public poetry gallery

The Public Poetry Gallery is a virtual space that transforms words and images to bring poetry to life. Designed as a set of 12 virtual rooms, each with a different number of walls, it is designed as a multimedia experience to uplift and change our perspectives on poetry.

This page is just a sneak peak of what is to come. The full experience will feature all of the poets rooms where you will be able to read the poems and interact in a 3D space which will be available soon. Please subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest updates and you will be notified when the full virtual interactive space is available.



room 3
Gianna Patriarca


The ten books represented here are a part of my continuing struggle to understand the mystery of my identity, my voice as an immigrant Italian woman living in Canada since the age of 9. I write about life as I live and observe it as a woman, a friend, a daughter, a wife, a mother, a teacher and an artist. My poetry is rooted in the ordinary and extraordinary experience of being human and all that life offers in the light and in the dark. Gianna Patriarca Oct. 2021


perhaps my father would love
the colours of the olive trees
in summer
perhaps he would stop
by the slouching lazy leaves
of the fig tree, close his eyes
to remember the dark haired children
climbing towards the sun
perhaps he would recognize the sound
of rain on clay rooftops
or of a rooster waking the dawn
if he walked that road of pebble
sand reached the farm
in the distance
he would touch the heads of the newborn chicks
and recall the wonder
but for thirty years now
he has slept in a foreign bed
that has curved his spine
the corn husks of his young bed
have rotted in a cradle
if he could return
to smell the earth
hid father left him
he would understand


we don’t discuss the distance anymore
returning is now the other dream
not American at all
not Canadian or Italian
it has lost its nationality
in the sixties we came in swarms like summer bees
smelling of something strange
wearing the last moist kiss
of our own sky
we came with heavy trunks
empty pockets and a dream.
i was one of them
tucked away below the sea line
on the bottom floor of a ship that swelled and ached
for thirteen days
our bellies emptied into the Atlantic
until the ship finally vomited
on the shores of Halifax
there, where the arms and legs of my doll fell apart into the sea
finding their way back over the waves
my mother’s young heart
wrapped around me
my sister crying
for pane e mortadella
we held on
two more nights
on a stiff cold train headed for
where the open arms of a half-forgotten man


which season do i ask for
one more Summer to plant the seeds
to watch my garden grow
to dig up the fig tree
my father left behin
done more Summer to watch the sun drape itself
around the trees
the way my grandmother draped
her shawl around me
watch my children’s changing bodies
their beautiful skin exposed
do i ask you for Autumn
i am fond of Autumn
of the taste of crisp apples
how much time is enough time
the seasons are too short
and now my life is measured by
just one more
and i am not ready to die
so i pray all the prayers i have learned
i kiss all the relics and cross myself
with holy water
i sleep with the pictures of saints
with the stigmata of Padre Pio
in between the pillow case
while my friends sit around me and talk of the past
they are here to comfort mei accommodate them
they are sincere
but i want the         future
i want the seasons over and over
and over again
i want to be at my children’s wedding
i am not afraid    Godi am just not ready!

Figli Canadesi

se qualche volta pensano a noi
due o tre generazioni di   noi
ormai ripiantati
cresciuti e sbocciati in nuovi colori
tra i giardini di TorontoWoodbridge e Bolton
tra i nuovi castelli di   King City

se qualche volta pensano alle nostre
giuste o ingiuste
al calcio in culo
se l’universita offre dei corsi
chi siamo?
che eravamo?

quanti figli cacciati di casa
quanti orfani delusi

certi di noi ancora cittadini
per memoria       per nostalgiaf
orse anche per       dispetto

What My Arms Can Carry

how do i package 
the weight of my heart

i will take with me 
what my arms can carry
a suitcase
a handful of photographs
the cotton shawls
my grandmother crocheted
with the dimming light
of her dark blue eyes

i will take with me
my grandfather’s watch
on the silver chain
the carved wooden handle
of his bent cane
these things i will honour
in a special place
in my new home

these things will remind me
of who i am
and where i come from
but who i am is many things

i am a name and a landscape
a language and a dialect
i am memory and history
the present and the future
the children i will bear
the man and woman
who will survive

i will take with me
what my arms can carry

My Etruscan Face

i am not Fellini’s dream girl
with the clownish grin
the sad lost eyes
i am not Cabiria in a
fifties black and white celluloid
promenading at midnight
beneath a Roman moon
on an avenue of umbrella pines
my Etruscan face    betrays me
faded with time
my profile etched on stone
a museum pieces
tumbled upon by a student
who observes history in lines
a grandmother of another
everything about me sings
the past
the art student takes me home
a souvenir

