Bell of the Sea by poet, Stefano Resta, is homage to the presence of the element water, its ability to influence the senses in myriad ways, its ability to transport travelers across the world, its mystery and power. The poems in the book are from many pockets of the world, and yet, the companionship of the sea is always present.
In my experience of reading Stefano's poetry over many years, I am often moved by the fluid and lyrical nature of his poems. His muse lingers in the natural world with a flower tucked over the ear, both to entice and tease us in the dance of beauty and wonder. As I read the poems from Bell of Sea, I do feel I am without an anchor as I begin to travel through the memories of water, as she gives and takes what we love, and cherish; as she delivers us to a new destiny each time, as if we are alway arriving for the first time.
Now let's read some of his gorgeous poetry....
Fundamental Sea - Stefano Resta
The fundamental sea,
the primitive gesture of salt,
the barbarous statements of water,
of a liquid tree,
the non-gravity of a an exploding wave,
the burst of unexpected doves
from the hats of magicians,
black hats of stone,
the illimitable and endless sea,
and more endless
I Absorb the Sun - Stefano Resta
With sticks strapped to my back, olives, smoked fish, and water
I approach each mountain, each volcano, as a dream.
I climb into the sky.
Does my name define me?
Do the names of anything define the thing itself?
Stones, swords, light.
In the midpoint of night, I look for light in the most distant star.
I am a simple and unbound celestial navigator.
I travel the valley of the sky.
I live in the canyons of ash, of fire and swords,
of ferns and solar mist, of reds, golds and black.
I move all day in the rain and the wind and the sun,
develop geologic textures,
configure colors into momentary revelations.
score my canvases with the back of my brush handle.
In this semantic parameter of reality, will I grow wings?
Will desire express itself as an infinite circle?
My morning thirst is addressed by the wet mist of fog.
I seek the sea,
its surging strength is an extension of my body.
For years this has been my journey.
You ask what it is I have learned.
I will tell you that I still discover constellations
that I have never seen,
new shapes of light,
sudden cylinders of smoke and wind.
These new forms reveal themselves
behind evaporating clouds: a cliff’s edge
along the edge of sky, then flora.
Rain mixes with the sun, birds lift.
Everything appears and disappears in an instant.
What had form becomes formless,
formlessness has become the rain.
With my canvases stapled to plywood under the blue tarp
I seek the power of the sea, the flame in the wind.
I pause, stretch, breath, meditate, absorb,
then I enter the house of silence.
Suddenly I plunge into lava tunnels,
sun prayers, fire breath,
fire rituals, Fire! Crackling fire!
My body paints and burns and spins,
jungle of fire, cliffs of fire, vortex of fire,
eye of fire, breath of fire, birds of fire,
seven stars of navigation,
seven points of energy expanding,
pyramids of fire,
roots of fire,
tantric fire, triangles, the sun,
self and selflessness, pulsations, vibrations in blue,
visions, infinite fountains, portals, sacred centers,
arches of red in the rain and the wind,
hardened rivers of black,
the triple mountains of memory,
the sea’s turbulence unfolds me,
wind blows through my body,
I am expanding, contracting, expanding,
all directions simultaneously, the sea explodes on the rocks.
And before the moon casts its bright light through branches,
she arrives, carrying a rainbow across her shoulders,
lyrical, singing amid the songs of the birds,
opening like a lotus.
In her presence I become the ocean, I become the bird,
I feel every wing, flow, and gesture of all of nature in my body,
naked I absorb the sun.
Copyright by Stefano Resta