Edward Caruso – Solitude

Edward Caruso LEP&W V3 Dec 2022

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Live Encounters Poetry & Writing Volume Three December 2022.

Solitude, poems by Edward Caruso.


Stranger heaping wood over scorched earth,
logs burned as readily as kindling.
With every blaze you’ve lit,
brambles encroach on this charred scrub.

Axe blows deeper into felled trunks,
with each heave the blade
strikes, the arc of your swing
beyond the furnace
from which the blistering metal
of your blade, extracted,
hammered into a sharpened edge,
unleashes its sparks.

Perpetual dance

Last night we were on a bus to nowhere.
Orange light bathed the buildings of via San Vitale.

You talked of emotions,
of finding your way through an overcast solitude,
premonitions of your grandfather dying
after a shot of whiskey,
and finding him sitting upright
on his balcony as the sun was going down.


On a journey to nowhere you’ll talk
of some forgotten writer
who wrote about the smell of hay
on a morning the sun dared to rise.

You’ll wake me at 2 am with the same urgency
as on that packed bus
from which you’d disembarked,
so I could follow you towards a white sun,
your grandfather’s last bottle
of Malvasia Bianca infused with camomile flowers
to be downed in the open.

Never give up,
this torrid heat,
with its intense visions
of a reeling,
creaking metropolis
left behind,
an abrupt halt of the breath
before hillsides that ignore talk of being scaled.


from this bench
wild artichokes in bloom
city skyline in view

we’d come each week
& you’d scale
these ever-steepening paths
challenges that still exist
as a brown snake
now crosses the bike path ahead

to confess what I could never share
as long as we kept in mind
difficult moments
that eventually brought laughter

you liked to doze beneath a bayside sun
surf your melody
mine the sound of a page
rustled by a southerly
as I close this notebook
before turning back alone
grass stems conversing in our place
their shadows more distinct than ours

on a downhill ride
another brown snake
I brake hard

back at the lookout
an abandoned bench
where you’d wait for me

© Edward Caruso

Edward Caruso is based in Melbourne, Australia. Publications where his work can be found include: A Voz Limpia, Australian Multilingual Writing Project, ‘La Bottega della Poesia’ (La Repubblica, Italy), Burrow, Communion, Kalliope X, Live Encounters, Mediterranean Poetry, Meniscus, StylusLit, TEXT, Unusual Work and Well-Known Corners: Poetry on the Move. His second collection of poems, Blue Milonga, was published by Hybrid Publishers in January 2019.

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