Just Be

             Each to his grief, each to
              his loneliness and fidgety revenge
                                 – Gwendolyn Brooks
who am i 
to judge your love
who am i to know what your
heart swells with
what your body needs
what it feels warm against
comfortable with
to know
what eases your day
making it blithe
giving it meaning
who am ito understand
what broken thing inside
becomes whole when she is there
i only want your thoughts
to fit my schedule
your laughter to come into
my room  when i need it most
whatever sin they have branded
you with
i will forgive
come home when you want
i will not lock the door
nothing to fear
my heart is
what it has always been
a place you will find

Girl Made of Lavender

i can still smell Lynne’s white starched blouse
her see-through white skin    glowing
as is sat in the seat next to her
at Gledhill Public School

Lynne was the first Canadian girl
i saw when i walked into 
Mrs. Riley’s third grade class

Lynne looked like Canada
Lynne smelled like Canada

my black uncombed curls 
and homemade dress
made me feel ashamed
i was   unscented
and without starch

from that first day
when i sat beside her
i wanted to be Lynne
i wanted to look like Lynne
i wanted to smell like Lynne

i learned later
her perfect white, starched blouse 
was  sprayed with lavender
Lynne was forever stuck
inside my nose
a girl made of lavender


quando e` morta mamma
e` morta anche la nostra lingua

quella che parlavamo ogni giorno
ogni giorno al tavolo in cucina
ogni sera sotto il rumore della televisione
al telefono

quella lingua che scappava
dalla finestra e arrivava in giardino
mentre piantava, allacciava,  annaffiava

una vecchia lingua
perfetta per le preghiere che recitava
le canzoni che cantava

una lingua che viveva fra noi
come quella bimba che amiamo
ora  devo scivolare le dita
su questo miracolo di technologia 
per sentire la sua              voce

questo nuovo mondo non ha bisogno
di vecchie lingue
ma mentre sono  quil
a tengo sicura 
nel limbo         del mio ventre


my mother  did not fall  
into sentiment     or romance 
had no doubts    
knew     who she was

took care of the necessary
without complaints      
believed in the        good

my mother loved without needing
set aside  her dreams     
replaced them    with prayer

unlike me
i question everything      find
few answers        

i cry in the daylight 
my mother cried in the dark

Alfredo Hildago

Con este,

             Océano Pacífico ese que nos une,
ese que viste al nacer,
             que gozaste,
             que implorabas
             y gozaste mirar hasta el final;
y en el que decidiste quedarte
             para desde su inmensidad,
                           acompañarnos siempre…


Aveces, todavía
siento que una llamada tuya,
con sabor a puerto y vida
me llenará de alegría.

Espero llegar a tu Cerro
aún cuando
sin verte ni abrazarte
sentirte correr y conversar
  y entusiasta siempre,
ayudarme a soñar…


Tuve el privilegio que me enseñarás el camino,
             el placer de caminar juntos,
             el honor de caminar con tu ejemplo.
Ahora, ha tocado caminar sin ti,
   y sentirte conmigo...

Andrew McLuhan

“Invention is the art of findingmaterial for reasoning or discourse” -Sister Miriam Joseph, ‘The Trivium’
“Disposition is the art of properly relatingor ordering material according to theprinciples of unity, coherence, and emphasis.”
-Sister Miriam Joseph, ‘The Trivium’ 
“Style itself being an absolutemanner of seeing things.”
-Gustave Flaubert, 1852 letter to Louise Colet 
-Cicero, to his assassins 
“Into the crowned knot of fireAnd the fire and the rose are one.”
-T. S. Eliot, ‘Little Gidding’



More than to explore
discovery, once won
recovery, what’s lost

division, scattering of parts
fragmentation of the arts
and crafts
built and launched
find land at last

to reach
feel, fumble
to face fears
and breach as years cascade
shape and smoothe
and tame and humble
the costs the journey
demands, requires

here lies hope
prospects as desperate as grim
rafts built by lashing them
to float toward
sieze the wind
that howled, roared
the gyre turned
but we pushed forward
that we would stand
beaten, bloodied
feet on sandy beach
and what in sight
hard won, in each
laboured breath
a hint of death.


