towards the dry treetops,
I don't see God, but his light
is immensely shining.
Of all the things I know
my heart feels only this:
I'm young, alive, alone,
my body consuming itself.
I briefly rest in the tall grasses
of a river bank, under bare
trees, then move along beneath
clouds to live out my young days.
- Stolen Days
We who are poor have little time
for youth and beauty:
you can do well without us.
Our birth enslaves us!
butterflies shorn of all beauty,
buried in the chrysalis of time.
The wealthy don't pay for our time:
those days stolen from beauty
possessed by our fathers and us.
Will time's hunger never die?
they play only church bells not violins in the Friuli!
When he sees some poor man lost in a square of Friuli
he gives him his jacket since he's sheltered by some wall,
when he sees a poor man lost and alone in the Friuli
he gladly gives him his heart as the sky turns to dusk.
"Good-bye, mom, good-bye, dad I am leaving the Friuli
I'm leaving for America, the glory of the Friuli!"
The train is taking me toward the clear blue sea,
oh, the sad loneliness of dying so far from Friuli.
- I'm Glad
I'm glad to watch people
outside laughing in the open air.
My heart also is made of air
my eyes reflect the joy of the people
and in my hair shines Saturday night.
Young man, I'm glad with my miserly
Saturday night, I'm happy with people
I am alive, I am happy with the air.
I am used to the evil of Saturday night.
- Nineteen Forty-four
Pigeons won't fly, chickens are scratching the ground.
No warning bells for tempests, only for Avemaria.
The garden gate swings open and a pale child
Comes out running , he sits on a pile of stones
And plays all alone with a shiny tin can.
His mom is in the kitchen, with shaky hands
she chops kindling sticks, her knee on the worn floor.
Then lighting a match she hangs the milk pot
Over the fire while blowing to kindle the flame.
Outside again bells ring everywhere Avemaria,
in every poor town filled with melancholy.
At fifteen, at nineteen years! Buttoning their pants
the young men come around, they pull her pony tail:
Mom, we're really hungry, get our breakfast ready!
Half-naked they run outside underneath the down spout
and from the rain barrel, laughing, one washes up
while the other combs his hair, like two poplar trees.
O dear God, don't forget what has happened to us
protect our passions, look upon us and have pity.
Our lands are in the hands of total strangers,
they made us prisoners in their own homeland.
The children and the old they hung in the square,
our unmarried women they raped and abused.
Our happiness and joy has dried up in our hearts,
our smiling and our laughter have flown so far away.
Along the railroad tracks, along those endless roads
we jeopardize our lives to find a piece of bread.
Call us to you, O Lord and we will call on you,
bring back our days of old as they were once before.
- Song of the Church Bells
my town disappears among muted hues.
From far away I remember frogs croaking,
the moonlight, the cricket's sad cries.
The fields devour the Vespers' church bells
but I am dead to the sound of those bells.
Stranger, don't fear my tender return
across mountains, I am the spirit of love
coming back home from faraway shores.