Haiku (Italian, with an English translation)

Image from Seven Ponds blog. Click to visit.

Sai la foglia
che sussurra la via
di cadere sù?

-db

This is my first haiku in Italian.

Translation:

Do you know the leaf

that whispers the way

of falling up?

-db

Poetry | Sospesa tra due cieli / Suspended between two skies

Cloud walk (Photo by D Blake)

Sospesa tra due cieli / Suspended between two skies (Photo by D Blake)

né giù né su
né là né qua
né avanti né indietro
né statica né in movimento
né trovata né persa
né giusta né sbagliata

né figlia né madre
né sorella né nipote
né bambina né adulto
né amante né amato (né amore)
né scrittrice né artista
né cantante né ballerina

io
sono sospesa tra due cieli

tra sogni e realtà
tra pensieri e sentimenti
tra ieri e oggi
tra oggi e domani
tra domani e dopodomani
tra io ed ego

mi metto me stessa
in una scatola di nuvoli

—–

neither down nor up
neither here nor there
neither forward nor backward
neither static nor dynamic
neither found nor lost
neither right nor wrong

neither mother nor daughter
neither sister nor niece
neither child nor adult
neither lover nor beloved (nor love)
neither writer nor artist
neither singer nor dancer

I
am suspended between two skies

between dreams and realities
between thoughts and feelings
between yesterday and today
between today and tomorrow
between tomorrow and the day after
between self and ego

I put myself
in a box of clouds

-db

Until Monday,

D.

Valentine’s Day? Don’t Say “I Love You.” Say Something Else (In Italian).

image and poem by D. Blake

image and poem by D. Blake

Hmm…It’s Valentine’s Day. I’ve yet to venture outside to witness the parade of couples flaunting their love–no, I’m not bitter or anything like that. 😉  I simply don’t celebrate many special (any) days.

Still, I thought I would do my part by sharing some words in Italian and Englishi that, were I in a relationship, I would use instead of having to say “I love you.”

Happy Valentine’s Day, Everyone!

D.

—–

*Yes, I made a decision not to use the imperative in the first line, which would have been: Amore, non legarmi alle parole piccole…

I’m still undecided whether or not I will change it. 🙂

Cercarle

Amore, non mi leghi alle parole piccole,
insensate, indefinibili, ma inebrianti.
Le parole volano, ne sai, quando sono parlate.

Invece di cercarle nella voce mia,
cercarle nel mio comportamento,
cercarle nei miei taciti pensieri,
cercarle nel mio cuore che batte ogni respiro
fino alla prossima volta quando ci incontriamo,

e cercarle in questi occhi che non ne avranno mai
abbastanza di vederti e vogliono bruciare
l’immagine di te nell’anima mia per l’eternità.

—-

Another version:

 

Basic Translation 

Search for them

My love, do not bind me with little words,
meaningless, indefinable, but intoxicating.
You know that spoken words are fleeting.

Instead of searching for them in my voice,
search for them in my behaviour,
search for them in my unspoken thoughts,
search for them in my heart that beats each breath
until when next we meet,

and search for them in these eyes that will never have
enough of seeing you and want to burn
your image within my soul for all eternity.

Speed-Dating: OkCupid-Style

Speed-Dating: OkCupid-Style

Click. Click. Rome. Click. London. Click. Somerville. Click. Open in a New Window. Click. New York. Click. Click. Click. Milan. Click. Perth. Click. San Francisco. Click. Open in a New Window. Click. Click. Click. Click.

The faces blur into one word: No. They blur into an action: Click.

They blur into forgotten memory like many paintings seen only once. I try to assign human names to HotRod4U or CumCMe or BigTits2Day or DownNDirty or MuyCaliente or some similar thing in Italian.

I try to use my long dual-language profile to screen out unnecessary messages and sexmails, and even end it on a quasi-diatribe on exoticism.  It’s been working. Sort of.

Click. Block. Hey. Block. Wassup? Block. Got Chocolate? Block. U Busy L8r? Block. Le donne nere… Block.

I’m blocking out the words that counter my usually empathetic mind as I scroll and click pass over a thousand men with their barely-covered genitalia on display.  It’s not working.

I read Mark Manson and try to understand the male psyche. I decide it must suck balls to be male, even if they supposedly have everything.  There’s not much they can do to express themselves.  Men are should-burdened into thinking themselves to be robots, or worst still, sex machines.

Or worst still, pathetic.

It’s shocking what the internet unmasks about society: apparently, a bunch of sex-crazed, racist, narcissistic…wait, I just got a message.  It’s amazing how excited you can become when someone treats you like a human being.

Click. Profile. Click. The Two of Us. Click. Unacceptable Answers. Scroll.

  • “I strongly prefer to date people within my race.”
  • Glance up at the European-ancestors-face. Scroll.
  • “Women are obligated to shave their legs.” Scroll.
  • “I don’t mind racist jokes.” Scroll.
  • “I don’t like tattoos on women.” Click. Block.

