Monday, November 14, 2016

BLOG OF THE WEEK - AN UPDATE WITH MARCOANTONIO

We have a special story for you this week, my friends. We are chatting with Marcoantonio, of Life Whispers. I encourage our readers to read our interview in 2012, when Marco shared in depth the heart-stirring story of his childhood and his beautiful Mamasita, whom we will remember during this conversation as well. It is a story worthy of a book and a film. Today, we are visiting our friendly poet in South Bend, Indiana. The coffee is on and our host is welcoming. Let's dive in.







Sherry: Marco, it is nice to be catching up with you. For our newer members, would you like to give us a snapshot of your life, and those with whom you share your life? What are the joys of South Bend, Indiana?




Marco: we - me, Roberta and Jaz - still reside in Northern Indiana, South Bend. South Bend is a decent community. it’s near Chicago, Southern Michigan and all the Michigan lake front resorts and Indianapolis. this provides us with access to larger cultural centers.



South Bend skyline - source


Sherry: That sounds like an interesting location. Would you like to bring us up to date with recent events in your life, my friend? I know you and your wife have suffered some major losses this past year, and were hit hard by them, beginning with the death of your beloved fur child, Jules.

Marco: we lost our boy Jules in the beginning of last November. unfortunately we lost Roberta’s mother, Ruth, at the end of November. She was a teacher and concert violinist. She was integral in the churches where Roberta's father, Stuart, was minister. Unfortunately, we also lost Stuart, two weeks ago. He was a minister of the Presbyterian religious affiliated churches. he started his ministry in Columbus, Ohio, then South Bend, Indiana, ultimately in Omaha, Nebraska where he also took on the responsibility of Chaplain of OPD. both had longevity and contributed wholly, and were committed to making an impact in their communities through their faith.

Sherry: They sound like very fine people, Marco. My condolences to you and Roberta in their loss, and that of dear little Jules.  How is your remaining fur child, Jaz?


Jules and Jaz


Marco: Jaz is still vibrant and is much loved. She gets our full attention. We are seriously considering adopting a shelter friend for her. He will be no younger than three years old. this is so she doesn’t have to deal with angst of all that comes with a younger puppy.

Sherry: That would be such a good thing, Marco. Especially as dogs who are a bit older aren't always fortunate enough to find a loving home. Let us know when you find him, won't you, Marco?

When did your writing journey begin, mi amigo? Has it companioned you well throughout your life?  I know you sing and play guitar. Is there a connection between music and poetry for you?

Marco: my interest in expressing myself through writing came early when i would write verses for songs. i have so much that is written in pencil and pen, hard copy, that I’m in the process of gathering for a future reference. 

Growing up with Mamasita, who shared her love of voice and music, was a great inspiration. as we all know who enjoy expressing themselves through word also realize the connection of music as an art form of expressing, creatively as well as a cathartic means of dealing with the vicissitudes of life. writing and music which are not mutually exclusive is the human conduit to their existence with the Universe. you know, the vibrations of all that exists.

Sherry: I love the thought of that "vibration of all that exists." For our newer members, would you like to tell us a bit about your Mamasita’s journey, and your own?




Marco: Mamasita brought me and my siblings, (six of us at the time after losing  a sister and brother to childhood infirmities), to the U.S.A in the late nineteen fifties / early sixties. this was to try to experience a world at an arm's length from the disheartening and discontent of an abandoning husband and biologic father to us. She, Raquel Lopez, mi mamasita, had met an American man who promised her a land of security and comfort. 

Not too long after establishing a nest in Indianapolis, mamasita had a child by him, my brother Dan 1. He ended up using us for labor at tilling his farm land. He was extremely abusive both to us and mamasita. She eventually quietly came in contact with someone in the Catholic diocese in Indianapolis, Sacred Heart, who provided us an avenue of escape up to northern Indiana with a Catholic Church and University, Notre Dame University.  

He, this evil man, ended up kidnapping his biologic son, our brother. The FBI searched for him but never with results until he, Dan 1, contacted us many years later. That in itself is a completely other sad story.

this was the beginning of a life for her and us, although beset by an impoverished existence, we were very fortunate to be comforted under the auspices of a caring  cathedral of Holy Cross priests. Mamasita, for most of the rest of her life, worked two, sometimes two and a half jobs in order to keep us fed and sheltered. She loved us with song and wonderful cooking and loving embraces dispersed in small portions, due to time and number of siblings. 

