
Written on the pages of the unbound book
Of earth and sea ~~ to no one, its soliloquy.
Chris Saitta Feb 2020
The farmhand burns the leaves, though the bodies of slaves
Lie at heaven’s impasse in the trees of dying looks, barring them
From peaceful death, the sad emulsified perch of love and heat,
Hung at noon like John Brown untended, bearded of sticky summer,
Heavy-headed swinging noon and the smell of honeysuckle blood,
Fetid day like the coming dirt of graves, the clinging air of disease,
Snake-winding down from the trees with no pleasure of the bitten apple.
Feb 2020 · 280
New Century Love
Chris Saitta Feb 2020
Polyurethanized love,
Polyols and isocyanates
And one part dove.
Feb 2020 · 478
The Going Blind of Rome
Chris Saitta Feb 2020
The elucubrations of the lute, pulsing from the finger strums of starlight,
Plum-twilight of the Colosseum like an emperor’s bowl of plucked fruit,
As the night’s ghost-gods are tuned to Castel Sant’Angelo, Hadrian’s tomb,
Who drink the dwindling hours from the wine-stemmed glass of musical moon.

But come the times out of tune, the dwindling of stone is the going blind of Rome:
Rome is built upon millions of eyes closed with the underside of their lids tattooed,
By labyrinthine aqueducts, far-aging roads, and traceries of Nero’s Golden Home.
Then death its sight-sun blooms through; death the architect of Seven Hills renews.
Elucubrations here means night compositions or writing/composing at night.  

The Ancient Romans believed in the “Di Manes” or “Manes,” the collective soul of the dead.  Tombs were often inscribed with “D.M.” to acknowledge the spirits of the dead or the “ghost-gods.”
Feb 2020 · 425
Fable of the Forgotten Fish
Chris Saitta Feb 2020
Long ago, the mother died who made the thatchwork basket with her daughter for the fish wrested from the water to the stove,
     Long ago, the sun that loved them both died while the rope-wrought hands of the fisherman grew old,
          Long ago, the lid to the teapot stopped its clink when closed by the hand of the granddaughter who would think of them all and the buried sun when she looked at the stove,
               Long ago, someone like me wrote a poem that no one will read in a sunless room with a cold stove.
#fable #aging #fish #fisherman #sun
Feb 2020 · 996
Sea of the Parthenon
Chris Saitta Feb 2020
Marble made of seagulls’ wings, set in flight,
Their beaks foam and crest and rise for air,
In headwinds and feathered drag, upward lift,
Carve out fluted columns by tunneling vortex,
Beams of bluebirds made from cross-sky stitch,
Parthenon of flying tides and nested Acropolis,
Endless fossilized sigh of Saronic Gulf sea-winds.
#parthenon #ancient Greece #greece #sea #acropolis #seagull
Chris Saitta Feb 2020
The fallen leaves are the shrouds of hoof prints,
The withers of breeze reined to time-kept trysts,
Gentilissimo, Cavalieri di Corredo, Italian knight
Whose path by pure lover’s look is made clean.

We go back, we go back to the sun caught by handfuls,
Like the Medieval snow melts into Grecian stream.

Gentle knight, to your galloping song of Winter:
The sweeping rush of grass and gathering refrain
Of bells surrounds the long sloping meadow of
The muzzle, snorting freedoms of wildflowers past,
Leaving its bosky thunderbrush of tail like distant
Summer storms and the slackening rhythms of rain.

We go back, we go back to the sun caught by handfuls,
Like the Medieval snow melts into Grecian stream.

The volplaning bird plucks from fish-eyed shallows,
A gargoyle perches on an ***** key, ever sustaining,
A woman plays the lute from man’s hollowed rib,
As the priests with sophistry sweep the dust off sin.

We go back, we go back to the sun caught by handfuls,
Like the Medieval snow melts into Grecian stream.
But the clock cannot turn its face from its tears.
Cavalieri di Corredo, or Cavalieri Addobbati, were the elite of Italian Medieval knights on horseback.

Here is a post-Medieval portrait (Moroni, 1520-1579) to give you some idea:  
https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/giovanni-battista-moroni-portrait-of-a-gentleman-il-gentile-cavaliere

Bosky is bushy.

