Underground

I enter the underground. It’s packed, but there is a free seat next to a woman of distant origin. Round about forty. She’s rummaging in her handbag, but takes it onto her lap and shuffles around to make space for me. She gives me a smile, barely noticeable, but a smile so full of warmth that it touches me.
I sit down beside her and inhale. I smell a thousand scents of the Orient, spices and perfumes, bodies and wood, sand and the sun. Her headscarf is perfectly wrapped around her pretty face. She’s beautiful. And warm. A stubborn little strand of hair has loosened itself from under the headscarf and tickles her cheek.
There is only little space between us but neither our bodies nor our clothes or belongings touch. Still, I can feel her warm skin against the little hairs on my arm and the texture of her textiles against my skin. I can feel it through the air, the space between us.
It’s not even a deep wish or a need, but an utmost urge that is crawling up inside of me:
I want to tell her how beautiful she is, how wonderful her headscarf suits her pretty profile. But moreover, I want to rest my head against her shoulder and I want to listen to two thousand and two stories told by her. Stories of sand and scents and love and people. I want to dive into her stories, close my eyes and while inhaling all these scents from far away and yet so close, I want to feel her warmth through her garments on my neck as she embraces me and listen to her voice, taking me somewhere I have never been, a world I have never seen, and maybe never will.
And it wouldn’t even matter if she told me those stories in her mother tongue and I wouldn’t understand a word of those syllables that are unknown to my ears. Because I know the sound and the waves and vibrations of words would make me understand and let me walk right next to her while she is passing through her line of talk.
Three stops later we both have to get out.
She goes her way and I follow mine.
And I will never know her stories.
And she will never know that I wrote one about her.

Gina Laventura © 2014

Rosie’s Relief or Off her Chest

Get out of my head!
Sometimes she has to write you off her chest. Off her mind.
Sometimes she needs to dance away into the distance.
And sometimes she succeeds in getting you off her mind. For a while.
But no matter how much she’s writing, or how wild she’s dancing, she never gets you off her heart.
Sometimes it’s a relief, when every unspoken word is put down in ink. A created space for her own.
Still you’re there. Somewhere. In the dark distance her dance has bridged.
Every unspoken word written off her chest onto the paper. Her fingertips covered in ink. And while the fingertip is resting in the puddle of ink, the pumping heart produces a beat the fingers can’t resist.
And ink becomes colourful. A million colours pumping under her fingertip, pouring into her. Filling her mind, her chest, her heart.
And a million more stories are to be written. A million more unspoken and spoken words are to be taken down in colours and in ink.
A hundred more dances through the distance. A million more steps through colourful ink.
Written off the chest. Onto paper.
Inscribed with ink and colour. On paper. On heart.
Fixed forever.

Gina Laventura © 2014

Ruhr Valley Love

Dieser Beitrag ist auch auf Deutsch verfügbar

I promised a friend of mine to publish this poem after having relaunched my blog.
The background story: She moved away to work in another city. This poem was a farewell gift, so that she wouldn’t forget us.
It is still hanging on the wall in her living room. (in German)

Ruhr Valley Love

We’re breathing vapour,
coal is running through our veins,
life is art,
no time to stop, restart.
Nobody can take our dreams from us,
because where the sun, the moon and the stars gather dust,
deep down in the West
we feel at home, we are at our best.
No matter where we are,
where we stop and where we start,
this will always remain home
at least in our hearts.
The storms we defy
and overcome the pain, although we might cry,
we breast the tide
to see the horizon, oh so wide,
the foam we are restraining,
because where Krupp Steel is framing
the landscape
we know the asphalt, the fields and every escape.
Where the roar of industry echoes in our chests
we feel at home, our souls at rest.
We travel the world, together and alone,
but where there is love, there is home.
Don’t you forget and always know:
Our love is with you, wherever you go.

Gina Laventura © 2013