Annette Gagliardi has poetry published in Motherwell, Wisconsin Review, American Diversity Report, Origami Poems Project, Amethyst Review, Door IS A Jar, Trouble Among the Stars, Poetry Quarterly, Sylvia Magazine, and others. She is co-editor of Upon Waking. 58 Voices Speaking Out from the Shadow of Abuse, We Sisters, 2019.
Please visit her website at: https://annette-gagliardi.com/
I wanted to put some earth
in my journey –
get down to the soil,
dig up the loam,
and till it some –
plow and plant a little
in the earth of my life
to see what grows-
I wanted to sow a new
seed in the turf –
to see if a better person
could walk this earth.
sunshine yellow paint peels to reveal blue undertones –
that alone gives rise to the size of the light in your eyes
that same yellow – repeating the daffodil
of the harbor buoys – the lemon yellow of our toys
the setting sun scales the mountain
rising from the sea and shimmering
from the water’s edge, just below the surface
in hues of primrose, cadmium, mustard & gold –
yet none so bold as when the sun reveals
the blue undertone
dozing together, riding the placid tide
we pledge to die here, in each other’s arms
The streets of Sorrento
So very vigorous with the business of commerce –
yet so casual in all that goes on – celebrating
the life in the moments as we stroll
the narrow cobblestone streets.
The promenade is full when we shop,
then stop for gelato and limoncell
under the leisure gaze of Mt. Vesuvius
the clock tower intones the hour.
Small fishing boats congregate in the harbor
as pescatori traverse the hair-pinned trail
leading to market stalls where they will
rid themselves of their day’s toil.
The serenade so bold my pasta grows cold –
our appetite satisfied, yet unfulfilled as well.
your eyes linger on mine and hold
me with the prospect of an evening’s ardor.
We finish the wine and offer our waiter
an extra tip. He shares one of his own –
as cathedral bells chime, the church doors close –
we amble home in the twilight, arms intertwined.
The Rhythm of the Waves
The waves lapping toward the shore
The rhythmic coming in and going out.
Washed the beached stones smooth –
with the rocking of the waves.
He was the steady waves;
He the polished stone.
Gently pitching to and fro
Quiet – save for the waves softly splashing.
Against the ship’s bow and stern –
amidst the gulls flying low above the water.
Each languid oscillation
a climax and conclusion.
The sway of the waves up and down reminds me of
riding without getting saddle sores.
We shuffled into the small room single file,
quietly –mute as church dust,
snugged up close to each other
like children nestled in their beds.
We sat silently, contemplating our
opportunity and good fortune.
The wooden beams spoke;
the low ceiling centered us;
calmed and claimed us,
in the rose perfumed air.
I wept there, in the chapel,
as we had mass. Eight hundred
years is a long time to keep
the faith, yet only a second
to those who came before.
The peace of God touched us;
His hand on our heads, as we knelt
there in prayer – the same way
that he touched St. Francis
and St. Clare so many years ago.
I’ll put you in a glass coffin and display
your bones, list your many achievements
while I hone the trumpeting of your life,
-charging a dollar per look.
I’ll place stanchions along the floor so the viewing
line can snake through your holy place,
pay a penny for their thoughts of you,
a man of all ages, a man
to be venerated.
Your photo will hang in people’s homes
as an example of good works and holy thoughts,
because, everybody wants your chromosomes,
and a reason for the plaque on their wall
saying, “Jones slept here.”
It never gets old.
Poetry in this post: © Annette Gagliardi
Published with the permission of Annette Gagliardi