Kalyna Temertey-Canta, CANADA / ITALY


Next to the slick poster beauty
is Martina, pallid and sweet
She can tear a bit of body hair
with one clean sweep

To her clients she asks,
where do you vacation at the sea?
I respond sheepishly
knowing she is not likely
to sunbathe any time soon

a mist of social disparity
hangs heavy in the small room

Of education we speak
she did not appreciate high-school
nor the teacher who did not attend
but two days a week

I ramble on about homeschooling,
unschooling, Montessori.…

as Martina’s shoulders and smile
begin to sag
and her mood

To myself, I inquire
who makes her more uncomfortable,
I or the virtual woman on the wall?

(title translation: *Good evening, Moira’s Beauty Salon, Martina speaking…)

(Une Créatrice d’Ambiance Familiale)

A woman that is not plain
but appreciated with time,
like a complex and rare
Corsican wine

amber cat-eyes just right,
for taming a husband
with one glance

sings nursery rhymes
with ease, invents tales that
make her grandchildren
laugh, dream 
and plead
for more

She can make a mean and exotically
green tarte appear, from fine fingertips,
that after each meal bring a tasse a café
to her lips

devours books like biscuits
(but to the later prefers pizza)

knows the rumba and I suspect,
many other steps,
as I have seen her hips flex
and fingers snap discreetly

Raised in North Africa
she trails clouds of mystery.
Her mother used to say,
she has venom
in her belly.

(Title translation:  *My Mother-in-Law [A Creator of Family Ambiance])


The Chef wields a knife
that shines along with her smile
she will win you over with her focaccia rolls
swaddle you in cushiony softness and bake at one-eighty

your heart will melt along with taleggio
left golden and crisp

with passion and persistence
she has learned to slice across sinew
and chop through bone!

she will douse your spirit in oil
and sauté your soul
if you dare
harass her.

Kalyna Temertey-Canta (Kaly) was born in Canada and studied Ceramics at the Sheridan School of the Craft and Design. Her poetry has been published in various Journals and Anthologies and she has been invited to read at several poetry festivals. She lives a quiet life in the Italian countryside with her husband and three children. 

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