Volplaning is the downward dive of a bird.
Jan 2020 · 505
In Destitution
Chris Saitta Jan 2020
The rain-modulated trees and the hoarse leaf
That in themselves tell a love so complete,
Were once the playthings of lovers’ sights
Who passed here once and once and never.
Love the destitution of love.
Jan 2020 · 543
Small Compass of the Soul
Chris Saitta Jan 2020
The mouth is the small compass of the soul,
Without dials, true north, or magnetic force,
The ungaugeable instrument of the voice,
In directionless modulations of undertow,
To circumnavigate under cartographer’s pole
Stars guide our wayfinding-heirlooms of words.
Jan 2020 · 355
Labors Done
Chris Saitta Jan 2020
The clouds loosened from the sun
Like a frock from a tidywoman,
Past care with her labors done,
Crumpled rag thrown over a chair,
While a fan blows the loose ends
Of the apron ties like misty fragments,
The clouds loosened from the sun.
#clouds #sun #cloudy #cloud #sky
Jan 2020 · 93
The Looking Glass of Sky
Chris Saitta Jan 2020
To spend the hours compiling skies, indexing unearthly strata,
Mark the dog-eared page of moments with the hesitant thumb,
Waiting to turn each day and find death a bouquet of words,
All to view glowing creases under the closed eyelids of time.
#sky #reflection #eternal #eternity
Jan 2020 · 972
Rome Sets on the Sun
Chris Saitta Jan 2020
Rome has set on the sun,
Spreads the rays of its streets
And the warmth of its torches.
Caesar commands nightfall come,
To make florid incense and wine
And talk as one full of the moon.
Jan 2020 · 718
Oblivion Conquers Us
Chris Saitta Jan 2020
Keep your trees, keep them for your heaven of ashen dusk
And night like the pale-faced deathmask of emperors,
No reason that the commoner to oblivion is hushed,
These old-wise woods and leaves, peopled without us.

Keep Macedonian dust lightly conquered over the breeze,
So that it shoots its tail like the centuries-sole comet,
The scorched earth left by Alexander’s mapmaker eyes,
Swung wide like his Sarissophoroi over Persian might.

Remember the lesser grove of his teacher Aristotle’s tribe,
They have only slipped their sandals off, to bare themselves
Of sound and the concourse of the foot’s impulse,
Caught the lithesome wind, to flow outside our hearing,
And muse as empire of air and loss and forgotten walks.

Keep your trees and the darkening sky through them
That remind me of the passing into the past.
Never is the poem from tongue of ***** or plow.
Sarissophoroi were Macedonian light cavalry under Alexander, so named for the pikes they carried (sarissa).

Aristotle taught Alexander until his mid-teens.
Jan 2020 · 506
The Poet Outlives the Muse
Chris Saitta Jan 2020
The only love I have known is the bird that lives in my ear,
In the wind and cloud tunnel of long ago, with a hot salve
Of sunshine poured into the singing hole, the warm honey
Of wives’ tales, the remedy of home against the world,
Though the song has since flown.
Chris Saitta Dec 2019
Nothing can be said from the lip of the sun,
To array with full redress the wind-flayed waters
Of the river-run and the naked broomrape of Spring,
Absolve naiads of their blued minstrelsy in venous scream,
Or pour a yellow songbird from the gold-rimmed cup of war.
Nothing is said in the liver-spotted ground of rain-ghosted gardens,
Where love’s monument is a blot of dried flowers and grayed thorns.
Dec 2019 · 373
Sunset Unwrapped
Chris Saitta Dec 2019
What is Christmas but the collected dead to say one last goodbye,
To speak in their fabulous, untranslatable tongues of old furniture
And the lacquered shine from the lighted tree and pablum of candles,
All that seems childhood’s undersong of pine and catch-full solitude of eyes.
Until the feeling past Christmas of unwrapped sunset and having said goodbye.
Dec 2019 · 729
Roman Peace
Chris Saitta Dec 2019
Her dark hair falls like the lowered trumpets,
Soundless as the eyelid-close of Accursed Gates,
Past the city’s outer walls and alley-clotted throes,
Some shield-hearted soldier sent to his earthen fold,
Her blood-rimmed sky-lids of night foretell the phantom peace
Of Autumn like a head sinking down with the fell-purpled leaf of war.

***
Love, you once guided the black looms of Autumn,
Olive-skinned druid, you are a dark everything,
And a toss of your hair flings to dust all of Rome.
The Accursed Gates were the gates beside the Triumphal Gates in ancient Rome.  For everyday use, the populace entered through the Accursed Gates (the opposite was an ill-omen) and exited through the Triumphal Gates.  For triumphs, the army entered through the Triumphal Gates.  For funerals, the way was reversed and the dead exited through the Accursed Gates.

The dead were buried outside the city walls, the land of living.
Next page