The Elements, poems and photos




Made of air
our memories
are smuggled from oblivion,
a habit of ours.

Our thoughts are mysteries of wind
wafting with our wandering;
a breath of incense,
a puff of sky
impossible to quantify.

The vital echo of a sound
we breathe
whispering between the incidental
and the eternal
like restless spirit
looking for home.



The essence of this earth
continues in us, patient
like a clump of soil:
promise of a seed
and memory of hands
that have tamed her
with curse and caress
and covert love.

The remains are distilled
in the far horizon
divined in wrinkles,
sighs, murmurs
and the ancestral shape of dreams.



In the miracle of water
we immerse our hands,
to wash a destiny of wrong
to sooth a longing for good
and dissolve time.

We linger in this event
of rebirth and blessing
that is holding us
cradled by ancient labour.

A promise of fulfilment
unravels like an oracle and a gift
without guilt or chains.



In fire the world’s
pretence dances
in silhouettes of torment and delight
made of our hope
and passion.

Our being burns
where love is anguish
burns of an archaic modesty,
of an atrocious ritual.

Be life fury
to make ashes of such pain,
order of such beauty.

The poems on the elements, Air, Earth, Water and Fire, written in Italian by Silvia Pio, are part of a photo exhibit, paired with four photographs by Fiorenzo Calosso (see In principio era l’acqua). The translation into English by the same author was published in the collection Ondulazioni, co-authored with the British poet John Irving Clarke, who contributed to the translation.

Fiorenzo Calosso was born in Alba, in the northern Italian region of Piedmont, in 1952. His adolescent passion for photography became a profession when he opened his first studio in his hometown at the age of 25.
In order to understand better the use of light, and to find his own style, he worked alongside prominent professionals in Milan and took specialized courses on photo and film shooting techniques.
He gained admiration and commissions from important clients and international companies, working in Italy and abroad.
His passion and curiosity very often take him to the States to continue his explorations and pursue workshops at the Maine Media College (formerly Rockport College), in Rockport, Maine, with world renowned teachers including Academy Award winners for Cinematography.