Poetry: “Art Lesson”

“Art Lesson” speaks to a different type of space.  The spaces left in an unfinished painting, the last painting of an artist friend who died an untimely death at the age of 30. Looking into the unfinished parts of this work, the open spaces, it was hard to not wonder what he planned for this last work and it is hard to not see this piece as exceptionally sacred.  The italicized line translates to “even in death you teach me.”

Art Lesson

(For Eddie)

Anche nella morte mi insegni.

The gargoyles you left

waiting in Florence

in that April garden

are suspended,

like me.  But

they don’t know what I’ve come to:

the trembling intimacy of seeing

what your eyes saw

in those years you were away,

being fed by the banquet

only Florence could provide;

How she transformed

your sight,

your soul.

Watered brush strokes fill the gaps,

but some remain.

Gone now are simple Sundays

in marbled museum corridors.

Chiaroscuro, impressionism, modernism –


that reduced art

to something safe.

-Maria Mandarino

 January 30, 2000


Poetry: “Opening Space”

The concept of the healing nature of “space” has clearly been in my consciousness for many years.  I wrote this poem over ten years ago.  I hope you enjoy it.

© 2003 M.G. Mandarino

Opening Space

What have you done

but create new spaces?

Dark corners

where the demons once lived,

turned into sacred dwellings

where the sweet spirits

may now reside.

Finally, it is time to burn

the white sage and smoke

the dark ones out,

then light the sweet grass,

long and braided

like the hair of the warrior

who once taught me

how to invoke spirits of light.

What have you done

but lift earthbound bones

so the fire of Creation

might burn through

and light the way?

Yes, great spirit, teacher, healer,

what have you done?

-Maria Mandarino  9/30/03