In front of the John Lennon Wall in Prague.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

SOL 2016 Day 1 - Poem for Tania: Piazza della Rotunda

Today I begin the Slice of Life March Challenge, writing and posting every day this month. Wish me luck.

During the summer of 2015, my poet friend Tania Pryputniewicz of Feral Mom, Feral Writer began a poetry challenge with me. She began with giving me the task of writing a poem using the letter Z, one of my favorite letters for obvious reasons. Then I sent her a prompt of my own: write about a resting place. At the time, I was at rest on an Italian vacation, so relaxation was on my mind. It took a few months but, as requested, she finally wrote a poem. Tania's lovely poem, Meditation Garden, Encinitas inspired me, but in a way I didn't expect. Somehow it made my thoughts turn to Italy again.

One of my favorite places in the whole world (or at least the parts I've been to) is the Piazza della Rotunda in Rome.  On every visit to that city, no matter how short, I always make my way there to sit at a table at the same cafe and dream I'm Roman. Here's poem about a slice of the life in that beautiful place.

Tania, now it's your turn to send me another challenge. You said you had a good idea for me. Send it my way.

Piazza della Rotunda

Pantheon cool, serene,
oldest of the buildings 
cradling the body
of this small piazza.
Tourists stream past
my café table under 
its orange umbrella,
orange drink in my hand.
We have all emerged
from our heat-addled naps.
Stroller wheels rattle
over cobblestones,
nuns in white habits
eat gelato scooped
from the corner stand.
Sunburned shoulders
peeking from skimpy tank tops,
girls huddle on fountain steps,
giggle and bubble
like the water behind them.
Their friend snaps photos,
Egyptian obelisk
their solemn backdrop.
Small brown men,
from the Phillipines
or Indonesia perhaps,
shoot shiny
toys into the air,
hoping one will land
near a child’s foot.
She might pick it up
and beg to keep it.
We all long 
for bright tidings
to soar over our heads
like birds, like stars
into Rome’s
blue-falling night.

Related Links:
Respective poems from the first challenge: 
Write a poem using the letter Z:
Firenze Poem, For Tania from Italy by Lisa Rizzo
21 Zs for Lisa: Omen Hunting in Yo El Rey Roasting by Tania Pryputniewicz


  1. I've been to this place. You captured the mixture of energy and old at the same time!

    1. Katie, I'm glad you found my words to fit the place.

  2. What a lovely observation poem! And Rome . . . sigh!

  3. How fun to have a friend to issue writing challenges! Your poem puts me right there with you. I can see it all. I want some of that gelato the nuns are enjoying!

    1. I do feel fortunate to have such a poetry friend. I could do with some of that gelato as well. Thank you for your kind comments.

  4. Love this, Lisa. I found myself sitting with you at the cafe, sipping a delicious orange drink and soaking up the sights and sounds of the piazza.

    1. Marcia, Thank you! Put this place on your list.

  5. This poem had such a rich sense of atmosphere - beautifully done!

    1. Tara, I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading it.

  6. Just so happens I collect poetry blogs too....and just snagged two more

    1. Vanessa, you honor me and my friend! Thank you.

  7. I love the image of the nuns eating put a big smile on my face. Italy is one of my favorite places too and your poem made me long to return.

  8. Erika, I'm so glad you liked it. Thank you!