Luca M Damiani
Author-Artist : Kiss&Arrow : "A Kiss to the Way We Are - An Arrow for Direction" - Poetry

The Little Coffee Bean

'The Little Coffee Bean' Luca M Damiani - Kiss and Arrow 2023 -
'The Little Coffee Bean' Luca M Damiani - Kiss&Arrow 2023 -

It was 1944

In the




My Italian 


Was in a prison



He was captured 

by the British army

In the war

in Ethiopia.

He was then moved 

From jail to jail,

And ended up

By the Med.


My grandfather 

Only spoke Italian,

Didn’t understand a thing

Of nothing else.


He was

quite short,

Dark skinned,

From Sardinia.


His first role in 

the Mussolini’s Army 

Was to load bombs

On the planes.


He was then

moved to 

Prepping weapons 

For the infantry.

Or something like that,

But certainly

Not to fight

In direct combat.


He was


Of what the war 

Was all about.


He was just pleased

That Mussolini gave 

A lot of lands in Sardinia

To his family to farm.

He was from a rather poor

Farming village 

And he didn’t know

What else to do.


So, he was forced

to join

and travel

to somewhere.


When he was capture,

He had no idea

What people 

Were saying to him. 


“Just some shouting”,

He used to tell me. 

He couldn’t understand 

A word.


He was captured

Pretty quickly

Once in



He was moved

To different


In the land.


His main guard

Was a British 




He was

Quite short, 

Dark skinned,

From Somewhere. 


In a way,





My grandfather 

Didn’t go

To school that much,

But he had a good heart.


He could see 

That his guard 

Was actually

A loving man. 


Even through the war 

And changes of places 

Here and there, 

He was always kind to them. 


I think they both

Could see that 

They actually 

Looked alike. 



It was because 

Of the previous Arab 

Dominations of Sardinia? 


It might be. 


One morning, 

The British Jewish man

Was having a 

Small tiny coffee.


My grandfather’s eyes

Could not believe

At what they saw:

An Espresso.


Maybe to feel closer to home

Maybe to feel still alive

Maybe with not much reason why,

But he couldn’t stop himself… 


“Coffee….” – my grandfather said

As that was probably

The only English word

He actually could say.


The British 

Jewish man

Looked at him

And smiled.


He then gave him 

A glass of water 

As that was the only 

Drink he could actually give.



He then gave my grandfather

A little 

Coffee bean.


My grandfather 

Had some water 

And then 

A bite of coffee flavour.


It was such a strong taste 

And so good

That my father felt 

A warmth in his heart.


He was missing home. 

He just wanted the war to stop.

He just wanted to be free.

And to just be.


Days passed. 

Weeks passed.

Months passed. 

And he was still there.


The British Jewish guard

Would keep giving him

Some little coffee beans

Every week. 


My grandfather 

Ate them, 

One each 



He didn’t even remember 

When or what happened then,

But one day they were all 

Transferred into a boat. 


They were sent back

To Italy, 

I think straight to Rome

But I am not sure. 


My grandfather 

Always kept 

The British Jewish man

In his heart.


He never saw him again.


But each time my grandfather

Told me this story,

He would then reach his pocket,

To show me :






About the Author
Luca M Dami­ani is an Artist, Author and Uni­ver­si­ty Fel­low, focus­ing his ongo­ing cre­ative prac­tice and research on diversity, dis­abil­i­ty, neu­roscience, men­tal health and nature. His work also crosses over with human rights and social design. Luca has a neu­ro­log­i­cal dis­abil­i­ty (52% impair­ment of cen­tral ner­vous sys­tem func­tion) and has had var­i­ous visu­al art books and aca­d­e­m­ic arti­cles pub­lished, as well as being exhib­it­ed inter­na­tion­al­ly. Luca has worked and col­lab­o­rat­ed with insti­tu­tions such as BMJ Med­ical Human­i­ties, Mozil­la, Amnesty Inter­na­tion­al, BBC, Sci­ence Gallery, Com­put­er Arts Soci­ety, Dis­ney, Uni­ver­si­ty of the Arts Lon­don, Yale Uni­ver­si­ty, Jewish Book Council, TATE, V&A and more.
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