I’m not shocked. It’s just another day in online dating, about which I have come to understand a couple of things.

  • Some men, particularly in Italy,
  • like to wear Speedos.
  • and take pictures spread-eagled.
  • Some women, particularly in the US,
  • like to wear lingerie,
  • and take pictures of their breasts.
  • ………………………………………
  • Some people don’t have faces.
  • Some people use other people’s faces.
  • Some people don’t live where they say.
  • Some people are sad to say where they live.
  • Some people are just people who are too busy.
  • Some people are people who just want to get busy.

 

Until Next Time,

D.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gli Occhi Aperti / The Open Eyes…

Cut Eye

Cut Eye (Photo credit: lindes)

Ho deciso di scrivere oggi in italiano (ma anche con una traduzione in inglese per i miei lettori che leggono solo in inglese).  Come mi sento in questo momento? Non sono sicura.  Sono stanchissima da morire, perché tante cose hanno successo questa settimana ed anche ho lavorato molto, almeno secondo me.  Continuo a scrivere il mio romanzo e oggi ho scritto una poesia nuova in italiano.  Vorrei condividerla con la speranza che voi mi diate le vostre opinioni. Come ho già scritto, ho scritto una traduzione in inglese, comunque l’orginale è stato scritto in italiano. Quindi la traduzione attuale è molta semplice. In alcuni giorni scriverò un’altra versione inglese. Ringrazio Matteo per la sua assitenza con la grammatica.

——————-

Today, I decided to write in Italian (but always with a translation in English for my readers who only read in English).  How am I feeling in this moment? I am not certain.  I am ridiculously tired, because many things have happened this week and also I work a lot, at least, in my opinion.  I continue to write my novel and today I have written a new poem in Italian.  I would liked to share it, with the hope that you will give your opinions.  As I have already written, I have written a translation in English.  However, the orginal is in Italian.  Therefore, the current translation is very simple. In some days I will write another English version.   I thank Matteo for his assistance with grammar.

——————-

Gli Occhi Aperti 

Ci sono momenti in cui mi domando perché.

Perché ci sono tante persone che si sentono perse? Perché?

Soprattutto quando sono in piedi l’una accanto all’altra.  Perché?

Perché ci sono tante persone che non hanno la consapevolezza

che la vita non è la realtà che può essere vista solo con i loro occhi?

Hanno bisogno di capire che

la loro realtà si allontana…

verso la corpulenza del mondo,

contro la verità dell’anima.

Realtà non è reale.

Realtà non è vera.

Non è neanche un’enigma,

né uno specchio oscurato

in cui non vediamo noi stessi.

Realtà è appena una manifestazione delle nostre paure

che sono state sviluppate dall’assenza

della saggezza in ognuna delle nostre vite.

Comunque questi pensieri sono solo una parte di un racconto vecchio.

Dall’inizio della nostra umanità, non abbiamo noi forse sempre detto

le stesse cose di nuovo, di nuovo e di nuovo?

Esiste sempre una ragione per la quale viviamo noi

le nostre vite nei modi in cui lo facciamo.

Esiste sempre una ragione per la quale diciamo noi

che non possiamo scegliere in modi diversi…

Mai…

le vie nuove,

Mai…

le intese nuove,

Mai…

le parole nuove.

Mai…

Mai…

Mai…

Mai…

Mai…

Mai…

E in questo modo rimaniamo

le stesse persone

con le stesse domande:

<<Perché mi sento perso?>>

<<Perché mi sento solo

quando sono in piedi accanto a tutti?>>

Realtà non è realtà.

Devi aprire la tua mente per poter aprire gli occhi.

E poi, crei la realtà in cui vuoi vivere.

————————————————–
————————————————–

The Open Eyes

There are moments in which I ask myself why.

Why are there so many people who feel lost?  Why?

Especially when they are standing next to others. Why?

Why are there so many people who do not have the awareness

that life is not the reality that can be seen only with their eyes?

They need to understand that

their reality is moving away…

toward the corpulence of the world,

against the truth of the soul.

Reality is not real.

Reality is not true.

It is not even an enigma,

nor an obscured mirror,

in which we cannot see ourselves.

Reality is just a manifestation of our fears

that have been developed by the absence

of wisdom in each of our lives.

However, these thoughts are just a part of an old story.

From the beginning of our humanity, have we not always said

the same things again and again?

There always exists a reason for which we live

our lives in the ways that we do.

There always exists a reason for which we say

that we cannot chose different ways of being…

Never…

new paths

Never….

new understandings,

Never…

new words.

Never…

Never…

Never…

Never…

Never…

Never…

In this way we remain

the same people

with the same questions:

“Why am I lost?”

Why am I alone

when standing next to everyone?”

Reality is not reality.

You must open your mind in order to open your eyes.

And then, create the reality in which you want to live.

————————————————–
————————————————–

Grazie a tutti per prendere tempo per visitare e leggere.

Thank you everyone for taking time to visit and read.

Alla Prossima Volta,

Until Next Time,

D.

