Joseph A Farina

Joseph A Farina

Joseph A Farina is a retired lawyer in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada. His poems have appeared in Philadelphia Poets, Tower Poetry, The Windsor Review, and Tamaracks: Canadian Poetry for the 21st Century. He has two books of poetry published, The Cancer Chronicles and The Ghosts of Water Street.

the sum of its parts

mountain wolves and mandolins
recording my Mediterranean mythology
painted carts and donkey brays
sirocco winds that sear the lungs
Sahara sand dunes in its kiss
olive wood twisting to the naked sky
symbols painted on weathered carts
that was their history and became mine
present beneficiaries without a key to understand,
language too old to be remembered
becomes unspoken
palm weaved crosses on kitchen walls
prickly pears and blood oranges
sacred family lemon groves
talismans against the evil eye
rituals of honour kept secret
in air too cold to parch the lungs
I sing the lines of ancient songs
that with my end will stay unsung


flutes, guitars and mandolins
play a sicillian tarantella –
the music cascades
down terraced hills
through lemon trees and olive groves
to the pebbled beach
kissed by the Mediterranean

there arm & arm
with newfound cousins
dance around a primal fire
like Ulysses and his mariners did –
and i newly returned
to my mythic island
celebrate its memory
of persephone and artemis
under orion & scorpius
stung with their ancient revelry

Sicilian weeds

stronger than the stone
they sprout from, flourish
among the cracks of ruins:
greek and roman temples
erected to gods and triumphs
abandoned mountain luogos
that could no longer nourish
a slash of bitter greens
determined, irresistible
defiant to drought
and the remorseless
Mediterranean sun.

Poetry in this post: © Joseph A Farina
Published with the permission of Joseph A Farina