Alicia Patti

Alicia Patti Poems


My favorite bookmark
smells of cherry wood;
each time I read, its smell
compels me to proceed.

I sit here in my cups wondering
where it all went and why.
Fishermen cleaning their wares along
the decrepit pier seem to sigh with each

Conjurers like us
have no need
of disappearing acts
or card tricks

Would you think of me when the wind
whips up the sand and the angry sea crashes
against the crumbling jetty where our beach
blanket used to lay;

a chance sighting
eucalyptus trees
up a slight incline
a moment’s gasp

Two men dressed in gray
asked us to leave the grieving room.
The son is here, they said.
Reluctantly I left my sister’s resting place

Why did Nurse Ratched think
she had dibs on all the nuts in the bag?
The little power she enjoyed pushed her
over the edge. I was there, I know:

We’ll never know who
the culprit was.

The tamburo

It makes no difference now
that the sun has set on western ground.
Time will toll the age-old tale for posterity
and frown, as sad old men daydream

How I love the coo-coo-coo! of a dove,
especially at dusk when the summer
air is redolent with musk,
and all around are the sounds

They were told the streets were paved with gold.
I remember the pain and pride in my father’s eyes as he pounded
the kitchen table, his big fist like a hammer of God,
and my mother’s sighs in measured counterpoint,

It never occurred to me that I would see
the end of us come so suddenly:
a tornado roaring down the highway past
101 and Grand would be the final brand.

How they haunt me still
like playmates’ naughty taunts.
The old church bell
the lilacs’ smell,

I saw you walking in the park today,
And all at once my world came tumbling down.
You looked as though you had not aged a day! -
Although I noticed just the slightest frown

No one suspected such a heartfelt sight:
father and child on a lovely summer day,
puffy clouds painting a powder blue sky.

The ruins of Pompeii held no charm for me, so full of ruined rocks and the dead it made my heart hurt. How the tour guide waxed eloquent on that ancient holocaust, almost revering the disinterested volcano that overtook so many innocents under the hot Pompeian sun: children at play, mothers nursing their young, fathers planting olive trees, the elderly gazing at the volcano that never ceased its warnings. They refused to believe Vesuvio’s ranting was the bellow of things to come.
How the tourists speculated as they gesticulated, full of awe and sympathy...

The tour ended with the spectacular showing of human remains, fire-frozen in the grotesque rictus of the dead: backs arched, appendages akimbo; all lovingly encased in glass for the entertainment of future generations. Then we clambered onto the bus and thought no more of Pompeii and what we saw that day.

Born to sing music all triumphant thrall
Mellow up mellow up my trumpets call
My heart sings my songs my songs come
Oh next refrain fill my soul take me home

My mother made pizza on weekends,
in the days when we had little else to eat.
How else to pacify a horde of ten?
Pasta every day drained us,

in tongues


At the flower market
I found spice, holy water,

Alicia Patti Biography

I have been writing poetry for 50 years. I have entered some contests and three of my poems have been published in small press poetry books. In the early 1980's I edited and published Freedom's Child, a poetry journal dealing with liberty and individualism. It was a very creative time, and I met many talented poets in this manner. Freedom's Child last publication was December,1982, and it left a huge void in my life; however, I soon took up writing again and have been avid in this regard ever since.)

The Best Poem Of Alicia Patti


My favorite bookmark
smells of cherry wood;
each time I read, its smell
compels me to proceed.
Sometimes the words themselves
take on the cloying scent,
each page a trip to other worlds, where
adventures wait and beckon me.

I bask in their exotic spices,
the candied plums of each enchanting land.
Golden days and warm Sicilian
nights caress me tenderly.
And now I see the vineyards of Tuscany!

Amid these colorful bazaars,
with their amazing images,
their heady scents of frankincense
and cherry wine, my head
begins to swim from the wisdom
in these pages wrapped in parchment,
linen, lacquered leather:
the passionate papyrus
of all the literate gone before.

And I am humbled.

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