On the number 23…

The sound of Italian fills my ears as I stand, tired and sweaty.  The number 23 bus is too crowded, and somewhere nearby there is a baby crying.  I look behind me and see the tear-streaked face of a little girl, whose dark skin and dark eyes reflect my own.  Her hair is artistically decorated with many colourful bands, separating her carefully combed hair.  Even as her mother hands to her a small bottle to help calm her nerves, the little girl’s eyes glance around at the many strangers, who tower above her–How scary we must all seem.

In whispered and loudly spoken words, those who speak Italian say of the little girl, “Che bella…” and “Che carina…”  Her mother is busy speaking on the phone and does not seem to notice the admiration that her little one has inspired.  I am made to smile in the moment, because I can see that those around me are trying in their own way to show appreciation for diversity in beauty.

The elderly gentleman next to me leans over the little girl and tries to ease her worries, speaking to her in Italian as I have not experienced it before.  His voice is soothing and kind with a rich tone that makes every word that he speaks that much more exquisite.

“Non si preoccupi…non si preoccupi…non si preoccupi..”

The little girl’s eyes stare at him with wonder as the corner of her lips curve into a smile.

 

Until Next Time.

Best,

D.

TWFB: No, thank you. I am not a prostitute…

Colosseo, photography by D.M. Blake (2011)

I am still listening to Vivaldi…Don’t ask…

(TWBF=Travelling while Black and Female)

I spent last night mulling over what my exact experiences have been as an overseas traveller since reaching adulthood.  The reality is that there was a lengthy gap, of almost ten years, between my travels overseas.

I had basically ceased all of my overseas travelling in 2001.  Partly because of my own anxiety around 9/11, the war, and also being in the process of becoming an American citizen.  Simply, at that time, it seemed to me to be in my best interest to stay put in America.  Thus, I did just that.

Of course, one thing leads to another (as in years passed by while I was living).  I moved from Florida to Massachusetts, studied, graduated, and then was working.

So, what have been my experiences since coming to Rome, i.e. as a Black woman?

(YouTube is a great travel resource.  Please, watch SaitamaFlowers has some wise words.)

Hmm…I suppose, for the most part, I have been treated respectfully here.  There are some things that I have come to understand and experience that leave me with some concerns.

In general, however, my grievances are a bit superficial…like not being able to find makeup to match my skin tone (Thank the universe for Kiko Milano! :)), and not being able to find hair products (Thank the universe for olive oil and Cielo Alto!:)), etc.  These types of things, which if one is persistent in seeking a resolution, then all should be mostly well.

It is true (again, this is my experience) that some older Italians are not accustomed to dealing with foreigners.

Sadly enough, while I was waiting in line in a grocery store, there was an elderly man who kept hitting me with his shopping cart.  At first, I thought it was an accident, but I recognized after the second/third/etc times that this man was having a serious problem with me.  Of course, I tried my best to redirect his behaviour, but he simply let loose a string derogatory words about my non-Italian status.

Luckily enough, the people in the grocery store, customers and employees alike, came to my defense and were quite apologetic, and they told the man that he was in the wrong.  The experience was shocking to me.  The response of the bystanders, however, gives me hope for the future of multiculturalism here in Rome.

It is true (again, this is from my experience and some research) that some Italian men see Black women (really, I should say here foreign women, especially young Americans) as easy sexual targets.

For Black women, it is possible too that we may be thought of as prostitutes as there is, apparently, a significant number of North African women who are considered as engaging in prostitution–This is an exceptionally difficult topic, and I am trying to handle it in the best way I know how.  Please, understand that I mean no offense.

First trip to Rome (2010)

One of the things to which I had to become accustomed was the staring.  People here stare.  When I write “stare,” I don’t mean like a lengthy sideways glance.  No, I mean stare.  They seemingly try to stare you down.  These days I treat it as a challenge…a little staring contest.  You know, like in childhood, Just who will be the first to look away?? 😉

Now, when I first came to Rome, I took major offense to this behaviour.  You know, it felt like I was being silently assaulted by these stares, because I did not know how to understand them.  A part of me was like, Do you seriously have, or want to have a problem with me?

Then, I learnt that the staring-thing was not just directed at Black people, or foreigners (yes, I asked several people), or people dress a little oddly like I do.  Oh no, Italians stare at Italians too…and I have witnessed it first-hand.  Actually, I find it quite amusing these days.

So, yes, people here stare.  Try not take it too seriously if you travel here. Of course, it is true that they may be staring at you because you are obviously a foreigner, but again it’s a cultural thing.  So, don’t let it upset your day…try to have a sense of humour about it.

I will say this:  it is important to learn the basics of the language of the country to which you are choosing to travel before you leave.  Practice aloud greetings and asking for help.  Also, it is important remember formalities of the country/culture.  The more you know about culturally appropriate behaviour, the better off you are.  Perhaps most importantly, it is important to keep a sense of humour, especially at the most difficult of times.

If someone offends you, regardless of intentionality, just remember to treat it like water running off a duck’s back.

Until Next Time!Best,

D.