She had a very hard struggling existence in her time here on earth. Hopefully, she was well aware of her children’s adoration and love for her. i miss her very much and I speak to her every day as I look at her pictures set up on my desk  in front of my work space in my small study. Her lovely singing voice still resonates in me and I, on occasion, still strum and sing some of her favorite songs, both Mexican songs in Spanish, and those she loved in English. Her music, her voice, her heart, her strength can never be overstated.

Sherry: She was a valiant and beautiful soul, Marco. Since I first heard her and your story, I have never forgotten her. And your poems to her touch my heart. I would love to include this one, if I may.






dia de madre




Mamasita,
a cardinal, a robin, a cowbird, a blue Jay,
a redwing black bird and a turtle dove
are orchestrating your song for today
they’re rehearsing mamasita’s lullaby
for mamasita day
they’re just outside my window
recalling your favorite tune
you know the one in the morning you’d sing
while the tiny rainbows glittered inside the dew

I vividly remember as a little child
with my hermanos and hermana
gathering, holding hands looking outside
the window as the day begins. you’d tell us
if one sings la cancion ‘esta mananita’
the morning the sun would rise joyously,
the birds would sing its welcome
and you were always right

so today, for you mamasita, with the
back up choir of robins and sparrows
and all their other amigos and even
some ground squirrels chiming in
i sing ‘esta mananita’ to celebrate and honor
you for without you my life would not be

con muchisimo amor, mamasita,
con los angelitos donde estas hoy
te mando mi coracon, todo mi amor

tu hijo, nene


Sherry: Mi amigo, this pings at my heart, and will for every mother who reads it as well. Your mamasita had a very loving son. She was blessed. And so beautiful!

This is where I usually ask a poet to share three of his favourite poems and tell us a bit about each one. You have written some recently that
knocked me out! I am hoping you will allow me to include them here. They say so much about you, my friend. Let's look at "My Soul Speaks".


my soul speaks


my walk today traversed a hillside
through a field of wisteria embracing
a patch of yellow snapdragons and lily of
the valley white bells while busy yellow jackets
and bumble bees buzz, a pollinating dance


conscious and slow with every step
cognizant of this moment listening to
the whispers of the day noticing its
breath as it swirls and sways a field
of wild-flowers like waves at sea


i listen to the voice of my soul speak
as i search to find my ‘within’
bringing my spirit to a brink
grasping my heart with a calming
asking to be witness to peace


the tales of my soul does tell of pain
hovering over sadness and disarray
while wishing the music of love to play
awaiting trials and tribulations to allay


knowing all this to be mundane that
the transcendent spirit will soon discard
severing the tethers and letting the vibrations
to play in sync and rhythm with the
Universe where together they, too, shall dance





Notre Dame, South Bend - source


Sherry: "They, too, shall dance." How I love that!

Marco: my favorite poems or free verse pieces are always the latest because they are the attachment to my present existence. now at my years of aging i try, cognitively and spiritually, to be in the present, the Now.

‘my soul speaks’...... like many of my pieces reflects my continued desire to be in touch with the spirit of the Universe, the soul of Nature with the voices and conduits being the Eagle and the Wolf. On this one i try to express at the end a hopeful assimilation of me and the Universe.

Sherry: And you succeeded admirably, my friend. I also loved "The Joy of Life and Sleep". Let's take a peek.


joy of life and sleep

that waft of lavender or soft musk,
the sparkle of the dew on grass in
the morning and the lust my heart
and soul doth feel the joy of waking
to life’s ebullient smile


warm golden yellow rises and white cottons
soar along the azure powdered face
shimmering off the mirror ocean blue,
a spectacle bringing life to the jumping
dolphin and spattering of fish while seagulls
call and the osprey talons fill


doth my day begins of Summer’s Spring
while cool wet sand invades the space
between my toes, the southwest winds
blow capturing underneath my eagle wings
so that i may fly amidst the day where
i shall play


from dawn to dusk my soul shall dance
give way to the spirit of the universe
of how things should be where chaos
intermingles with harmony as opposites
and the yin yang intertwines as one


a glitter of stars shall prick the black of night
and tease the moon to smile while the roaring
vocals from white nail rolling fingers of the sea
shall sooth my dreary eyes to close and i will
dream the dreams where my soul shall soon
reap a joy of with souls in that universal sleep



Sherry: The contemplation of that "universal sleep" certainly speaks to those of us making our journeys into aging, my friend. You make it sound most comforting, the union with other souls.

