Tuesday, May 8, 2018

"New Year, Old Quest" by Alessio Zanelli

South Yorkshire Run, Digital Photograph
Alessio Zanelli

New Year, Old Quest
Alessio Zanelli

Ravens flock patrolling desert pastures,
Gargoyles keep watch before lone farmsteads.

The muffled chimes of hilltop bells

betray the sound of silence.

Shiny rifts of blue disrupt the leaden mantle.


While duly taking note of that and more,

I scud in search of other tokens,
subtler to recognize as such
and harder to get hold of.

Up Long Lane, down Mortimer Road,
along Penistone Road, and across the moors.

Under a fiercely-torn-apart runaway sky,
in the chilly air of New Year’s morn
let to leak in by the pausing Westerlies.

Pushed forward by days-gone-by,
pulled back by days to come.

On the most glorious of them all.

Poet’s Notes:  A run when most people are still sleeping or sipping their coffee is what I usually do first thing in the morning on New Year’s Day. This year I happened to be in South Yorkshire, at my wife’s parents’, and such an early run over the windswept, deserted moors had a particular taste. Recent and old recollections assailed me step after step while beholding the wild landscape all around (some of which is depicted in the accompanying photo that I took with my cell phone as I ran), and kind of mingled with my thoughts.

Remembrance and observation are regular sources of inspiration for my poetry, which I’m used to writing or sketching out whenever and wherever, even when I’m running. In turn, running itself is not just a physical activity, but also a really intense emotional and speculative process--apart from evoking memories, it helps me find focus and perspective on what lies ahead, be it something regarding my profession or an event affecting my personal life, as well as an image or an idea trying to morph into a poem. 

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