A Look Inside
About the Chapbook
The Merla Poems is a limited edition chapbook created to honour a friendship of more than three decades between two women for whom finding beauty is essential. Art, architecture, travel,or simply the sharing of intimate conversation over a glass of wine in a cosy cafethese remain their inspiration and solace. While the poems stand on their own, for readers who are curious about the where and why of composition, an introduction provides the requisite glimpses into two private lives.
As naturally as breath,
her world is arranged.
The little black table, just so, by the kitchen window
quietly knows its place.
Above, geraniums spatter red
counterpoint to the tasteful restraint
of brass agleam from the ceiling rail.
The butcher block demands the centre,
while Classical French Cuisine lolls open,
"Fines Herbes" addressing tonight's beaujolais nouveau.
Even hand-quilted oven mitts
congratulate each other.
The impractical white floor shines.
In this room, as in all the rest,
one never simply is, but glides with grace.
Silent as primitives bordering stucco walls,
tinted pink through cranberry glass,
silvered from napkin rings,
pleasure is 9/10ths consciousness,
watching for a nod, that soundless "ah!",
the respect, jealous yet genuine,
for artistry's delicate clasp on life.
Into my eyes you gather
great cities’ glittering spires,
rugged towers, and airy piazzas.
Like sunshine on aqueducts,
each peeling century you adorn
with the lustre of pale frescoes,
chipped mosaics, rain-worn statues,
and I breathe in
crumbling walls as they open
onto a terraced garden
where a dark pool ripples
rows of rustling poplars,
and shadows blue a pergola at dusk.
One by one you call up
not simple photographs
but spirits of water, earth, and air,
and eased from aching bones, close crowds, and heat,
a thousand miles, still home
I travel Europe with you.
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Copyright 2010 Susan Ioannou
Order InformationThe Merla Poems, Paperback, by Susan Ioannou (Toronto: Wordwrights Canada, 2006, limited edition, 38 pages, ISBN-13: 978-0-920835-28-9, retail price $7.00.
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P.O. Box 456, Station O
Toronto, ON M4A 2P1, Canada
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Updated August 2010