Giulia Neri art work: LGY, Chapter 2

Chapter 2: The Strawberry Meadow

Then we set out to pick the berries. The only trouble about strawberry picking was – having to go through Shaded Woods. The best strawberry patch was on the other side of the island and the woods were in between.

Giovanni had been freaking  little every time we went. I asked him what was spookin’ him. “Those eyes,” he told me. “They always look at me whenever we pass through.”

“Eyes? I’ve never seen any eyes.”

“I’ll show you once we get to the trees.”

Giovanni, Longhair and I lived in a small but pretty cabin on the 
coast. The best place to pick strawberries was a meadow at the base of a mountain farther inland. The mountain was really only a big hill but it was the highest spot on the island, so we called it Mount Big. I know, really original. We could have named it something else like Mount Overlook or Mount Little but someone sometime had called it Mount Big. The name had stuck and that was that. Like I said, once stuff gets in a person’s head, it pretty much stays there. Anyway.

Giovanni and I entered the trees along the worn main path. Thick leaves overhead shaded the forest and kept the path beneath cool and moist. The air hummed and clicked with sounds of the many little things hidden by the green undergrowth. After a few minutes, Giovanni whispered in my ear. “There they are.”

“What?” I asked.

“The eyes. Look, near that big pine tree.”

I slowly turned and looked. Sure enough, next to the tree but low in the shadows, were 2 small, white eyes.

“See,” Giovanni said.

A few minutes later under a different tree we saw the eyes again. And a few minutes after that the eyes were under another tree, still following along. They didn’t seem like they belonged to someone who wanted to hurt us or anything. They simply kept watching us as we made our way through the trees.

In about a half hour we reached the edge of the woods. We stepped out from under the trees and into the open meadow. It was a beautiful morning in late spring. There were white, red, blue, yellow, purple and just about every other color of flower you can think of. And lots of butterflies and bees and insects of all kinds of shapes and sizes buzzing or fluttering around. Little Giovanni ran into the meadow and lay down. He breathed in deeply and let out a happy sigh. “I really like flowers,” he said.

“Maybe you can pick some for Longhair on the way back.”

“OK.” He gave his usual salute. I saluted back twice and took two steps forward. Giovanni stood up, saluted back three times and took 3 steps toward. We kept saluting back and forth getting closer and closer until we were standing toe-to-toe, giggling.

I handed him one of the baskets I’d brought. We searched through the undergrowth for the bright red berries. It wasn’t long before both our baskets were half filled and man, they smelled good. “I think we have enough for today,” I said.

“Can we pick some flowers for Longhair now?”

“Sure. What kind do you think she would like?”

Little Giovanni thought about it a minute, looked around, then looked at himself. “Mostly yellow. Yellow’s the best color. Modestly speaking.” He set about selecting the ‘bouquet’ – that’s a word that means ‘a bunch of flowers’. He looked carefully over each flower before deciding whether or not it was pretty enough. When the basket was almost full, he said, “I think that’s enough. Do you think she’ll like them?” I nodded. We started back home.

As we approached Shaded Forest again, Giovanni noticed a patch of big, beautiful daisies standing about 50 feet off to the side. “I’m going to pick one more flower from those daisies.”

“OK. I’ll wait for you here.”

He flew across the meadow to the patch of daisies and hovered above the flowers judging which was the biggest and most beautiful. Finally, he decided on a really tall one standing close to the middle and went low to pick it at the base of its stem. Then he saw the eyes – right in front of him. And freaked.

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Giulia Neri Artwork – Little Giovanni Yellow (ch. 1)

Chapter 1 – A Rising Sea

Little Giovanni and I were resting on the old wooden dock one day, looking out at the ocean. It was warm and sunny and the clear, blue-green water was fairly still. He turned to me and asked, “Stronglegs, why is the sea higher?”
   The sea didn’t look any different to me. “It’s normal,” I answered. “The sea comes and goes. Sometimes it’s higher, sometimes it’s lower.”
   Well duh-huh. Little Giovanni knew that. You know, the tides, when the moon pulls and pushes the ocean back and forth every month? But that’s not what he was talking about. So he said, “The water seems like it’s a lot higher this year than it was last year. Look.”
   He pointed to the water level on some rocks near the shore. You know what? He was right. The water did look a little higher. But you probably already know that sometimes people get a little stupid when they grow older.
   Ok, we almost always get stupid but it’s not all our fault. As we grow up, we have to learn so many things. We start thinking that our brains are too full to fit in anything new. Trouble is, some of the things we learn are wrong. And let me tell you, it’s harder unlearning a thing than learning it in the first place. Once stuff gets in your head, right or wrong, it pretty much stays there. That’s probably why I said, “Don’t worry, Giovanni. Sooner or later it’ll go back down.” I was being stupid.
   But days went by and the water didn’t go down. Every afternoon we would check the sea level and every afternoon it was a little higher than the day before. Then one Saturday before we went strawberry picking – Giovanni and I always do that during strawberry season, at least when the sun is out – we saw the water getting awfully close to the wooden boards of our dock. Too close. Waaay too close. He asked me, “Isn’t the sea getting really high?”
   I bent low and looked at the waves cresting  – ‘cresting’ is a word you can use to describe the highest part of things like waves – below the planks. I caved. “You’re right, Giovanni. Tonight we should tell Longhair. And tomorrow maybe you should go ask Deville to come by take a look.”
   “OK,” he answered. “If anyone will know what to do about it, Deville will.”

