“Figs” by Joseph Ranallo

Joseph Ranallo


D. H. Lawrence has said
All that one needs to say about them.

They are sensual, tantalizing, and female.
Their taste, always exquisite, intoxicating.

Their granulated flesh, warm and moist,
Holds the essence of forgetfulness.

The Florentines give their names to the vagina,
The portal to the poetry of bliss.

The figs Lawrence wrote about
Were ripened by the hot
Snake-infested Sicilian sun.

Last summer
I tasted figs
Homegrown in Burnaby:
Green, golden, and purple figs
Each succulent, luscious, opiate.

Their mystery and sensuality
Beckon us like sirens:
Full-bodied, wistful
Southern Italian women

Who nurture, tend and feed them.

from Rattle #20, Winter 2003
Tribute to Italian Poets

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