On arrival
to set about assemble

ponder patterns
seeing strange sights
what repels, attracts, unites
the words to speak
to make concrete
to take each piece
to seek the site of sound
when found, the fit
will light the way
will test the wit

where relation is warm
calculation cold
precise, decision
concise, controlled
things in place
no room for error
the terror of time
the horror of space
the fear:some dissonance lurks
somewhere near

when all laid outfit together
no thought for doubt
for fear


Once I saw
could not unsee
divisions uniting
untying me
ceaseless, untiring
scent of science
a conspiracy of salience
so rich as to sicken
slick and stinging
lightning bringing
sharp tastes
in thrall of the thrill
which weakens the will

while at the helm
of overwhelm
blinded by the sight of sound
barriers broke
the voice of the void,
creation, spoke:
(always laugh)
for laughter 
is a sweet destruction

what sets apart:
what craft carries
your beating heart
shining shapes
which tell the youth
all the hopes
the dawning truth
the twinkle in the eye
the proof
the spark:to set afire
a burning art.


Subtle hints
a fleeting glimpse
shadows seen“strike” said he
they struck.

a tail curves
whispered words
courage now the hour approaches
wake and take
canon be damned
a plan demands
a hand that can recall the words
and how to say them all

I slept, I wept
sweat from the heat
try as I might
could not repeat
the night’s tale told
in the cold of sleep

such force, remorse
a sorry story
stars in the heavens
to prove, confirm
make mere mortals
squirm, move, shift
let time swallow
the leavings left

we walk, we talk
we part, believing
we will meet again
some evening

then I wake from dreaming:
having had the experience
but missed the meaning.


ends which bend
to begin again

dare we face a place
a frontier, a sphere
where the seer says
to go ahead
to melt your mind
leaving everything behind
with no goodbyes to anyone
but leap into the abyss

to dance with chance
laughter ever after
or melodious screams
no clever knowing:
where we’re going
only being

to land:
where you stood
now there you stand
the waste, vast,
function of speed
blinding, fast
slow to show
beauty between

go on:
ever through
the once upons
we find ourselves
in places which remind ourselves 
of tales we’re told

we tell ourselves
against the cold
the warmth of spring
of dawn of old
the very things
giving life

Arianna Mazzeo

The Lovers  of the Light

We slept on the inner space
All the souls, dancing, 
In between eras.   

I saw the Lovers of the Light

Corrado Paina

Things to do. To be a tree.

I want to be a tree. An oak.
To be me from the roots to the leaves
the same very being.
A tree. An oak with land, animals, and fruit.
I fight the wind, who leaves some scars on my trunk.
Death is sheltered and loyal and friendly.
When an oak dies, people cry.

Samantha Sannella


I walked in the lavender 
And breathed in the scent, 
I kept my eyes on the horizon-
Focused on the powder blue tint.   

The heaviness left my heart
And relief flooded my mind, 
I didn’t lament or weep-
For the life I left behind.   

I learned something today 
And it was to value myself, 
My thoughts, feelings-
Above all else.   

I bloomed like purple blossoms 
And yielded wisdom like a rolling field,   
I stood like an old house-
And nurtured like soil tilled.   

I had roots like the tree
And arms like a strong branch, 
My heart like a landscape-
And my love an avalanche.  

Into the Woods  

I found myself in the woods
Traipsing along the river bend, 
Listening to the forest music-
Waiting for my soul to mend.   

My thoughts mixed with the reflection
Obscure and murky green, 
I’m sure there was clarity-
But it remained for me, unseen.   

The crickets gave me a message 
And the birds a high f note, 
I felt my essence take a turn-
Like a random asymptote.   

I listened for the trees to laugh
About what they have known all along, 
That the butterflies in the woods-
Sing the best silent song.   

The damp earth stirred my senses
The sensual delight coupled with peace, 
The hum of the chorus surrounded me-
And my own thoughts…they did cease.  

