by Rina Ferrarelli

A strange efflorescence
on the lawn where hidden
roots and stumps
lie below the surface.
Was it the rain, the sun
after rain, the red moon
that caused such profusion?
They glow in the morning
in the silver blue of dusk,
open, and turn inside out
in the bright midday sun--
empty bowls held up to the sky--
split around the edges
into odd-shaped petals.
Smooth and rough
all covered with fragments
of the universal veil.
A few push up close to the ground
without visible stipes
bronze and gold fluted leaves
like coral of the woods
the color of regret.
Edible agarics or poisonous
amanitas? I wish I knew.
There was never a season,
a gathering place.
Our time together short.
Dead in their thirties,
or scattered widely
across two continents,
my people took this
and other kinds of knowledge
with them when they went.


Rina Ferrarelli's picture

Rina Ferrarelli came from Italy (Calabria), at the age of fifteen. She was awarded degrees in English from Mount Mercy College (now Carlow University ) and Duquesne University, and taught English and translation studies at the University of Pittsburgh for many years., She has published a chapbook and four books of original and translated poetry, the most recent Winter Fragments: Selected Poems of Bartolo Cattafi, (Chelsea Editions, 2006). The Bread We Ate, another collection of original poetry, is forthcoming from Guernica Editions., Her poems have won awards at local and international competitions, and were nominated for best American poetry. She received an NEA grant, and the Italo Calvino Prize from the Columbia University Translation Center., Her own poems have also appeared in publications such as these:, Along these Rivers: Poetry and Photography from Pittsburgh (Quadrant Publishing, LLC, 2008); American Sports Poems (Orchard Books, 1988), BSU Forum, Barrow Street, The Chariton Review, Chelsea, College English, The Critic, 5 A.M., Italian Americana, Images, Kansas Quarterly, Kindled Terraces: American Poets in Greece (Truman State University Press, 2004), Kiss Me Goodnight (Siren Book Co, 2005), Knowing Stones: Poems of Exotic Places (John Gordon Burke Publishers, 2000), Larger than Life (Black Moss Press, 2002), The Laurel Review, Line Drives (Southern Illinois University Press, 2002), The MacGuffin, Main Street Rag, Mss. Magazine, The Milk of Almonds (The Feminist Press, 2002), The Panhandler, Paper Street, Paterson Literary Review, Pennsylvania English, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, The Pittsburgh Quarterly, Poet Lore, Pyramid Magazine, Poetry NOW, Tar River Poetry, VIA, West Branch, Wild Dreams. The best of Italian Americana (Fordham University Press, 2008);,,, and in many other journals and anthologies, including several textbooks.

Last updated May 21, 2011