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Alfred J. Garrotto

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· There's More: A Novella of Life and Afterlife

· The Saint of Florenville: A Love Story

· The Wisdom of Les Miserables: Lessons From the Heart of Jean Valjean

· Down a Narrow Alley

· I'll Paint a Sun

· Circles of Stone

· A Love Forbidden

· Finding Isabella

· Battling Writer's Guilt

· The Saint With the Dragon Tattoo

· My Cello Year

· In a Child's Eyes

· We Both Had Dads Named Joseph

· Highjacked by a Great Novel

· When All Else Fails

· House of Faith

· A Little Night Music

· Keep It Simple . . . The Way Jesus Did

· A Wedding Prayer-Poem

· A Prayer for Esther on Her Birthday

· In Memory of Bill Joyce

· Aging Actor

· Graduation 2003 . . . Wedding 2010

· A Wedding Toast

· Driver's Prayer

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Books by Alfred J. Garrotto
  Earth Mother”
by Alfred J. Garrotto
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Not rated by the Author.

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Recent poems by Alfred J. Garrotto
•  A Wedding Toast
•  A Wedding Prayer-Poem
•  Graduation 2003 . . . Wedding 2010
•  A Prayer for Esther on Her Birthday
•  In Memory of Bill Joyce
           >> View all 8

Inspired by a visit to the ancient ruins of Pompei.

A dozen or so bodies have been recovered nearly intact from the ancient ruins of Pompei (near Naples, Italy). Three are on public display, encased in plastic for preservation. One touched my heart in a special way and continues to haunt me--a pregnant woman who died in an instant face to the earth. 

Some background. My wife and I have two daughters whom we welcomed into our family at pre-school age. We never had a baby in our family. I never had to change a diaper. Since the birth of our first grandchild in 2007, I have discoved close-up the marvels and wonders of new birth, and yes, I've changed a few poopie diapers, too. I've discovered a wonderous stage of being--infancy--that I'd never paid attention to before. I've learned the universal language of new-born life. 
Upon meeting this Pompei mother, millenia deceased, we made a spiritual connection. I had to write about this experience, but I choked on early prose versions of my story. The only way to express the moment we had shared was in verse. . . . as follows:
August 24, 79 A.D.
It fell so fast
the cloud of death;
no chance for aid—
on stone-laid street
my one last step;
eyes down, face hid,
womb pressed to earth,
brief shield ’gainst fire-
flung stone—a crib
for babe’s long sleep.
July 10, 2008 A.D.
I gawk, snap, feel
out of place, no
right to break your
rest; yet I am
slave to your grace.
Was this new life
your first sweet fruit,
love’s best of gifts?
Did some die home,
no mom to hold?
From lava tomb you
rose to see day’s
light and
through time’s
thin veil hail my
soul: You know me.

Our tour moves on
sites fresh dug;
with a glance, I
bid good-bye, carve
you on my heart.
You stir this old
dad’s core, set late  
to flame with awe
of new-born life.
I’ll give you voice.
August 13, 2008
Copyright © 2008 by Alfred J. Garrotto



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Reviewed by Leann Marshall 3/15/2010
Beautiful. You gave her a voice.
Reviewed by Myles Saulibio 7/10/2009
Aloha Alfred,

Wow...You just did a fantastic job of pre-writing history from a personal perspective, describing what personal relationships and family life was during a tragic natural disaster. To my mind, you have been thoughtful and imaginative and have taken an unusual step: adding voices from the past.

Keep up the great work!

Mahalo Nui Loa,

Myles Saulibio
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Reviewed by Annabel Sheila 6/4/2009
An absolute masterpiece Alfred. What a hauntingly beautiful write of such a great tragedy. Wonderful job.

Reviewed by John Domino 9/2/2008
Beautifully versed!

But only God knows why.

Peace be with you...

John Michael
Popular Poetry (Spirituality)
  2.  A-gain
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  6.  Push On
  7.  The Skeptics' Dilemma
  8.  The Review
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  10.  Meditation

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