KCL student poets: Pietro Bordi, Farah Sagal, Nikita Biswal

 

Pietro Bordi

 

    Morning Sailing

 

Dawn comes, casts a light, disappears in overcast.
On your hand I count the seconds it reveals itself.
We climbed for this: brittle limestone and bright-green caper leaves gave way at last,
and with your chanting friends with sour breaths careening off in front of us, this shelf,
by the cliff, might do for a rock-strewn couch - ahead, the space below seems far too vast.

We sit as stars and squid-boats yield an equal yellow pallor:
they might have breached the strung-up sky to give us a much livelier time,
but Venus and the others hang in protest on the horoscope. We see the slow cerulean swat them out and cause such clamour,
mix with colour, fire, hatred, dissent — yet you know; you’ve watched (this botching of a colony), and not too moved by wartime
song, you prefer to watch a cool leaf blown across a pond. Then a soft breeze presses down and makes its staysail stammer.

I love you, I might say, as plectrum crickets serenade.
But then there’d be a thought of what I might want
or of what you might want, when a brief rest might heal us both, like a tack to turn the wind, gently made
for us to breathe, softly made for the mast beneath, but here it comes, the dawn, at the door of a ripened skyline vault;
and I move to hold your hand, to count the light and see its breach — (five, six, seven, eight…).

 

    Sunrise in the Andes

 

in the style of Pablo Neruda

 

I never wrote a word for you, and my morning is due.
I watch it brimming behind the dusty landslides.
A crepuscular moment encodes blue dunes.

Here the moon wheels around but barely anything else moves.
A spurt of dust where the lizard resumes,
The black cross of a condor.

I have so little to add to the world,
      which comforts me.

She is on my mind when the silence admits me to my old chambers.
When the angry doorkeeper is soothed, I walk inside to see myself.

A marble arcade where I kissed her was nothing to me until now,
      when it is everything, like a key.

Dark woman; heavy eyes, heavy hair of mud-like sand. Your eyes filled me
 like a scared fitful wind.

Before you lay offerings and flambeaus, filigrees of gold, floors filled with diamonds.
You went to pick flowers alone in June, already the condors flew.

Dark woman; heavy eyes, heavy pearls that watch the tide.
I never wrote a word for you, and my morning is due.

 


 

Farah Sagal

 

    Time

 

we would have undone it.
if you had said what was on your mind, when it was on your mind
if you didn’t let time execute its crusade
if you had stopped relying on your poems to tell it
if you had become your poems
if you could,
turn back into spring,
not a complete bed of carnations, but maybe somewhat greener than last week.
we would have tried to stop the burning, we would have made you whole again
it would have been fine
if you had told us that you were forgetting
how to tell when the day has ended and begun
how to tell between the moon and the sun
we would have taught you, however long it took
into Notting Hill Carnival, into October’s whispered evenings, into Boxing Day
if you would have said the words, or word, or just let your eyes converse, it would have been enough
we would have melted you, from a lethargic sunset, into a bursting sunrise.

we would have melted you, from a lethargic sunset, into a bursting sunrise.
if you would have said the words, or word, or just let your eyes converse, it would have been enough
into Boxing Day, into October’s whispered evenings, into Notting Hill Carnival
we would have taught you, however long it took
how to tell between the moon and the sun
how to tell when the day has ended and begun
if you had told us that you were forgetting
it would have been fine
we would have tried to stop the burning, we would have made you whole again
not a complete bed of carnations, but maybe somewhat greener than last week.
turn back into spring,
if you could,
if you had become your poems
if you had stopped relying on your poems to tell it
if you didn’t let time execute its crusade
if you had said what was on your mind, when it was on your mind
we would have undone it.

 

    man of the House

 

They demand
that we grow up faster in half the
time it takes
for his voice to break,
they give us fairy liquid for fun,
tell us to take utensils as toys,
but they shall roam the streets till late
for boys will be boys,
but girls,
girls must be women.
Girls must run after them
but never after themselves,
girls should aim for the sky
but he can aim out of this world.
They call him
and his overgrown, thorny beard
and his belches, belly reaching for the stars
and his weeks that all stretch into one tiresome sunday
they call this thing
a man
of the House
but really, we run the show
and often,
truth be told
women run things better alone.

 


 

Nikita Biswal

 

    To Know My Mother

 

she dips Parle-G, the national biscuit
in tea, two at a time, her special,
double buildings, held delicately between her fingers
a sandwich of cheap things
butter with orangish tomatoes, curling at the edges
in the heat, seeds battered violet
like exit wounds in gulmohar petals
made lovingly
for the journey, tiffin
wrapped early dawn in the kitchen
no mottled lights for her eyes
aware in the mauve.
the stench from the toilet seat
rises like mercury
every time someone opens the door
to relieve themselves, the metal mug clanks
against the metal floor with its chain.
The biscuit sinks
in the hot silk tea, the rail’s sweet
churning, tracks turn
along the road of almond trees
bent lovingly
by the cyclone, see,
she points outside the window, so many of these
were once in my backyard.

 
 

KCL student poets

About KCL student poets

Here we showcase poems by recent graduates of King's College London's Creative Writing courses.