The Storm  

The humidity hung Heavy in the air
Like a warm blanket against skin 
I listened to the tree frog’s message 
Go home go home go home 
I’m home My hammock swayed
One foot pushing it  To and fro
I dreamed of an adolescent summer 
Before life weighted me down
Like an August day in Arkansas
I dared to find new moments of joy
Disconnected from my youth 
Seared in an unknown future
Seemingly unprepared 
For it all
How can I describe the scent
Damp earth
Perfume of leaves
The clean smell of rain 
Blended to make a summer cologne 
I swayed  Like a metronome 
Wondering what rhythm 
I offered
The peace of my tree interrupting
My neurotic nature
Calming my frenzy
Whispering to me that I am
But a brief moment in time
Like a field in a storm
The signs were always there
Dusty sunset
Milky grey clouds
Slight breeze
The sigh of the branches overhead
Inevitable  Storm  

Far Away  

The landscape sits in silence
Wondering if anyone hears, 
Secrets whispered to the sky-
As the noon hour nears.   

I watched the horizon with ease
But a restlessness in the soul, 
I offered up a prayer-
As the years had taken their toll.   

I wished for so much more
Yet I had more than most, 
But the simplest peace escaped me-
No stillness I could boast.   

Tranquility of the heart Is a serenity reserved for few, 
Those that dare to find it-
No desire can subdue.   

I thought about the rock 
On which the house was built, 
And the foundation that it gave-
Withstood the shaken silt.   

Could I be the sky
Glorious in pale blue? 
Or am I the rock-
The strength you never knew?  


Today the sun melted 
And dripped into the lake, 
The colour ran like icing-
On a warm birthday cake.  

The water lapped up the orange 
And tasted the flamingo pink, 
And cooled off the waves-
With swells of indigo ink.  

I could not capture its beauty 
But the feeling was a knife in my heart, 
I felt the colour plunge deep-
Chaotic as abstract art.
I longed to walk on the water
And strive toward the sun, 
Grasp it in my arms-
And embrace it like a loved one.   

Alas I wandered home 
Contemplating the liquid effect, 
I wished for the brilliance-
Of a molten sunset.  


I waited in the garden 
For him to cross my soul, 
To breathe in my scent-
And return what he stole.   

At night I watched the moon
From the perch of my stem, 
And wondered if he knew-
What I thought of him.  

I was as the lily
A voluptuous magenta bloom, 
My petals reaching forward-
In my luscious room.   

I listened for the rabbit
His countenance so different than mine, 
Yet I yearned to bend my stem-
And let our eyes align.   

The crickets played Vivaldi 
Under the indigo sky, 
I hoped for my rabbit-
And watched the time go by.  


If you were an Iris 
Would you be so bold? 
To stand up for your values-
Or simply do as told?   

Would you wear your colour proudly 
And strengthen your stem? 
Or would you be persuaded by another...
And change on a whim?   

Could you relish in the purple
And delight in the blue? 
Or prance in the May breeze 
And watch the admiration accrue?   

I doubt the Iris is self-conscious 
Or worries what others think, 
I believe a flower loves itself-
Whether violet or pink.   

The field of flowers beckons me 
Whispering wisdom
It took me years to learn, 
When you bloom: BLOOM!  


When dawn breaks
Does hope fall from the sky? 
Do the rays hold optimism 
And is sunlight my ally?   

Indigo and gold mix
In a composition I cannot paint, 
My attempt to capture its beauty-
Shows too much restraint.   

I hover as a grey cloud
Full of a delicious rain, 
My sinuous edges a relief-
To a night spent in pain.  

If morning has truly broken
Then every second is shattered, 
And left my heart in pieces-
On the shoreline...scattered.   

The sun, cloud, and lake
They wonder if I will stay, 
And rest against the bank-
To celebrate the day.  


She stood at a crossroads
And was unsure of her feet, 
With a heavy sigh she rested-
Could not advance, nor retreat.   

The stillness surrounded her 
Like a post-rain mist, 
She breathed in the clover-
And felt the melancholy persist.   

What was the cause? 
She sought answers in a field, 
There was nothing so permanent-
That spring couldn’t heal.   

Such is life, she knew
Diamonds and stones…
Both tugged at her edges-
And pulled like a wishbone.  

