The poem

This is not the fourteenth

And you are not my Valentine

And I am not your charming prince

And there are no red roses


There’s nothing

Nothing at all

Just a breath of wind

Carrying a dried leave

And a tuft of words


In my country

There are no roses

Nor tulips, nor flowers

Only thorny rocks

Sharpened by the howling wind

Gray needles

Ready to skewer

Absentminded feet


All around my land

The roaring sea

Boundless and ireful

And the sky

Low and dark

And heavy


I sit down

On a dead trunk

In the middle of a small meadow

But there is no grass at all

Only barren earth

And rocks starting to peak



My body shivers

In its struggle

Against the mighty wind

No, mother

Time has not come yet

To snatch this letter

And carry it

On your goodly wings


And the wind to reply

Hurry, hurry, you fool

Do you think that out there

In the real world

They will be waiting for you?

Every day, they write history

They work

They enjoy themselves

And what does my poor boy?

He’s content

Staring at emptiness

And with ink

He stains his hands


Did I give birth to a man

Or a shellfish?


I bow my head

And say nothing

A disappointment

I will always be


The letter

I hide in my pocket

And I kneel down

Chilled by my discomfort


There are no warm words to expect

For my father the rock

Is impassive as always

And shaved clean

From the green moss


All day and all night

The wind sings

Her hideous threnody


I was punished

For my foolishness

I loved the rock

The dumb rock

And, as I turned my back

To rest at night

He welcomed the rain

Breaking his vows

Water he wanted?

Of water he shall be deprived

Until he will crumble in dust

And the island

Will no more be

Will no more be

Dissolved in the sea…


I stop listening

As silent tears

Blur my eyes

I cry not over my fate

But over that of my little island

My little rocky island

I bear in my heart

Each rock and each peak

Each stump and each cave

In their frozen silence

They each have a name

A melody to themselves

And a story to tell


I cry not over my fate

But over my sweet memories

Blurred with my fantasies

Once upon a time

There were rising suns

And laughing meadows

And singing rivers

And dancing forests

And lulling birds

And inebriating fruits

And enchantress flowers

And I knew their language


The roaring sea

Stands between the past and me

And now I smile

Whenever from dark

The clouds turn gray and white

And I imagine myself

Sitting one of these cozy pillows

And my legs swaying

In a pool of golden light

Warm and sweet

Like honey

But soon, the twinkling disappears

Drowned in a cohort of clouds

Cold overwhelms me

And I shiver and shiver

Like a rustling tree

And I dream of warm beds

And thick blankets

And blazing fires

And lavish soups

And loving arms

And sometimes, I scream

Startled by my own voice

And waves reply

Shattering on the hollow rocks

Until I regain my countenance

And the quiet acceptance

Of my fate


All my secrets, all my pains

I’ve whispered to my little friends

For years and years

They were here for me

With their angular and odd beauty

Whirlpools of raging wind

Could not uproot me

And with their silent presence

I sufficed to myself


Yes, I sufficed to myself

Until the first time I dreamt of a different world

Nothing to do with all the stories

That the wind brags about

It was a strange dream indeed

Since then, every night, I made the same dream

I wake up and can’t remember almost anything

There are orchards and pastures and valleys

A house of white stones and blue wooden shutters on a hill

It looks mysterious and enchanted

I step in, and I cross countless rooms and galleries I can’t recall now

I climb narrow staircases stairs, find a secret passage in a wardrobe

Then, I arrive in a dusky library

It is small, but there are bookshelves all over the walls

Thousands and thousands of dusty volumes

Their smell is marvelous

And a sense of wonder invades me

I start hefting book by book

Trying to find the perfect one

Why, I don’t know

But I can’t find it

And I become restless, desperate

And I start throwing all the books on the floor

And then, my dream ends abruptly

Or maybe, I don’t recall its end

I can’t tell for sure


In the gray mornings

I wake up full of bliss and despair

I want to go back to that house

To that library

And find its secret

But I can’t

Even the wind can’t take me there

I daydream about it

And swish this story over and over

To my friends the rocks and the stumps

But they can’t understand me


This morning I woke up

With a firm idea

Writing down my whole story

And sending it with the wind

To whomever it might be due


I don’t know which journey it will take

Which worlds it will explore

Which strings it will caress

Which eyes it will intrigue


Whoever you may be

Remember that I had no flowers to send you

Only a dried leaf

Golden embroidery

From the last standing tree

Which death

I am already crying

Look carefully at its head

For it is a map of my homeland

Feel its structure, its asperities

The veins that irrigated its joyful times

And the drawings it bears

Feel it, live it

But don’t keep it

Set it free to the elements

To the whim of the wind

To the river and the ocean

For it came from thence

And there it shall return