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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

The World Happiness Report, released by the United Nations, ranks countries on six key variables that support well-being: income, freedom, trust, healthy life expectancy, social support and generosity. This year, Finland is first, followed by Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Switzerland, followed by Netherlands, Canada,New Zealand, Sweden, Australia. The United States, which has never been in the top ten, silpped down four places from last year and is now 18th. President Trump may make American Great Again, but apparently not happier.