Marco: once again, a running narrative of being in touch with myself intertwined with my surroundings in this mundane existence. i speak to being in touch both in the waking state and in the dream state, which is which i’m not sure. part of the ongoing narrative in most of my writing is being attuned to my coexistence with Nature and other living beings and always aware of my mortality, here.

Sherry: It is that oneness with nature and other beings that draws me to your work, Marco. You wrote a beautiful poem to Roberta on your anniversary this year. I would love to share it, if I may.





you in my eyes


come closer 
look into my eyes you'll see
the jonquils of Spring
a grand old oak tree and
a robin and cardinal flying free


deep inside me you will see
your soul, the beauty of your face
the salient nature of your skin
on your cheeks and gentle kisses
of your lips


take a little more time, look deeper
and you’ll see the tears
when you had pain, when you
felt a loneliness in the gray
of a stormy rain


keep looking inside me you'll notice
love for those scared, those hurting
with the pain of loss for love ones
and a flood of tears, the angst
of aging too soon, the waning of years


my wish is that you will see
when you peer into my eyes,
my love for you never growing old
together your soul and mine residing
with eternity in the oracle of time


* dedicated to my lovely wife on this day of our ninth wedding anniversary and our thirtieth year in each other's embrace


Sherry: Every wife should be so lucky to receive a poem like this! It is lovely, Marco.

Marco: ‘you in my eyes’........ was a combination of both my love and relation with my partner, my wife Roberta, but also with all who look into my eyes. they see and feel what i see and feel trying to incorporate the element of human sensorial. we are all one traversing the best we can this world which provides us with angst and joy, with turmoil and calm, with violence and peace. if we take time to look into each other’s eyes, we all see ourselves in each other without bias of race, ethnicity or gender.

Sherry: The secret to not fearing the "other" is to look into their eyes and see a fellow human. Wonderfully expressed, Marco. Your heart is large.

I would like to draw this wonderful conversation to a close with one of your  beautiful poems, which reveals your compassionate heart so very well.



do not disdain portrayals of love
nor feign affection
but receive with open arms and heart
Life’s every emanation
for loves they falter
and tend to fade away
Hearts they are broken
are scorned and
cry from day to day
do not fold within
like a flower sleeping
at the end of its season
but like the flower
always leave a little room
to begin again.


Sherry: "Always leave a little room to begin again." Such wise advice. I understand this was one of your first poems. It is remarkable. 

Marco: yes. this one i wrote at a very early age and stage. this encapsulated my being in touch, yet also always realizing the ‘hope’ in this existence.

Sherry: We live in hope. Truly, it is what keeps us going. Is there anything you’d like to say to Poets United?

Marco: i would like to address and explicate my reasons for using lower case vs capitals and lack of appropriate punctuation in everything i write: the lower case is my voice indicating that my words are significant to me and do not require ‘capitalization’ except for deserved (subjective reason) proper names. the lower case signifies my cerebral rationalization and feelings that what i say and write deserve no great attention relative to those that deserve the attention and relative to the importance of the Universe and its truth.

the lack of appropriate application of punctuation is to express the notion that my thoughts and ramblings come without punctuation and also to instigate a discordant feeling on those formalists and traditionalists. this method provides me that sense of no borders, no bounds.

Sherry: I wish I had read this before I edited it all, kiddo. LOL. No worries, I changed it back when I reached this part. I like the humility expressed in using lower case. I had another friend who did that, as a means of staying humble.

Marco: i am so appreciative of all who i have had the fortunes of exchanging our presence with each other. i enjoy this human sharing. i hope it’s mutual.

Sherry: It is, indeed, Marco. We are happy to have you among us, with your large heart and universal vision. Thank you so much for sharing some of your remarkable journey with us today. 

Marco: Gracias, mi amiga

Another inspiring pilgrim, making his way, my friends. Do come back and see who we talk to next. Who knows? It might be you!




