Two Poems by Selina Whiteley
The Resilience of Lithe Lemon Trees
In proverbial perfection,
my mind is elsewhere,
on the resilience
of lithe lemon trees,
no yellower than the grass
at the paths end,
and on the green fruit,
not yet ripe
to tomorrow’s bitterness
And when I see the wild cacti,
between pampas grasses,
and cascades of land-slid rock,
I think of you.
and the poems I wrote for you.
And of how oportunia pears,
jut out on mauve skies
like harsh words,
or the secrets of a wild cacti,
fecund with fruit.
Stargazing in Venice
I remember the knotwork
of ten million stitches on a loom
in a crowded, musty room in Venice.
A place you never visited.
I wish my cranial nerves
would form a perfect tapestry
not this tangled mess of rich pastels,
Aurora Borealis of beautiful tragedy.
White porcelain masks might be pages
painted with words and my pen
would glide to make luscious canals,
calligraphies of carnival ribbons,
With needle and thread, I could resew
the torn tapestry of stars and time,
emotions, immutable as a billion nebulae,
In those widening estuaries,
there have always been friends. whose sentences
are lightyears that bridged an abyss of darkness.
And your voice might have been a crescendo
in gathering stardust against the string quartet of time.
Selina Whiteley is a human rights activist and feminist from a family of colour. She has poems widely published in two books, “Up to Our Necks in It” and “the Kaleidoscope Chronicles” as well as in several magazines, most recently, Literary Veganism. She has a poem forthcoming in The Lake.