jon guido bertelli photography

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Forget Me Not - East Van, a joined project with my friend and poet Diego Bastianutti, bringing humanity, understanding and awareness to the struggling life conditions of East Van / Vancouver Downtown East Side.  In marrying Diego’s poems with my images, we are attempting to deliver a stronger message in reaching our goals.

Exhibits soon to come with a complete set of photographs and poems.

The Last To Fade


Your face tells a story of scars and oceans crossed

of depths unknown you’ve willed to plumb

and fears of flashing blades of blood

of drowning in barren arms of wasted love

and crawling drunken in a hole of sleep

with silent needles quarrying peace in the salty red eye of the tattooed dragon on your arm.

Your eyes gleam the charm of a killer and a lover of life

a mocking telling smile speaks of dances

with the devil won and lost.

You’ve lived nine cat lives

and on this far shore you’ve embraced

brothers of a kindred spirit

Here will be consumed your story from another world

another time of loss of land and self

in an ethnic-cleansing wave of ancient rancor.

Tougher to heal, the deeper scars are in your mind,

and your homeland lost recalled and the scent

of your mother’s trusted hand

will be the last to fade.

Old Hands

Old hands in East Van remember that pretty young bird

landing on this threshold to the Pacific

ruffled feathers and darting scared eyes

begging warmth and love from anyone

food and cigarettes passing hands

shelter sought in sex and needles.

She mined the motherlode of her fresh body

for the fine gold of her youth

whose veins are now exhausted

sores, scratches and scars have surfaced

on the girl with the golden arm.

Old hands in East Van shake their heads now

the young bird they used to know not long ago

has turned telltale canary of things to come.

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