Poetry Wednesday: Csilla Toldy

Because it is Saint Patrick’s Day, the poet is from NI: Csilla Toldy came over from Hungary, when there was still a Wall. We met in 2014, at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig. The picture is of the lake.

Csilla was kind enough to allow me to post the whole poem. It’s from her collection Red Roots – Orange Sky (Belfast: Lapwing Publications, 2013)

Love in Paris

Arriving late at the wrong address
a stranger in the street,
Ali, offered her a bed. He lovingly
treated her wounded knee —
that she had fallen on
when searching the sky for the guiding star
at the green borders to Italy.

Her nerves frazzled
by the long march through the Alps
on pills of caffeine and amphetamine,
taken by the echoes of her throbbing heart
when face-searched
and feeling so lucky for not looking like any
one of the Red Brigade.

So grateful for a clean sheet
after a week in ditches with crows and crickets,
yet fearing horror dreams of her misconceptions
she fell into a black hole
to be woken up by sunlight
glinting on a tray of golden croissants
brought up by Ali.

Recently, Csilla has been focusing on films.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Mousehole, 1595

Mousehole is a quaint fishing village in Cornwall, which features in a book called The Mousehole Cat that Lamorna Ash remembers her mother reading to her as a child.

In 1595 a Spanish naval squadron landed at Mousehole and sacked it, burning down almost every building, before continuing their violence upon the coast in Newlyn and Penzance.

Dark, Salt, Clear: The Life of a Fishing Town, p. 11

New Book: DARK, SALT, CLEAR

Finished A Promised Land. Self never thought she would say this about a Presidential memoir, but it was a lot of fun to read. For example, Sarah Palin’s energy policy summarized in one quote: “Drill, baby, drill!”

44 displays some mighty clear-eyed thinking about bin Laden and the decision he made to authorize the Navy Seal mission. He had choices: he could have ordered a drone strike. But with a drone strike, they could never be absolutely sure they had gotten their man. The identification of bin Laden, to 44’s thinking, was paramount. And he was right.

Yesterday, self began reading Dark, Salt, Clear, Lamorna Ash’s memoir of her year spent living in a small fishing village in Cornwall. Self has been itching to read this book since forever. She, too, has taken that same rail journey from Paddington. Unlike Ms. Ash, she did not continue all the way to Penzance, she got off at Par. The not-quite-a-week self spent in Cornwall, in May 2019, was her homage to Daphne du Maurier after reading Tatiana de Rosnay’s marvelous Manderley Forever.

The prologue to Dark, Salt, Clear describes a life drawing class in which the male model “did not curve his body self-consciously across some chaise lounge but looked at us head on, legs apart, arms outstretched as if to say: Here I Am!

  • His body bore the marks of a life lived hard — his arms strong and sinewy, his face cross-hatched by wrinkles, his back and biceps scribbled all over with dark blue tattoos.

He was a Cornish fisherman.

Below, the harbor at Fowey, Cornwall, May 2019.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

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