I’m not Christina Rossetti

Transitions №2

Author: Gali-Dana Singer

                                             Winds blowing, waters flowing, trees stirring,
                                             insects whirring (dear me! I’m quite unconsciously
                                             writing rhyme)…

                                                       Dinah Maria Mulock Craik. The Little Lame Prince.

                                             …suddenly there uprose from a chair and paced
                                             forward into the center of the room a little woman
                                             dressed in black, who announced solemnly, “I am
                                             Christine Rossetti!” and having so said, returned to her chair.

                                                       Mary F. Sanders. Life of Christine Rossetti.


Again I lied. And you?
You didn’t trust the truth.
The truth I never knew.
In lying we were two,
               or yet we were three.

I came too late, and you?
You didn’t come at all.
T’was neither biting as a rue,
nor bitter to recall
               the names of two citrus trees.

The mien of a startled nu
we never overthrew,
we couldn’t start anew,
t’was over through and through
               on it’s way into Poetry.

It wasn’t the abstruse,
the reinvented rain
that swept us, but the ruse
that ruined the quatrain
               and washed off our tryst

running down the toothless cleft
under forgotten pine
that still stands on the left
distorted and malign
               in the pining Memory

Into the fifth and ruthless line.

For once I told the truth.
But you? You never told.
In fear we were one –
I feared you, and you?
               Just being old.

You were right and I was left
in fever, hot and cold,
of futile thoughts – what have I done?
why was I so bold?

Forever it will hunt
polar foxes of my brain.
From left to right it will not shunt,
eternal as refrain:

You were right and I was left
in fever, hot and cold,
of futile thoughts – what have I done?
why was I so bold?

In fear we fell apart.
Attempting tears to withhold,
I feared your fear. And you?
Your fears manifold.


Oh, but was there nothing besides to relish
but ungainly moments
of slight and anguish,
but the wish-washy green tea
of five o’clock twilight
but the heavy lateness off every movement
bread-n-buttery heaving of darkening ceiling
and relentless tearing, ripping, rending
of infinitive silence?

Oh, besides, there was, but not to publish.


I almost heard it, when this ear
in the middle of nearly everything
became suddenly deaf.
It was a revelation:
you’ll come, when it will be too late,
as I came when it was too late,
as all comes when it is too late,
as always comes,
as revelation usually does.
So, tired as I am, I keep it still:
it’s still a little too early to be late,
it’s being eventide.


It was that simple: plainly: love for love.
This gum elastic overstretched, unseen,
(Lost bands of childhood keeping save my gloves!)
Striking its own plaintive note in between,

When slightly touched and even not by hand,
By glance, by thought – by distance, by disdain,
By chance itself. And then you tried to rend
The strand so hard. It wasn’t torn. The singing pain

That dazed me, blinding pain, your end have caused
Of loosened rubber band, that struck and then went limp,
But bandaged first my eyes with bloody gauze –
Yet let it go – after me – a twisted limb.

It shouldn’t be an everlasting sting,
But still it’s swinging on its own string.

It was that simple: plainly: pain for pain.
I shouldn’t ask for anybody’s aid
In vengeance, as I did. As through the windowpane,
Tenacious, greenish, my remorse has wade.

Nothing but printed words embraced by rubber ring,
Strong, visible, and black, like that which hold
My childhood’s braid so tightly as if meant to wring
All thoughts through it and foretold

Embraced by rubber ring nothing but words,
Embarrassing and straight for you to read,
Reminding of the band that still engirds
Your head in my old dream with such a burning greed.

I send unwritten letter with my friend.
I wish I put it with my own hand.

It’ll be that simple: plainly: love for love.
In other words it will be: dust to dust,
Embers to embers, ashes as above
Named dust and dying coals. Anything but just

This future love will be. And the unthinking reed
Will struck its only plaintive note in the wind,
Unwinding it like any funereal screed
For those who neither won nor reached. Unwinged

And in the motion both strained and brusque
For good they will be gone, the darkness and the light.
I hope, soon it’ll come, eternal dusk –
In other words it’ll be not day, not night

But other kind of day, ever unkind
To us – deep in the dimness of the mind.


What a pleasing thought
I play with all day long
Perhaps, I’ll send you this song
Perhaps, I will not.

If I’ll send it, what
’ll be left to please and play
Instead of unsteady lay?
It seems, there’ll be naught.

If I’ll send you not
This honeysuckled ploy,
Then quickly will start to cloy
My Plutonic plot.

Tired and distraught
For trying to allay
The pain of unjust display
Methinks: to send I ought.

Yet the afterthought
Comes, neither right nor wrong,
But unreliable and strong,
Telling: Send it not.


It doesn’t ring true:
All this suffering.
I don’t believe myself.
Being alive,
It’s something else,
isn’t it?
It’s the same thing also.
Why cleave to the vile mirrors of pain
like ivy, mostly poisonous?
Why not bring my alter ego
as an offering for a change?
Making mistakes in the first place
and in the second. With such a poise, to!
I’ll stick to the superstition, by your leave,
to the misty physique of an error.
Even stars are kinder to us, than we are.


I could be grateful for the lovely gifts,
But then, I’m an ingrate, as you can see. The waste!
Why should I owe thanks to the spendthrift’s
Frivolous lavishing of presents and of past?

You gave me what you did not mean to give,
It looks as if I got too much of a good thing…
This verse can freely by described as fugitive,
Fleeing from justice, full of running ink.

And when it’s running, i.e. on the run,
I am supposed to think of my eternal debt.
Endowed with three tongues, I was undone.
I’ll readily return one foreign alphabet

And those two which you have never owned
I’ll keep just for a while, if only as a loan.


Please, let me, let me, –
but do I know, what I’m going to say?
What I’m asking for?
Not for a mute metaphor?
Not for the last summer’s snow?
Not for the yesterday?
Not for the ‘yes’?
Anyway, did I know before?
Please, let me know.