So she waited in the meadow
And simply gazed, 
Listening for a clue-
Amidst the summer haze.

room 9
Luigi Ferrara

Shadows of our forgotten ancestors loom across the many continents,
From the caves of Grotte and the tollgate of the swallows,
We have been scattered like notes all over this world…a lost song.

Torre de Passeri and Castilgione a Casauria are two towns in the Italian region of Abruzzo. Grotte is a fractional hamlet that sits at the border of these two larger towns. All of these towns are part of the Casaurian plain which is a relatively flat piece of land that is crossed by the gorge of the Pescara river. This creates a naturally protected plain that is defensible which has resulted in the area having been settled for very long periods. The two towns rest on hills that rise from the plain. The town of Torre was the location of the tollgate for the Diocletian highway during the Roman period. Nearby the Abbey of Castiglione a Casauria is a masterpiece of Romanesque architecture which was built over a Roman temple to Hercules. Grotte itself is unique as its houses are built over caves carved out from the local “Tufa” limestone. Animals where kept in the caves while the houses sit over them and the attics were used to store grain above the home’s living spaces.

This part of Italy experienced an outflow of emigrants after both World Wars in the 20th century. The inhabitants of the towns were scattered around the world creating a diaspora of culturally connected communities that embedded themselves into the main culture of the places that people had moved to. The similarities and distinct differences between these groups is a story onto itself as the peoples maintained their culture and yet adapted to their new environments. As the generations have acclimatized to their new lives, their ancestors have become shadows that are barely recognizable, and yet loom large over the smallest of details of their new lives.

Maria in Toronto, Canada
The streets are wide open and so I walk them.
No one is watching me and so I am myself for the first time.
Where I am going today is too far…I worry I may never return.

Maria DiLorenzo came to Toronto, Canada in 1955 to join her husband Guido Ferrara. She was married to him in a proxy ceremony so that she was his wife upon arrival. Guido had proposed to her five years earlier but she had to wait for her age of majority to finally marry her and so he waited for her from abroad. She came by boat and landed in Pier 21 and then made her way to Toronto by train to Union Station. She was accompanied by Giovanni Di Nicolantonio who acted as chaperone and who was to marry Guido’s sister Marcella Ferrara. Both couples were married in a double ceremony and raised their families in Downsview Canada side by each in semi-detached homes where they lived.

Guido in Smith Falls, Ontario
The air is cold on the fields in the fall.
I miss my sisters, my mother, the sun on my brow.
I learn to fix machines here…like me, they break down.

Guido Ferrara came to Smith Falls Canada in 1950 as an indentured agricultural labourer to his uncle Giuseppe(Joe) Ferrara who had come to Canada early in the 20th century. Guido had completed his military training just after World War 2 and then returned to his hamlet of Grotte but was unable to work the agricultural lands that had been shelled during the war. Prior to the war, he had been in position of serfdom to the Baron of Castiglione a Casauria. Upon his arrival in Canada he worked as an industrial and agricultural worker. He saved his money and even took on debt to bring his aging parents and his unmarried sister to Canada. After his two-year contract expired he left the farm in Smith Falls and went to Toronto where he ultimately joined the Canadian Pacific company where he worked for most of his career. He first worked on locomotives and then finally on truck and trailer repair as the technology of transportation evolved. He died in the year 2000 from chronic emphysema from side effects of his working conditions.

Berardino in Melbourne, Australia
Early to rise, so I step my foot into the Bass Strait to find
Shell fish, octopi and squid in the bucket I carry back to shore,
My hands wet and dirty…no matter where I go.

Berardino Troiani immigrated to Australia from Italy. He was the youngest cousin of Guido Ferrara and grew up in Castiglione a Casauria. By the time he was a teenager most of his cousins had left Italy for Canada and South America and he found himself alone in Castiglione. He left for Naples and found a boarding on a ship to Australia. There he married and had two daughters Rose and Carmen. After a life in Australia, without few relations close at hand, in his middle age he reached out to Canada and made a trip to reunite with his older cousins whom he had remembered from childhood, but whom he had not seen since that time.

Assunta in Caracas, Venezuela
Out of my shop window, the city falls away before me.
Feeding my daughter breakfast, beaten yoke and marsala
I came here to be a bride…and yet, now I am alone.

