Alicia Viguer-Espert – Dolce Far Niente

Espert LE P&W 5 Nov-Dec 2023

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14th Anniversary Edition, Live Encounters Poetry & Writing Volume Five Nov-Dec 2023.

Dolce Far Niente, poems by Alicia Viguer-Espert.

Dolce Far Niente

In the repose of light seagulls cross the silence
of the afternoon we sense to be ebbing,

nothing passes by, but time trapped inside
the golden dreams carried behind eyelids.

There’s a scent of roses and algarrobos
by the seashore, iodine and salt on my fingers

after playing with your long hair resting,
like a soft Teddy, on my lap. Such levity

in the mauve-rose sky tiptoeing to polished silver,
the protective silk wrapping of the soft breeze!

On this last day of October, I drink
with my eyes the beginning of copper

on the leaves of aspens, your slow breathing
rising towards the sun like a sunflower

and I know with certain melancholy
that this single moment will not return.


After Jose Saborit Viguer Sombras
appeared at the same time
light illuminated the pupil
and never left us since.
When Pliny imagined Butades’ daughter
tracing her beloved’s profile
projected by candle light on the wall
just before his departure,
he gave birth to an image
to alleviate absence’s pain,
introduced the invention of a double,
a visible imitation of the original,
a consolation to evade confronting
the irreparable wound of time,
creating the presence of an absence.
Much earlier, in Altamira, *
the trembling light of cave fire
must have thrown silhouettes over rocks
that someone filled with ocher, ash,
and bloody hands from the hunt.
Even before fire, the sun
invited humans to embrace
an opaque duplicate world
when they discovered their own shadows
thrust over earth, or the silhouette
of a flying bird over sand.
And as moving light changed shapes stretched by sunset,
or disappeared under cumulus clouds,
it projected its first facsimile:
*Altamira Caves, 40.00 years old Paleolithic Paintings in the Cantabria region of Northern Spain.  



I sit at the door of my soul.
Five thousand birds land on the single branch
of a transparent tree working on its chlorophyl.
The soft cocoon of a breeze wraps me
in silk, while a beetle carries a ball
of dung up the dunes. I search for camels,
goats, anything that could have left
such valuable present on the sand.
I am in awe at the tenacity of this beetle
rolling back, rolling forth like Sisyphus.

The five thousand birds’ wings glow
like fireflies, ride into stratocumulus
before a few disappear, but the mass remains
frighten by the journey to liberation.
Attar* sees through behind their excuses,
the nightingale refusing to leave a beloved rose,
the peacock concerned about its plumage,
and the greedy owl lack of faith on the trip.

The beetle slides, masterminds its future
as it keeps climbing. Ataraxia relaxes
my fists into palms to receive blessings.
Free of judgement my thoughts join a stream
of consciousness, which joins a river,
which joins the universal ocean
of awareness, which affects the cosmos.
My soul wishes to stretch its legs,
inspect where light originates,

quietly attend to the river
of life.

*Farid ud-Din Attar, an XI century Sufi mystic author of “the Conference of the Birds.”

© Alicia Viguer-Espert

Alicia Viguer-Espert, born and raised in the Mediterranean city of Valencia, Spain, lives in Los Angeles. A three times Pushcart nominee, she has been published in Lummox Anthologies, Altadena Poetry Review, ZZyZx, Panoply, Rhyvers, River Paw Press, Amethyst Review,, and Live Encounters among others. Her chapbooks To Hold a Hummingbird, Out of the Blue Womb of the Sea and 4 in 1, focus on language, identity, home, nature, and soul. In addition to national and international publications, she is included in “Top 39 L.A. Poets of 2017,” “Ten Poets to Watch in 2018,” and “Bards of Southern California: Top 30 poets,” by Spectrum.

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