My Sicily: a poem

What is Sicily to me?

There are hundreds of Sicilies.

An island of hundred faces.

like the tale of Medusa

who becomes more elaborate

at every retelling.

Singing like Rosa Balistreri

with an emotional strength

pouring out the tears

in an overflowing stream.

A song of Sicily’s poverty,

her beauty,

with her insatiable energy,

the struggles of the downtrodden

and forza d’anima of the people

who withstand anything

Rosa was beaten down by life

yet her voice sung every moment

and reminds us to live every moment.

To love and listen like Dolce Danilio

who shared the stories

of the oppressed

affected by mafia crime and clan war,

to give a voice

without judgement

with respect and passion,

helping them to move beyond repression and silence.

To write like Quasimodo, Sciascia, Verga,

Pirandello, Camilleri, Buttitta,

Borgese, Messina, Vittorini,

Brancati, De Roberto

and so many others published and unpublished

because the best stories are the ones you hear

out on the street, those your nonna told you

the ones you never forget

as they are testify to the Sicilian ‘favella’,

a Sicilian way of weaving a tale,

with a colour, tone, life and drama

which exists only here on this island.

With its ancient wisdom

the island has a voice

which echoes through time,

up until this day.

With its delicate harmonies,

simple, sad, laments.

Like the ancient soul of Tithonus

a man given eternal life without eternal youth,

muttering things under his breath,

haunting time with his chirping,

buzzing around the ears

like the hum of everyday life

until time ends.

This poem is part of my poetry zine Trinacria Poems to read more about it click here.