Home » Poetry » Piccolo Mare


Stamp out starving writers, buy their books!

We think you'll find something interesting here. There's lots to choose from. These posts just go on and on, backward through time. If you'd like to know whenever we post something new, you can get a feed from Critical Pages. If you type our address and add /feed/ at the end, that will do it. That's simply criticalpages.com/feed/ and you're on your way.

Piccolo Mare

Marilyn Robertson, a singer and song writer living in California, writes poems, too, as readers of Critical Pages have come to know.  This one is called “Piccolo Mare” and is as simple and as complex or self-referential as a face in a mirror, or a sound and its echo.

The man whose bald head reflects the light
is writing a letter to his mother,
telling her he’s arrived in a town called Piccolo Mare.

He’s met a poet there, himself, at a sidewalk cafe,
taking pleasure in the coffee, the feel of the pen
in his hand, and the word evanescent
he has just written at the top of the page.

A bell rings in the church tower.
Its chimes float out to sea, then curve back
toward the hill houses,
easing under eaves, through open windows.

He thinks of the clock in his childhood home,
a grandfather clock, whose deep sound
carried him safely into each night
and out the other side.

He knew what that country looked like,
what he could expect.
Those things did not arrive.

He made a life anyway.
Now a new chapter begins.
He watches his hand to see what will happen next.

—Marilyn Robertson

More Notes

Tim Carmody, in his excellent piece, "How Haiti Became Poor", notes that President Trump's racist policies and vulgar language have sullied the word "shithole" which used to be one of the all-time great swear words. He's right. It's another terrible power this careless President wields.