19 comments:

  1. What a lovely read! Thank you, Sherry and Marco. I didn't see the earlier interview when it appeared, so was enthralled to read it now. What a moving story! Marco, I think dia de madre is your most beautiful poem of all. (Though – smile – the anniversary poem to Roberta runs it close.)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Marcoantonio, whenever I read your words or read your poetry, I am so impressed with what a warm-hearted and thoughtful person you are. Such beauty, such depth, and such love for the people & animals in your life. Thank you for sharing with us, and, Sherry, thanks for making the visit possible.

    ReplyDelete
  3. My pleasure, my friends. I so love peoples' stories, and Marco's is very special to me, as I, too, was a single mother of four,who tangled with a bad man but somehow still found the heart and joy to sing.........Marco, my friend, thank you for sharing your good heart with us.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Marco, you do write with a gentle pen from your heart. i have enjoyed reading your poetry. i feel you have a great sense of the world around you and the importance of people who are part of your life.

    ReplyDelete
  5. such a captivating interview Sherry and Marco...thanks Marco for sharing your world to us...wonderful poems selected here today...

    ReplyDelete
  6. What an incredible story Marco...thanks for sharing it with us Sherry....I love your philosophy and ‘you in my eyes’ is one of my favorites! I did not know you lived in South Bend. I grew up In Mishawaka, your sister city, in the 1960s. A lovely spot. Hope to catch up with you soon on Poets United!

    ReplyDelete
  7. gracias mi amiga for this re-visit. i am turning the corner in life. at this turn i am being prodded by other challenges that are sending my human emotions into a viral spin, some of disquiet and some comforting and calm with the acceptance of reality and the chapter i'm in. i ask at this time for the sending of some positive vibes from my writer friends because the love of my life and myself have been recently been given some not so positive news of her health. just a thought or moment embraced with a smile so that she, my lovely wife, will feel love in lieu of pain and sadness. gracias to all mi amigos and amigas. Ciao !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sending warm thoughts and prayers in your (and your wife's) direction at this time, Marco.

      Delete
    2. Marco, I am so very sorry that this new challenge has emerged for you both. I will keep you both in my thoughts and prayers, trusting in a good outcome. And I know what you mean about the calmness that emerges in these times, the understanding that we are surrendering to a force greater than ourselves. I am glad to know your wife has you so strongly and comfortingly by her side. I will walk with you through this passage as I read the poems you write to chart your way through. Blessings to you both, my friend.

      Delete
    3. It is Providence that this feature appeared now, with her name and photo – all the easier to focus the healing vibes! Coming up.

      Delete
  8. I love this post! Thank you Sherry and Marco.

    ReplyDelete
  9. A touching inteview, with such warm and deep emotions. Thanks Marco and Sherry, Here's wishing you, across thousands of miles, strength and love to overcome your new challenges.

    ReplyDelete
  10. "i listen to the voice of my soul speak
    as i search to find my ‘within’ "

    I love how the sounds and flowers and birds and so many living things detail your poems. Your poems always feel joyful to me because they are so full of spirit. That is the lesson inside your eyes. Thank you both.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Sorry you had to go through so much. Thanks for the story and the amazingly beautiful, deep, touching poetry

    ReplyDelete
  12. it has been a pleasure and eye-opener reading something about your life Marco - I can picture you all with Mamasita singing up the day. With such love you have completed the circle of love with Roberta. Nature comes often into your poems but how better to express awe and beauty. I wonder if you ever write poems solely in Spanish - or even if your poems are translations of what began in Spanish. Being a student of this lovely language I would like to read one - was able to understand the feelings you expressed so well at the end of your dia de Madre. Blessings on you and many thanks to Sherry for another in depth interview

    ReplyDelete
  13. Luv so much,the tribute poem to your mamasita. Its nice to meet you up close Marcoantonio, outside of your blog.
    Thanks Sherry for another treat

    much love...

    ReplyDelete
  14. Marcoantonio, from your poetry, i have a picture of a thoughtful, humble and compassionate person. this interview certainly confirms it. thank you for sharing your story with us.

    ReplyDelete
  15. gracias all of you! gracias Sherry, mi amiga

    ReplyDelete