Assunta DiLorenzo, cousin of Maria Di Lorenzo left Torre de Passeri, Italy to move with her husband Amelio to Caracas Venezuela in 1959. In Venezuela she would reunite with her brother Mario who had gone to Venezuela a decade earlier. While her marriage quickly broke apart she did have a child with her husband who was named Rossana. She returned to Italy with her daughter in 1964 where she stayed for a few years before returning to Caracas and continuing to raise her daughter as a single mother. There she established her own business and built a  life together for them.

Mario in Maracaibo, Venezuela
Here I found myself a new language and a new story,
Speaking in English, Castilian and Arawak but hardly ever Italian
Watching the clouds reflect in the lake…the whole world is now sky.

Mario Di Lorenzo was the brother of Assunta and cousin of Maria who had grown up together in Torre de Passeri in semi-detached houses. Mario showed promise at school and while both Assunta and Maria were also outstanding students the family’s money was pooled to be able to send Mario to board in a high school in a large city so that he could receive a higher education. The girls had to cease their education due to a lack of resources. Mario became an engineer, but due to lack of employment prospects in Italy at that time, he headed to Argentina in 1949. In Argentina there was a currency crisis and he was forced to leave and find work In Venezuela thanks to a family relation that had emigrated there years earlier. In Venezuela Mario worked for American oil companies in Maracaibo and married a Venezuelan native named Betsy. They had children together and prospered. They ultimately ran their own businesses and moved back to the Capital.

Joe in Petawawa, Ontario
Staring at the polar star, I tell my family I am a guard in Petawawa.
I who was fruit king of the Ottawa Valley, with a wife and a child from a mistress.
Now my name is written on a street sign…and no one knows me or my story.

Joe Ferrara came to Canada early in the 20th century to work on the Canadian Pacific rail and then ended up in Smith Falls, Ontario. He married a local girl Ethel of Scottish descent who was Jehovah’s Witness and he was converted to this religion after his marriage. Joe became a successful business man in Smith Falls and was prominent in the Ottawa Valley as head of fruit distribution in the region. During World War 2 Joe was amongst the many Italian Canadians who were rounded up and interned as enemies of the state due to their Italian heritage. Their businesses were confiscated as a result of the internship. After the war Joe was left with his two farms only. He told his relations that he had been a guard at Camp Petawawa, rather than an internee, to minimize the shame to his family. Joe and his wife raised a daughter Marcella. Joe brought her into the family as his wife was infertile, through a relationship with a widow who lived on one of his farms. Marcella was raised by his wife and him as their daughter. There is a street in Smith Falls named after him called Ferrara Drive which is located on lands where his farms used to be.

Carmela in Keene, New Hampshire
Here I made children who can’t speak the words I know; they never learned.
They have married others and melt into this pot as they were told and taught to.
I don’t see a minestrone or pasta with beans…I see a soup that leaves you hungry.

Carmela DiLorenzo of Torre De Passeri was married to Antonio Caldarelli and had a child Graziella before leaving for the United States in 1922. They settled in Keene, New Hampshire and had two more children named John and Rita. Their children quickly became integrated and a part of American society marrying locals from different backgrounds. They couple lived across the street from her brother John Di Lorenzo and formed a cluster of relations that were from the same part of Italy in this small New England town.

John in Keene, New Hampshire
Here I lived a happy life until you left me early, Nellie.
Nellie, I went back to Italy to see if I could live the life before I knew you, once again.
I returned and found peace…in the bed of the river by the bridge where I met you, Nellie.

John Di Lorenzo came to the United States via Canada. He followed his sister Carmela but immigration had been closed to Italians and so he travelled to Canada where a relative helped to smuggle him over the border from Canada to the USA. He settled in Keene living across the street from his sister. He married a woman named Nellie who had grown up in the USA but whose parents were from his same town of Torre de Passeri. With Nellie he had two children, Theresa and Carmine, who both married people from other ethnic backgrounds. After the death of his wife John felt isolated and disoriented and attempted to return to Italy to see if he could live with his brother Luigi Di Lorenzo. Italian society had changed so much that he found himself even more disoriented and depressed. He returned to Keene and passed away soon after from what must have been unbearable grief from his losses.

