My summer is ending

My summer is ending

and the red leaves shiver

before the fall.


My summer is ending

I see your spring arrive

fresh green from white.


My summer is ending

Your faces are sun-shot

sparkling futures.


And the sun and the warmth

of near cloudless sky

my summer is ending.


October strides in

October strides in,
her fisted gloves of red gold leaves
holding the foreboding frozen heart of winter.
She kicks the trees with wild swings;
Their branches sway and leaves blow in her face like tears.
She strides on and, in the distance behind her,
The echoed howls of winter wolves grow louder.

Flies and the number 58

Life changed the day the people of Pezza discovered that flies were scared of the number 58.

Life changed for the better for calligraphers, for potters and for tile firers. Every family wanted a 58 tile to hang below the crucifix above the bed. Some went further and had a tile, or at least a piece of paper with the number written black on it, in every room or above every door.

For a while life changed for the worse for Piero, who drove around the town in his Ape car, stopping in the shade and selling whisks and swatters, horses’ tails and, lately, plug-in insecticides. But he was only away for a week and then he was back, driving around in the hottest hours, offering tiles and earthenware numbers, the hooks and nails to hang them from and, the biggest novelty, a portable laminating machine for those who could not afford the pottery numbers but were embarrassed by the tattered sheets of paper that flapped above their doorways.

But life changed most, and for the best, for those who livedĀ at number 58. Visitors from the north and from further began to buy up the lucky houses – Zia Maria became the talk of the village when she sold her family house at via Ferramosca 58 to a couple of Norwegian interior designers and moved in with her daughter and son-in-law.

In later years, who knows what happened, to the flies, to Piero and, perhaps most importantly, to Zia Maria, her daughter and her son-in-law. But for now, the people of Pezza were happy.