Literary Yard

Search for meaning

‘Apulian Trulli’ and other poems

By: Christian Ward

Apulian Trulli

Dovetailed roofs shaped
like witch hats dominate
the Apulian landscape,
their whitewashed exteriors
borrowed from idyllic tourist films
espousing la dolce vita.

Having been constantly built,
taken down and rebuilt to avoid
the taxman, their walls brighten
at the sight of tourists who gave
them permanence,

dull whenever local bureaucrats
measure their cramped rooms for tax;
centuries of history making them
swell until the trulli eventually release
their pressure.

Come morning, the fields will be filled
with the wreckage of rockets.

Trulli are traditional houses found in Apulia, Italy



The pomegranate’s beautiful shrapnel
twist your fingers into grenade pins
whenever handling it for a salad.
You remember the first one going off
as a child, the imaginary bang echoing
in the kitchen like the suddenness
of your parents’ divorce. Your hands
contained it then; always look now to halt
unexpected detonations.


The Great Dane

After saying Mein Fuhrer, he took
a Wehrmacht oath and chewed on marrow.
A battalion of flies at the Tiersprachschule lab
were savagely mauled after flying too close
to him. Poppies grew downwards. He did not think

of the cattle cars, of the ash coloured clouds
pinned to their roofs like little devils
as they left to the camps, of the thousands
of hearts tumbling out of mouths; choosing,

instead, to sleep and run through sit, roll
over and beg while villages, towns and cities
were licked clean like bone.

A great dane was reported to have said Mein Fuhrer during WW2


Sunday Morning

The garden is a museum of birds
flash-frozen by the morning’s frost.
Magpies caught mid-hop. A robin,
almost unreal, on the holly. Blackbirds
pecking at the lawn. I picture them
how Darwin must have seen the fauna
in the Galapagos: something out of myth
though they are familiar. Sunlight
tries tuning itself into the scene but can’t
get it right. I wait for everything to pause
and each prop to fall into place. Perhaps
I’ll slip away quietly while the rain rolls
in like a god from the machine, ready
to save everything from the inevitable drama.

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