Caulonian Suite: II. Caulonia Supriore


for Matthew

The sky roils;

swallows knit webbed gyres

among the baroque sag of rooftops.

Across the way they’re fixing one;

new russet barrel tiles sealed over

old timber bones.

I hear a sound like the pounding

Of a battering ram or the cleaving

Of an immense stump

Contrapunted with a loud HUP.

My daughter sleeps with the abandon

of an unfettered shutter swinging in a stiff wind.

A woman in her fifties climbs the stairs

to the house where she and my daughter

were both conceived.

We regard each other with

that part of the eye

which admits an alternate aim.

The pounding stops.

The church bells go off

with the percussive invective

of a fire alarm


They say it’s peculiar to here:

someone sounds the bell

not with the pull of a knotted rope

but with the unlevered force of arms.

This is the second in a suite of poems about Caulonia Supiore


By bonniemcclellan

Mother, poet, american ex-pat from Texas living in Northern Italy.


  1. Dearest Daughter –

    This one reminds me, the way it gathers force & soars, of Aaron Copeland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man.”


  2. Another strongly atmospheric poem. Details are captivating (like the child sleeping, and the lady climbing the stairs, and those devastatingly loud bells!) but it’s also the overall mood that you create. Congratulations again!

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