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Dawn breaking

Greta Bellamacina

The gods met up to decide your fate first

they made their decision through the “rosy-fingered dawn”

the wind was young and they sat on the broken spells of rain

a dozen owners of the stars

throw down their signals, 

an inter-wind of eagles to see if you’d notice

the new windows high up in the hills 

the new thousand years of tree room 

made like shaking trains far in your childhood

for you to roam and leave the cold streets

for you to imagine the end of the sky

and the school you will one day leave. 

To see if you would notice me 

walking coatless into the flowered womb of ghosts by our bed. 


The night continues to note down the morning dawn 

it breaks slowly its hands gentle like a smile

ragged with blue ornaments from a mountain seascape, 

the light is egoless at this hour 

it is in a state of meditation 

it rows pulling light like a guardian 

it is a woman and man

it is the quest of prayer-wheels 

giving the light the latency of light. 

You're fast asleep beside me rafting with the tides

you have your own birds of the sky hallowing you unbonded

but the birds inside of me have not stopped 

flapping their towering wings in twos

a river in the womb of a river, another mediterranean. 


Athena stayed behind like a statue 

in the darkness holding the torch light towards Troy

remembering the honour of peace 

remembering the hour of waking 

remembering the bureaucracy of tears

the heavens remain unimpressed

their only job— biographers of the light

a freezer tray to the sky

where all golden light come to die

and live in between the voices

a postcard to the church.

And you're now awake and everything is settled and you say

“I can feel it, it’s alive.”


Commissioned for National Poetry Library's Open Day 2018 on the theme of 'Odysseys'. Part of London Literature Festival.