Angie’s Hands Have Seasoning
Angie’s hands have seasoning
the neighbors and relatives would say
when they got to partake
in one of her homemade meals.
Her hands would go through
each tomato or vegetable
sorting the good from the bad
the freshly picked garden varieties
delicately, as though she was touching
a bit of eternity or the cosmic web
lined with ancient secrets;
she could sense the life force in the greens or reds
the messages of love carried from the ancestors
which seemed mirrored in her warm
and well worn hands.
Without any ego driven desire
she took her medium of expression
and laid it out perfectly on the table
like an artist preparing her tools
for an object of great beauty;
she worked with focus and intention
to shape her creation.
Then before cooking the ingredients of any dish
whether a complex pastry, homemade ravioli
or a simple soup she mixed,
Angie placed her hands a few inches
above the contents
the way a healer does when
he scans the human energy field
and moved them around
not like a magician to distract the viewer
but with tenderness, sensitivity,
an awareness of the mystery
She knew the greatness within the small
the secrets of how to nourish us all
with what she created through nature
and those well seasoned hands.
Li Manu di Angie Davanu Sapuri
Li manu di Angie davanu sapuri,
Dicianu amici e parenti,
Quannu s’assittavanu a unu di li so’
Pranzi fatti ‘ncasa.
Li manu spezionavanu ogni pumaroru
O la virdura,
Scigliennu chiddi boni appena coti di
Lu iardinu cu dilicatizza’
comu si stassi tuccannu
un cocciu d’eternita`
o la trizza di l’universu
adornatu di sigreti antichi.
Angie sapia, sintia, vidia l’energia viva
Capia li missaggi d’amuri
Di l’antenati e parianu riflessi ‘ni li soi
Manu cavuri e cunsumati.
Senza nuddu disiu di essiri vista,
Pigghiava lu megghiu menzu di espressioni
E lu mittia senza peccu supra la tavula
Comu n’artista chi si pripara li strumenti
Pi rializzari un oggettu di biddizza granni.
Travagghiava cuncintrata e attenta
pi dari forma a la so` criazioni.
Poi prima di mmiscari l’ingredienti
Di qualsiasi piattu
Sia chi fussi ‘na cosa duci cumplicata,
Ravioli fatti ‘ncasa o ‘na suppa semplici.
Angie ci mittia li manu supra
A distanza di qualchi centimitru
Comu fannu chiddi chi sentinu e movinu
Cu li manu l’energia umana
E li muvia comu fa un magu pi distrarri
L’attinzioni di cu talia.
Ma lu fa cu ducizza, sensibilita`
E consapevoli di ddu misteru.
Canuscia la grannizza di li cosi nichi
E li sigreti di comu nutricarini a tutti.
cu chiddu chi criava tramiti la natura
e ddu sapuri di ddi so’ manu antichi
Translated into Sicilian by Nino Provenzano
Le mani di Angie davano sapore
(per mia nonna Angelina Consolmagno Marchesani)
Le mani di Angie danno sapore
dicevano vicini e parenti
quando partecipavano a uno dei suoi pranzi fatti in casa.
Le mani passavano in rassegna ogni pomodoro o verdura
separando i buoni dai cattivi
le varietà dell’orto, appena colte,
con delicatezza, come se stesse toccando un granello d’eternità
o l’intreccio del cosmo, orlato di segreti antichi;
sapeva percepire l’energia vitale negli ortaggi verdi e in quelli rossi
i messaggi d’amore dei predecessori
che sembravano riflessi nelle sue mani calde e consumate.
Senza desiderio alcuno di farsi notare
prendeva il suo mezzo d’espressione
e lo disponeva, impeccabile, sul tavolo
come un artista che prepara i suoi strumenti
per realizzare un oggetto di grande bellezza;
lavorava concentrata e attenta
per dare forma alla sua creazione.
Poi, prima di mischiare gli ingredienti di qualsiasi piatto
sia che fosse un dolce elaborato, ravioli fatti in casa
o una semplice zuppa,
Angie vi poneva sopra le sue mani, a qualche centimetro,
come un guaritore quando scruta il campo d’energia nell’uomo
e le muoveva
non come fa il mago, per distrarre l’attenzione di chi guarda,
ma con dolcezza, sensibilità, e consapevolezza del mistero.
Conosceva la grandezza in ciò che è piccolo
i segreti di come nutrirci tutti
con quello che creava attraverso la natura
e quel sapore dalle sue mani antiche.
Translated into Italian by Elisabetta Marino
Louisa Calio is an internationally published, award winning author, performer, and photo artist. Louisa earned a BA in English (Special Honors) and Masters from Temple University. She won the Connecticut Commission on the Arts Award to Individual Writers, 1st Prize for “Bhari” fr. City of Messina, Sicily (2013), 1st Prizes for “Signifyin Woman” and “Sky Openings” Il Parnasso” Canicatti, Sicily (2015, 2017). Louisa was a finalist for Nassau County Poet Laureate in 2013, and winner of the Taliesin Prize (Trinidad and Tobago). She was honored at Columbia Barnard as a Feminist Who Changed America (19763-75). A former teacher and Director of the Poet’s Piazza in Hofstra University for 12 years, Louisa was a founding member and first Executive Director of City Spirit Artists, Inc., in New Haven, Ct. Louisa has spent her life bringing the Arts to divergent communities. She lives in the USA and Jamaica, WI. Her latest book, Journey to the Heart Waters, was published by Legas Press in 2014.
Nino Provenzano was born in Castellamare del Golfo, Sicily. He is Vice President of Arba Sicula, an international organization that promotes Sicilian culture in the world. Nino has recited his poems in various Universities in the United States, Canada and Italy. He has done translations from English to Sicilian for the movie MAC, directed by John Turturro, and did work for Spike Lee and the actor John Leguizamo in the movie Summer of Sam. Nino also trained the Emmy award winning actor Michael Badalucco for the movie The Man Who Wasn’t There by the Coen Brothers. Under the auspices of Arba Sicula, he has published a collection of his poems called Vinissi (I Would Love to Come). The book is bilingual, with the English translation by Gaetano Cipolla. The most recent book of his poems, Tornu (The Return), was published also by Arba Sicula and translated into English by Gaetano Cipolla. Provenzano has been acknowledged for his contribution to the Sicilian-American culture in Italy and the USA, most recently from the Italian American Federation of Greater New York. As recently as March 2013 Nino was awarded first place winner of the International Poetry Competition “Salvatore Quasi modo” for Sicilian Poetry, in the city of Messina, Italy. He is working on his third book of poetry with the English translation also by Gaetano Cipolla.
Elisabetta Marino is tenured Assistant Professor of English literature at the University of Rome “Tor Vergata.” She has published extensively on the English Romantic writers, on Italian-American literature, Asian-American, and Asian-British literature. She has written about and translated the works of Louisa Calio, among other Italian-American writers.