Caravaggio, from The English Patient

Posted in Original, Poetry, Writing by netscheri on October 6, 2008

David Caravaggio does not remember Italy. Or if he does, it is no more than an ancestral memory of the warmth of the sun, of small houses in great swathes and wide strokes, Caravagesque, like the painter he shares a name with. What he is familiar with is the landscape of North America. He is familiar with the wind, with the water, with the sharp feel of the rocks near the construction site pressing into his back. He shifts position so that he is no longer lying on some of the sharpest rocks. In the background, he hears the sounds of steel meeting iron as the workers build and his mind translates this into the sound of cowboys and pioneers, their spurs ringing metallic as they urge their horses forward (the dull hammering of iron into wood). Building a new city. David stretches a hand out towards the sun, an eye half-closed like One Eyed Bill The Most Dangerous Outlaw in the West. Behind him, the workers, English, Polish, Russian, Italian, continue to build Canada. There is displacement and expanse.



Michael Ondaatje

Posted in Writing by netscheri on July 18, 2007

One of my favourite and most admired writers. What draws me to his work, is the lyricism of both his prose and poetry, the inventiveness of his imagery. Perhaps inventiveness is not the word.  The juxtapositioning in his imagery, of combining two elements that conventionally would seem strange together. A dream-like quality in his work.


The Distance of a Shout – Michael Ondaatje

We lived on the medieval coast
south of warrior kingdoms
during the ancient age of the winds
as they drove all things before them.

Monks from the north came
down our streams floating that was
the year no one ate river fish.

There was no book of the fores,
no book of the sea, but these
are the places people died.

Handwriting occurred on waves,
on leaves, the scripts of smoke,
a sign on a bridge along the Mahaweli River.

A gradual acceptance of this new language.



It reminds me of ‘A Different History’ by Sujata Bhatt.