The World is Full of Teapots – artwork by Giulia Neri

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March 1: the way it weaves

 

The way love weaves in silence,

Lines within, crossing uncrissly

Through distant moments,

Tying them together,

Places you’ve belonged to: a midwestern

October day, leaves and cool sunshine and apple cider

With sugar-coated doughnuts, cheeks chilled,

Buddies of your age felt, nearby,

Steve, Jim and Allan: people you’ve loved

In different ways – and

People who’ve deluded you in the same way, differently:

A loved uncle who stepped into a room

And stole too many memories, warm and sweet,

Blown into the Adriatic nearby with the inheritance –

The house the land the money, all of it,

Sold in the dark, placed into his pocket and disappeared

Below love’s horizon, a bitter sunset:

Still they weaved, the lines:

Still we think we weave the lines, yet

Still the lines weave us –

Where did it weave you,

What places and people, shipwrecks and ice cream cones

Did love pass to me through your eyes –

Maybe feeling the sun on the skin of your cheek

In a late April day at the beach,

School mates felt, nearby,

Angela, Kim and Lauren: people who loved you

In different ways,

Or the first broken heart, tears on the street

Late night on a Friday, scars turned gold

Like a Kintsugi teapot

Pouring your lines into me

As it weaves together your life

And mine.

 

 

more of The Teapot society: The World is Full of Teapots (artwork by Giulia Neri)

 

 

 

 

 

 

The First Time I Saw You (artwork – Giulia Neri)

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I’d seen you before, though the where is unsure,

Not in a crowd or a place

Or a playground but inside, that space

Where impossible dreams, unafraid, occur:

 

Where all that you are finds itself not far,

Already there in a space

Without fear or pause, a hidden place

Left on the other side of the night, a jar

 

Closed tight in the day, hermetic, a way

To protect ourselves, ensure

Lines won’t be crossed: keep distant the lure

Of hope quiet, name it as fable, at bay –

 

So was I, to, cast, hope contained in rhymes past,

Until you stepped through that entrance,

Not door: though my lines had a semblance

Subtle change began: you made me here, so fast

 

That light enveloping, creating, expanding

Expounding, from you, your smiling

Dark eyes and hair, your way of standing:

You, paradise, walked in, all my fears fading,

 

No rules: just blending with no more pretending

False pretense – I left my own ending.

My heart flew with your smile, reversing

My self: with your eyes replacing, like budding

 

Flowers un-budding, the sun’s warmth transforming,

The first time I saw you unending

Still here, now still, that flower un-wilting…

For you have no end: my heart goes on dancing.

 

 

 

for more from giulia: The World is Full of Teapots – artwork by Giulia Neri

 

The World is Full of Teapots (artwork by Giulia Neri)

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February 3:

two bars that lunge away then curve back

 

It’s cold outside

But not too cold, cool

Maybe, is a better word. I open the faucet, let

A stream of cold water into the usual very small pot, the same one I always use,

Shiny silver metal, two-lined bar handle

Curved back into the pot’s body. I’ve done it a thousand times, more,

This moment, the making of tea, like John.

 

I place myself in John and feel him doing the same,

Same reach with his left hand, holding the pot like me,

It’s strange – I feel him doing it to,

Feeling the same slight chill in the kitchen, turning the water handle up,

He listens to the shifting pitch as I do now, low at first then edging higher as

The water fills the pot, two of us mixed in me, different only in time,

Separated only by space,

Though his hands are wider than mine,

His arms stronger, his shoulders wide,

Then turning the faucet’s handle down again when the bubbling water nears

Where it’s supposed to be, that level only enough to make a mug:

We so rarely drink tea together.

This pot is too small for the two of us,

Or maybe just large enough – you never know.

It’s handle has two bars that lunge away then curve back

To the pot itself, the part that holds the water.

He left early today: his scent –

The coffee brewed earlier, rich and present,

Hugs me when I walk into the kitchen.

 

I place the pot on the burner – the one in back on the right.

I can be curious about things, always only the one in back, on the right, or

The  world will end, I’m sure. Or something.

Sometimes we argue, you might it call it a fight

But I’m not that way: he blames as only men blame,

Looks to turn the faucet on inside, hot, change the temperature of the water flowing,

Of me inside, violate my thoughts with his scent –

Coffee brewed too long, a something tingy,

Tin flavored, too bitter to drink. I turn the water off,

All of it, punish him with my silence. Win.

Later he sits on the old persian rug below the couch,

The one my mother left me, looks for the touch of my hand with his head –

John is tall and blond and likes the feel of my caress through his hair.

I turn the faucet on again: I know that later we will approach as we lay in bed,

His arms will take me in from behind. I will feel him below, his cock rubbing beneath.

Already moist, I will reach down and take him inside. He will be slow.

 

The water makes its repeated crescendo,

Small bubbles forming – the moment to turn the knob, dribble the water within,

Into my mug – Earl Gray, honey and milk.

I leave the mug on the counter and walk into the main room, passing by

My collection of teapots in the corridor,

Sit at my desk and wait for my tea to brew.

 

more of giulia’s work: The World is Full of Teapots – artwork by Giulia Neri