For my mother on her birthday
Rain falls on the terrace outside
And you listen to its music.
The flowers that you remember,
Always kissing the sun,
Are sleepily drinking
From soaked clay pots.
You hear the cry of gulls And the echo of waves
Crashing along the seawalls.
Not far from here
Gulls drift above the tides. The white tips of their wings;
the only colour
Above rolling waves
Blotted out under a grey marble sky.
The song of the sea rises and falls with the tumbling waves.
The sea air,
And the song of the sea;
By J. Hamilton
I want to take you
To the hilltop village
That overlooks the Ionian Sea.
The very same place
Where my mother spent many childhood summers.
When we look at the sparkling blue waves that roll onto the shore of Isola Bella,
I will tell you
That I am looking into the endless blue sea of my mother’s eyes.
We can breathe the air that once filled her lungs
As she stood on the beach with her sisters,
Soft sand filling the tiny arches between their toes
Wind off the waves
Kissing their faces
And filling up their bodies with it’s own breath.
Let’s feel the hot sand
Under our feet
Feel the cool spray off the ocean.
Visit Il Teatro and think of where her dreams began.
We will walk along sand and rocks.
See the light off the water reflected caves.
Let us let this seascape be our home
For one summer. Let us create a deep
Endless sea of memories that extend from hers
Let us carry them with us for the rest of our lives
Like shiny pale sea shells that wash to shore ,
By J. Hamilton
Not all moments are the same
Just like the minutes and hours of summer
That sit at the edge of a
Illuminated by sun.
Like many summers before
I wished that a butterfly would visit me
Drift dreamily in the air
Then find a place to rest
While we sat
In parched yellow grass
That tickled the underside of our bare legs,
Butterflies did come.
And two more
They sat in a line on our arms
As if drunk from the scent of fragrant blooms on nearby trees.
We watched in awe as tiny monarchs
Crept along our arms
As if we were flowers.
I can still see us
Holding our arms out to the sun,
Kissed by butterflies.
Painting, In Summer Fields, by Maria Grazia
I slip off my shoes
To feel the soft
Under my feet
As I walk in summer fields.
Stand on slender stems
All around me.
The powdery scent of lavender
Drifts in the wind.
The same scent of lavender scented sachets
That my mother kept
Among her linens.
A reminder and an unspoken promise
You and I are similar in many ways.
I collect leaves
Then store them between the pages of a book
To remind me of fall walks
And the oxygenation of leaves and how their colours deepen,
Then fade in time.
You collect flowers
On your walks.
They are mementos of poetic moments.
Treasures that dry on your window sills, on a book lined shelf
On your pine bench
Next to your satin ballet shoes.
Yours are everywhere
Constantly reminding you of
Where you have been
Within the fields from which these flowers have grown..
My leaves are inside the pages of books,
Tucked inside a papered time capsule.
Both of us
By J. Hamilton
In a vase, an arrangement of flowers sit
Drinking from the same water.
A mix of rosy snapdragons, fluted irises,
Butter coloured tulips, open faced, toward the sun,
And mustard, black-eyed Susan’s, sitting on long stalks of green, unbending.
These flowers are unlikely relatives
Standing together in
a gold handled
This is how you would choose your children.
Basking in their own uniqueness
Yet sharing the same light.
I still remember
The aromatic preparation
In the kitchen I stood in
As a child.
The saucepan on a burner,
Water, milk and spices
Coming to a gentle simmer,
Then black tea
Darkening the fragrant mixture
Of sweet sublime.
Poured me a cup of my own,
Watching as I drank your tea
In your sunlit kitchen.
Your dark eyes
As I sipped from
Your cup of warmth
This is how you make tea,
Dedicated to an angel on my walk today.
You walked along a naked path,
Trees hung in the backdrop
Your red coat
A stark contrast
To your sleepy surroundings.
One arm at your side
While the other was outstretched
Like a cardinal’s wing.
You carried the weight of your neck
Like an injured bird.
Yet as we passed
Your smile was unmarred,
By j. Hamilton
Ir has been a long time since we last spoke.
The seasons have changed.
Blood red leaves hang on branches that are soon to release them.
Night has blotted out any hint of light.
I am in my room,
Curled up in the quiet of my bed
Holding in the cough that builds up until it robs me of air.
I am trying to listen to the sounds of life within this house.
All of us, still together under one roof.
By J. Hamilton