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After visiting MARIA at Santa Maria delle Rose in Assisi, JoAnna kept an intensive correspondence with Guido Dettoni himself. Moved by her deep experience visiting and encountering the work MARIA in that church, she has written this poem, a prayer for Mary. As per Dettoni’s wish, NESHER EDITIONS is pleased to have it published on its site.

JoAnna Pepe lives a quiet life in lower north-western Michigan, on an expanse of land that breathes Maria, the Mother of All. The goodness that Maria is inspires her work as a psychologist, poet, and writer. This poem is an offering of gratitude to Maria, the earth, and Guido Dettoni. May it be received in the deepest peace and reverence from which it was birthed?


You ask for nothing short of full surrender,
To be the pitcher you carry to the well,
Descending the darkest depths.

Endless fall into the abyss of not knowing,
Your many faces appear and disappear into roaring silence.

I release this life to you, Beloved,
Only to discover, I am the empty space
Anointed and overflowing
In your healing water.

Beloved Mary, Heart of All Being, Mother Of Jesus,
Earth Mother, Dark One, Container of Infinite Possibility.
You are the taproot of all existence.

I know you as scent of cedar and cypress, the rough wood

Begging your tender touch,
The love that guides the sculptor's hand
Revealing your simple goodness
In grained and contoured wood.
Blessed are the hands that caress your fluid shape.
In this embrace sorrow and confusion dissolve,
Giving life to all that is hidden and longs to be free.

JoAnna Pepe
September 30, 2004