Photo by Dino Ignani.
  
  Three rivers


 Even the three rivers
 the winds, the currents
 which bring better or worse,
 even as the filter of my tongue
 presents a different palette
 love remains the same
 when we speak of broad rivers
 misery, silence, speech
 the ocean rises up to you, in you
 this is what I can give, 
 this to thankfully receive
 so we might become
 somewhere the other side
 for better or for worse
 hands reaching across 
 an ocean of solitude 
 coupled for ever
 even the three rivers
 cannot put asunder 
 what has been joined 
 in your eyes
 
  
 First published in Three Rivers / Trois Rivières, Editions l’Harmattan, 2010
 
   




 Before the clapping starts
  
             There they are again, the walkers
 under the trees at twilight when
             the day is done, and the runners
 pounding down silent roads, and
             dogs padding along, straining at
 the leash, and the clouds are
             gathering, it's been another cold
 day today as if autumn is upon us
             as the sky is so dark, the weather is
 turning, the tide is turning, one
             of which is true, but there is a long
 way to go and, like me, the trees
             are immobile as if afraid to be
 shaken by the winds, come out,
             step out, reopen, move, but is it
 time you say
 
   

Patrick Williamson is an English poet and translator. Most recent poetry collection: Traversi (English-Italian, Samuele Editore, 2018), Beneficato (Samuele Editore, 2015), Gifted (Corrupt Press, 2014), Nel Santuario (Samuele Editore, 2013; Menzione speciale della Giuria in the XV Concorso Guido Gozzano, 2014). Editor and translator of The Parley Tree, Poets from French-speaking Africa and the Arab World (Arc Publications, 2012) and translator notably of Tunisian poet Tahar Bekri, Quebecois poet Gilles Cyr, as well as Italian poets Guido Cupani and Erri de Luca. Recent translations in Transference, Metamorphoses, The Tupelo Quartely, and poems in The Black Bough, The Fortnightly Review notably. Also active in filmpoems (Afterwords, with Mauro Coceano) and other multimedia projects, often in association with artists’ book publisher Transignum in France. Longstanding member of the editorial committee of La Traductière, and founding member of transnational literary agency Linguafranca.

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