Flavia Cosma Poems
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Multilingual Poetry Festival I "Palabra en el Mundo IV"
organized by the International Writers’ and Artists’ Residency, Val-David, Quebec
May 22, 2010

Flavia Cosma
Blossom Thom
Cristina Montescu
Mel Sarnese
Adrian Erbiceanu
Michael Mirolla
Ionuț Caragea
Nancy R. Lange
Michael Mirolla
Kilda Gosselin
Yvon Boutin
Traian Gărduș
Gilles Matte
Benedetta I Pignataro

Art Display by Benedetta I Pignataro
Val David Festival 1

Participants' biographies
Photo album

Here are some thoughts of the participants:

"Hello Flavia, Thank you so much for the invitation to the event. You have a wonderful, welcoming space
All the best, "


"My experience at the International Poetry Festival is one with which I will look back with great fondness. To not only be able to share my own poetry in English but to be able to read in my mother language -- Italian, and in the Spanish language of my favourite poet, Pablo Neruda,is a tremendous feeling. Furthermore, to be able to read with other poets who are like-minded in their pursuits -- to be able to spread internationally, is like no other.
I believe it is very important to be able to step 'out of our box' with regards to poetry. To see there is poetry being read and written in the languages of the world, to experience the poets of our globe come to one place for the purpose of sharing our form of art, is what I think the aim of writing and publishing is all about. I believe it is important for the poet to experience the effect of poetry on the world at large. The multilingual readings are necessary for all serious poets to be able to experience -- to recognize what is meaningful in our many cultural traditions can only enhance our own writing form and content."

Mel Sarnese, Canadian poet/writer, living in Toronto.

"Michael and I were particularly happy to meet you and we thank you for your warm hospitality. I think the poets you invited appreciated very much this first meeting and I was particularly impressed by people coming from so far as Toronto in order to attend. Poets form a community of sensitive souls and are most necessary to this world.
Michael liked very much our experience and said he was impressed by the variety and the good works from our writers. As soon as he gives me the pictures he took, I will forward them to you.
Hugs and love,
Benedetta & Michael

Alan and I want to thank you for your kind generosity and hospitality. We really had a wonderful time. We're so happy your first International Poetry Festival was a success! The centre is gorgeous as are the grounds.
Mel and Alan

Below, we present some of the poems recited by participants to the festival:

Flavia Cosma*

Under the Cover of Time

Old age and demise
Will catch up with them too;
They will be buried in turn by others
In the shade of illustrious ruins,
Because all things come to an end
When you truly know them.

Although we may say that
The immortals—the hibiscus trees
Are continually in bloom,
Their lascivious, ruffled flowers,
Longingly waiting for me
More than a year now.

* Flavia Cosma, poetess and translator,
the director of the festival

Mel Sarnese*


Dear cousin
you as for a gathering of family
in a park
where we can play ball
sit on large blankets
eat round biscotti--
with the whole in the centre
Kind oall italian mothers learn
how to make
have good nostalgia
But don't you see
my uncle's son--
we have had many reunions
at funeral homes
where we could play ball
eat pastries
but are afraid to do so
in front of the dead

*Mel Sarnese, Toronto, Canada

Benedetta I. Pinataro*


Making your portrait
I created you as I wanted you to be
So as to keep you always near me
Painting is an act of powerful magic
- Also an illusion -
Your portrait keeps you prisoner of time
And present by my side.
Now that you passed away
I question myself.
Do I have the right to concentrate my thought
On a being that is today free like the wind?
And even in the past, what right did I have to keep you?

So, I already think of the next portrait that I will paint of you
"Face guessed among the foamy waves of the Sea
Nature’s one thousand twinkling eyes
A mysterious beam of the Moon
The sparkling of the Sun on the river
A birds’ flight in the Sky
The song of the lonely nightingale
The myriad of stars in the Firmament
The mountains and the valleys
You’ll be hidden under the white snow mantle
You’ll make pirouettes among the storm flakes
You’ll be in the age-old tree of the forest
Or among the thousands evanescent faces of the clouds "
Henceforth enfranchised and free,
I’ll still see you everywhere, oh my Mother!

*Benedetta I. Pinataro, artist and poet, Montreal, Canada

Ionuț Caragea*


and if the server crashed
would I still be a poet?
and if the Internet crashed suddenly
in the whole wide world
who’s going to ever hear of me?

I would like a law
to forbid poetry in public
to have to go in specially designed places
with a pencil and a piece of paper
to write only for myself
as if my poem were
an engagement ring
a vow for love

I’ve been hurting my soul
on a piece of paper
in a puddle of words
you call it clichee
a hole
or a whole lot of nothing

while poetry is
a crosswalk
between life and death

or a wild boar chased by bullets
in a pristine forest

My writing is not
a simple pastime
but a dedication for God
Who sometimes puts his palm
on your forehead

even if Life is a hospital
where people treat you
with drops of Indifference
while Death counts souls

if the Internet crashed
I would walk barefeet in the dust
to feel the cold body of my ancestors

or I would shave my head
so that nobody notices
how beautifully it snows

I would stop this talking
(a whole lot of nothing)
and I would kick you
where it hurts the most
to prove you
how much I love you

I was born on Google
everybody knows
and I endlessly seek
a place
to confess

(translation – Ioana Tirtirau)

*Ionuț Caragea, Romanian-Canadian poet, Montreal

Michael Mirolla*

In His Study

To spite God, you would make nothing out of
something. The shades are drawn. The melting snow
melts only on the outside. Abelard
sits before you with his legs crossed. Smiling.
‘Together, you and I will fill our stomachs
on this world and eat away the earth

beneath us.’ To spite God, you would sleep
forever. The knife is sharpened. Its twin
blades cut flesh or butter with the same ease.
Héloïse arrives too late to join the fun
but blood pudding is her favorite meal.
‘Now, you are mine,’ you say, underlining

words. ‘Your breasts lie flat between the pages
and mark the limit of my unknowing.’ To spite
God, you would give Him life. Ockham’s razor
is your ledge. ‘The wall you lean against
can be pierced by shade, by snow, by knife, by you.’
And you fall, God’s elastic hand stretching


*Michael Mirolla, Poet, playwright, editor, Montreal, Toronto, Canada

Nancy R Lange

Female Falcon

to the memory of my mother

the sky
is of defeaning cry
the ground begins to freeze
except this wound
violent punch
gaping hole
wherein I see myself mute
beak open
between severed roots
sunken trench
too slender to take in
the vastness that is you.

too rustling
to call it absence
too absent
to call it ghost
too physical
to call it grief

it's a road
without trees nor sky
no dividing line
high walls on either side
to muffle the sound
that leads nowhere
and it hits me
as soon as I open my eyes
with the evidence
of a kick in the stomach

(translation Brian Campbell)

*Nancy R Lange, Laval, Quebec, Canada