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Like a training ground for the spirit

When a woman’s voice intuits transcendence

Pregnancy

A rain is falling that cannot dissolve me

because I am not alone.

The baby girl moving within me

pokes at my core

while the other needle of the compass

traces concentric harmonies

in a mirror of perfect water.

In the guided advance

I understand how the slime

does not suck in my step

but a resilient thrust

catapults me into the fragrance

of freshly cut alfalfa.

In Via Cola di Rienzo

I

only just a mother

with my own mother

have an hour of time

to benefit

from a world

in balance

that has never been mine.

We walk arm in arm

just as in late school days

but now

our steps are quick

and the glance

goes beyond the shop windows

as far as home

where my daughter

far away from milk

protects herself

in a makeshift

dream.

Indignation

compassion

derision.

In the mirror

of every small room

my belly

swollen and floppy

surprises

the alien

shop assistant.

The perfect homogeneity

of  the foundation cream

escapes

by now almost without guilt

even the recollection

of the supreme rent.

About life which is born. The words began to detach themselves from the pencil and fall onto the sheet, when I became pregnant with my first daughter. I perceived more or less confusedly that something incredible was taking place, something “in excess” and poetry revealed itself as the only way to give voice to an experience which went beyond me. The ever popular weapons of the intellect were insufficient to confront what was taking place: they showed themselves deficient and brittle in their implicit claim to explain, rationalise, classify. I on the other hand felt my body being transformed, becoming a nut husk, filling out and wrapping myself around something that was inside me, but was not me. I felt like a grain of sand in comparison with the marvel that was operating inside and the bewilderment of this disproportion gifted me with words. The poetic inspiration I received arrived, therefore, in this way: to stammer the astonishment of a prospect, to express a thanks and a love never experienced before, to try to recentre myself in front of something that confounded the old ways. Because everything was new, being continuously pulled into the living fire of every beginning. Writing began from the body, listened to, endured, loved; it gushed forth from a concrete experience, rooted in the exertions of the everyday, for then to discover how this was invested, eternally lit up each day by an external Power of which poetry was called to distil the outlines.

Routine

Routine,

but yes,

a little routine!

Being part of the flock

sharing it

chat and coffee.

Putting your head in the sand

of a reassuring

practicality.

nappies,

feed,

wee,

what a pain

my dear!

But the evening when

I undress my daughter

of that silly pink

and I and she

in our underclothes

embrace each other

a humble and pure loveliness

diffuses

the faint light

of the room.

No night

to mix in with

our dreams.

For myriam and Thomas

I won’t see you growing old.

I won’t be able to stand by you

when your legs

are trembling

with tiredness

or the fear of death.

But perhaps, if by chance I am still there

you won’t ask anything of me

who consumes myself now

in order to domesticate the wind

whose back you lash

while you go to school.

And so I ask myself

what will remain

of this wild love

of this love with talons

thrust

until the last breath

into the word

children.

Family life in our society is submersed by a sentimental rhetoric and commercial stereotypes, triumphantly managed by instruction manuals; for me, on the other hand, it revealed itself as a training ground of the spirit, a way of intuiting the transcendence which breaks into everyday reality.

Feeling an “other” life within you, being called to take care of it has to do with creating and serving, the highest forms of the artistic and spiritual dimensions, the opportunity and privilege of being a woman. And the domestic ambient, far from being a damaging place of frustration and boredom, can make space for a new freedom, it can become the theatre of a true and proper process of self-denial: a little by little divestment of oneself through the intuition of a greater completeness.

The space in God

In this house

of late

no one talks about God anymore.

And yet sometimes unexpectedly

propelling by foals

the millstone of days

a stretch of air

opens itself in silence

which when you cross it

smiles softly

as if it were snowing.

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Aug. 19, 2019

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