di Peter Mayo


“a thousand colours”,
Pino Daniele belts,
laying soul bare,
a subaltern air,
squalor, beauty,
narrow street,

creativity, chaos,
musing philosophers,
painters, dramatists
decorated niches,
Filumena’s Virgin with
Blessed Maradona showcased

city’s humour
popular and on screen
music so organic,
Caruso pierces heart
of forlorn migrant
in Europe, beyond

Pulcinella, San Gennà,
Wit, superstition,
humped mammoth
across famed bay
in slumber lies
like ‘Veiled Christ’

poverty, Gomorrah,
‘smash and grab’, industrial riches bereft
open Southern vein
of Italian colonisation,
natural charm, depredation

place eerily familiar,
authentic home
for me and others of southern stock, rigidity to escape
and northern regulation