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Joan Cofrancesco
Poet

 


Above Syracuse
NiMo's Spirit of Light flies
giving us power

One day I was driving by the NiMo building. I had always admired the building’s art deco design, but I had never really looked at the statue. This time it was a sunny day, and the light was hitting the statue in a way that made me look up. So I pulled over, looked at it and thought, “Wow!” It just sparked something in me. It seemed to be this powerful mythological creature, or a superhero, and it’s, like, giving us power.

I went through a lot with the statue’s gender—whether it’s a man or a woman. Not knowing, and researching, and finally finding out its name—the Spirit of Light—I kind of like it. I like the idea of power not only as superhero power, but real power, electric power, as in light. I like the double meaning.

Their spirits are there
Native voices echoing
Onondaga Lake

Some days I go walk Onondaga Lake Parkway, or ride my bike along it. One day I was walking it, and I got this feeling that there were spirits around. It was a spring day, and warm, with the sun shining. Spring is a time of renewal for me, and it’s my favorite season. I think that had something to do with it. I felt that these spirits were walking with me, or that they were in canoes on the lake, and I just started thinking what life was like back then.

Spirits often come to me in my dreams. Relatives who have died—they appear in my dreams and sometimes talk to me. And then I’ll write the dreams down. I always think they’re trying to tell me something significant. Like with the Indians: the message seems peaceful—to respect nature.

 

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