Poetry by John Di Leonardo – 10/17


(Inspired by “Sarcophagus of the Spouses,” Etruscan, 6th c. BC.)

Here, before them, what I feel most has no name.
Their Etruscan dialect of the heart long dead

they simply smile, supine, sublime, tenderly
recline on that eternal bed, as in life I imagine.

The husband’s protective gesture
a wife’s nurturing contentment.

Love, that ancient tongue, needs no Tuscan glyph
or time transfigured stone to explain desire, body

within body. Only the upward glint of your morning
smile makes clear our eternal Etruscan love.


(Inspired by a Destination Wedding Photo, Hawaii, 2015.)

How is one to measure O’ahu’s weightlessness
Lapis emerald sheen suspended on sand
without want

burden of thought slanting an afternoon
past the pull of palms swaying the far end
of this rocky shore

western edge of Waimanalo beach
where lover’s eyes transmute wedding wreaths
into one another without question

as marrow in bone unswayed by surf
a sea’s silent tug the fulcrum of sleepy stars
loving loving without matter without self

John Di Leonardo


John Di Leonardo is a Canadian visual artist/poet, past president of The Brooklin Poetry Society, editor of Verse Afire. He is also an Associate Member of The League of Canadian Poets, and a member of the Canadian Authors Association. He has published two award winning chapbooks Book of Hours (2014), Starry Nights (2015), and is the recipient of the 2017 Ted Plantos Memorial Award. His poetry has appeared in over thirty poetry anthologies, and in Canadian poetry journals such as The Banister, Verse Afire, and Tower Poetry. He writes and paints in Brooklin, Ontario. You can visit him at johndileonardo.ca.