Annarella in Wellesley
Four months in Wellesley, four in Texas and four more in Tocco Casauria.
Now I am a nomad seeking refuge, wearing a smile and pretending I belong,
But after your death Francesco, there is nowhere…no one, that wants me.

Annarella Montopoli was born in Grotte and married Francesco Montopoli before immigrating to the United States possibly in the 1920’s. The Montopoli family lived in Wellesley Massachussets and converted to Jehovah’s Witnesses early during their stay in America. Annarella had a number of children including Gerry(Gennaro), Angie and Alan who intermarried with other ethnic groups such as the Dutch and Greek. The families spread across the country following the American tradition of mobility for work, ending up in places as far apart as Florida and Arkansas and Texas. Annarella spent the last years of her life living nomadically staying for months at a time with each of her children and with relatives in Toronto, Canada and Italy in the city of Tocco Casauria.

room 10


non darmi tregua, 
sui miei bordi di taglio, 

ripuliscimi da piume e sassi 
e scheggiami il
corpo di ferro. 
Tu, mio altro corpo, 
steso lucido a pelle di spigoli 
sui miei angoli curvati, 
mi corrispondi schietto. 
senza limiti apparenti, 
mi possiedi 
sino allo scheletro. 

Non darmi la tregua 
della semplicità. 
Non darmi tregua 
nell’avermi spoglia 
sino al crollo del mondo.


Non sono 
una donna radiosa. 

Io entro in profondità scavabili 
da sconforto e irrequietezza, 
per faticose vastità. 

Indago, mi contorco, 
e seguo vie d’inferno 
da cui mi estraggo. 
Non sono donna 
dal sorriso eterno. 
Silenziosa ancella 
da passeggio. 

Non cercarmi il sole 
da amare. 
Lo fanno tutti. 
Estrai quel fango 
quando l’acqua inonda 
il pozzo e frantuma 
il fondo  
penetrando la terra inconscia, 
senza lasciarla sfuggire,  
dalle tue mani. 

Sono anche lì, 
dove non desideri amarmi,


E infine, 
sono arrivata io. 
Non bella. 

Sono arrivata io 
non potevi,  
non sentirmi. 

Sono arrivata io, 
che non attendevi

da secoli, 
da mai, 
a rapirti, 
per squilibrare il
passo e far tremare

Sono arrivata io, 
per squarciarti, 
in un secondo, 
il cuore. 

E sono arrivata 
a te, 
a tatuare il mio nome
sulla storia del tuo cielo.
A smuovere nuvole per
prendermi il tuo amore
inespresso ed
gioia e tempesta. 

Senza cercarti, 
senza conoscerti, 
sono arrivata  
a volerti tutto. 

Sono arrivata 
a prenderti così, 
perché non potevo,
non potevo, 
non arrivare a te 
da sempre,


Non sorridere 
al tutto semplice, 
affermando che la luna 
si rispecchia nel laghetto 
al gracidare del tramonto, 

quando spesso 
piomba a tonfo disperata, 
con gli schizzi 
che le ridisegnano la vista 
sottraendola all’idillio. 

Non guardarla, la luna. 
intrisa di dubbi, 
e di sprazzi di sole 
e toccala, a accarezze, 
nella mutevole consistenza. 

Penetrala tua. 
Ammorbidiscila corpo 
e ventre fertile. 
Non guardarla, la lune,  
e trattienila,  
sopra ogni urlo al mondo,


Vorrei visitare 
tutti i luoghi del tuo corpo,  
nelle tue vene calde, 
e percorrerti, 
e rotolarmi donna. 

Mi soffermerei 
al bordo più sinistro, 
inclinato al nascondere, 
mi estrarrei il cuore, 
e lo cucirei al tuo 

In te  
esplorerei minuzie, 
paesaggi imprevedibili, 
gocce di luce, 
e pieghe di stridore. 
In te 
nuoterei in disarmonie. 

E disvelerei 
paesaggi inediti, 
fra dentro e dentro,


sdraiato il silenzio 
ci siamo addentrati, 

I corpi lì, 
e lo spazio fra noi. 

ci siamo osservati intensi 
per linee curvabili 
e angoli di morbidezze. 
Inclinati su sguardi 
di tenerezza calda. 

