At the airport in Catania I am randomly stopped during the security scan. My hands are swabbed for explosives. I showered after digging into the ground at Mt Etna so there should be no residue on my hands where I held the small lava stones still hot from the last eruption. “Your telephone.” Huh, I just came through the scanner. “What?” I ask. She thinks I ask why? “Your telephone,” she stearnly repeats. My telephone number?” I ask. ( That is the only thing relatable to my telephone that I have on me.). “Your telephone,” the voice grows louder. My daughter intervenes and pulls my old card. Saves me from the young Sicilian security woman as I remember my telephone is on the conveyor belt waiting for me and I forget every telephone number I ever knew.. Lost in translation— who calls the cell phone a telephone anymore?  




Bell towers all chiming at the same time


terra cotta rooftops

Ionian Sea in the distance

chime of 12– pause then 1

it is 12:15 now

my children took a last walk

to the elephant square

and I am writing poetry about Catania

earthquakes and volcanoes

can’t stop her

she pulls the good from the destruction 

“Black City” where the bricks and tiles

are made from lava stone

everyone waits for the next big eruption

“Not today,” they say, “not today.”


In Albania

In Albania

we visit the Jonathon Center

dance with the children

who are celebrating a birthday

This is the house where Mother Teresa’s mother

and sister lived during Communism

Mother Teresa was not allowed into the country

they said she was a spy

When Communism fall in Albania

Mother Teresa returned

put flowers of forgiveness on the grave

of the dictator and then went to her mother’s grave

When her mother was living

people would have coffee with her

they could not talk about God

there was no God in Albania


stories from Albania

In Albania