È stato fare l’amore 
penetrando occhi 
e pensieri nei corpi. 
Tu lì. 
Io, lì. 
Immobili ed intensi. 
ed estesi nel dentro, 


Io ho bisogno di te. 
Di quel tuo amore incisivo 
trasformato carne. 
Delle tue mani imponenti 
e del tuo corpo dedicato 
al mio volo di donna. 

Quel bisogno stregato 
di umori ancestrali. 
Quel bisogno di te, 
che per altri  
è il peccato, in amore. 
Il Bisogno. 

Quel bisogno 
di frangia, di mente, 
di baratro, sesso e dirupo. 
Ho assoluto bisogno di te 
Di quel pungente 
bisogno profondo, 


Non sopporto più 
i buchi che mi lasci 
nel corpo. 
che si insinua 
e scava e mi sottrae. 
Quel tuo mancarmi 
quando il mio corpo 
non si riempie di te 
e ti cerca disperato.
Non sopporto più 
la tua assenza, 
che mi trafigge viva 
e crea buchi passanti 
fra il mio corpo e l’amarti. 

Ho bisogno 
che le cavità morte 
tornino carne viva, 
pulsante pelle e gloria. 
Non sopporto più 
il mio scomparire 
a buchi; 
escavarmi a lama. 
Quel sottrarmi. 

È un’assenza maledetta, 
il tuo corpo, 


Ti sono scappata
spettinandomi il rigore, 
sfilati vestiti secchi, 
pelle bianca, a scaglie rigide, 
ricamata addosso 
dalla tua purezza attillante. 
Duecento anni 
di candore sfumati 
in una farfalla di fango. 

Con rami neri morti, 
ho riprofumato terra, 
il mio corpo libero 
di scrosciare acque 
a muschi assetati, 
bocche aperte su cosce 
ora sdraiate in estasi 
ad assaporare nuvole. 

Trecento anni 
a cupo lutto, 
lo scorrerti a ricordi,


     There is an unprotected fragile biosystem  
growing human fragilities. 
  The Garden of Fragility 
You can touch the breeze of controversial feelings.  
You can smell the rain over your body.  
You can walk into the water embracing wet clouds. 
You can warm snow and reshape shadows.  
You can make love. Oh, love.  In this garden love is extreme, only.  
You will penetrate passions and contrarieties.  
The Garden of Fragility 
needs to be explored in depth.  
You must be alone. In silence.  
There will be only one voice, and the darkness. 
I will be there, with you,

room 11
Lori endes

Water  (Resilience)

Days like storm driven waves
swelling constant, unpredictable
pulling you under through resistance and fear
lifting swiftly in cycles, resilience steers
towards soft, receiving shores 

Purest intentions lead into the wind
reconciling history and possibility
balancing this unmeasured arrangement
between unstoppable currents

Air  (Connectivity)

Gallivanting dust on thought filled breaths
no words can fill the space
between the loss of gravity amid the needless haste 

Weightless wonder with it all
a whirlwind of reverence and respect
worthy beyond significance bravery passes the test 

Release a dance with time and friends,
a truth undivided and obscure
excite the joy to ascend with all of life's allure

Earth (Power)

Such a fine balance
to wander the earth
curiosity gentles the soul
to speak about a perfect flaw
and be comfortable with the unknown 

A heightened state explores the edge
spontaneity walks further than before
uncertain abandon lets go of control
trusting change will be the goal

room 12
Randy Johnson

a point in time (you cannot step into the same river twice)

‘at this point in time’ is something my architecture profs used to say about ’now’ to assist in defining a specific date, an era, a period, to provide historic context but no sooner said, it instantly became non-existent, dated, obsolete, passé inexorable time once more performing that disappearing trick it does to perfection which is to be dynamic, fluid, unstoppable, an undammed relentless rushing river and we look back at that ever-receding ‘point in time’, lock it in our memories as a reference, a reminder, or convenience, an agreed upon convention when required for recall or discussion at other future onrushing points in time we can never go back to it, never recapture it, cannot touch it, cannot grasp it so we record it, archive it for future retrieval as it diminishes in our rearview mirror it’s an essential construct enabling us to imprecisely look backwards and forwards providing order, stability, and a degree of sanity, it is but a fleeting intersection a concept, a theory which we use to accept and confirm a ‘reality’, such as it is for our ever-flowing human condition which seemingly remains eternally pointless