Monthly Archives: August 2015

Granite Creek

The first of December

Drawing back the curtains

I see you, standing, stock still

At the water bowl.

Wary of my disturbance

Your perfect antlers

Framing the pine,

Our eyes meet,

And you stare me down

Then, deciding I pose no threat,

You stoop to drink,

Eagerly, and alone,

Your precious oasis

Above the dry creek bed.

I had longed to see you

One last time before I go.

I too stand silent,

Drinking in the image of you,

A perfect parting gift

This icy winter’s morning.

The Girl Who Dreamed The Drowning

Alone in wanton daydreams sits
A maid so fair and clever,
Alone she walks, alone she dreams,
Her visions fading never.
Too young to live, too old to die,
There’s no discrimination,
For all’s foretold, in heartless truth,
Borne with determination.
This poisoned gift, this precious curse,
Is not a gentle guest,
But eats away her fractured heart
And tears her tender breast.

Beneath a canopy of leaves
Her lover sits a-writing,
The day grows warm, impending storm,
The water so inviting.
She sees the lake, she feels the heat,
The water so inviting,
She sees her lover’s letters home
But cannot read the writing.

A sudden breeze disturbs a nest,
The sky all darkened flutter,
The writer pauses, pen in hand,
To hear the cries they utter.
The young man lays his papers down,
To cool his burning skin,
The writer is a swimmer now,
The vision growing thin.
A wayward bird, blown from the West,
Hops boldly to the water,
And hoarsely cries his warning wise
‘Beware the gypsy’s daughter!’
And at the water’s edge, the swimmer
Gazes skyward, frowning.
‘Beware’ the darkling Raven calls,
‘The girl who dreamed the drowning.’

San Salvador

Chasing the shade to the holy interior

We sought Sanctuary from the day’s heat.

An arrow of sunlight, threaded with dust,

Brighter than merchant’s gold and the hearts of kings,

Pierced the high altar,

Sweet and sharp as the hidden voices

Cutting the air with crystal clarity.

Beneath the Titians

And the high-strung censer,

We shared this fleeting tenderness;

Side by side in silent witness,

A moment of forgiveness

In a small corner of Dorsoduro.

The Tourist Information Centre on the Piazza Maggiore

The Tourist Information Officer

Greets her customers with a frown.

Service with a scowl,

Each tentative enquiry revengefully resolved

With carefully constructed misinformation.

Her T-shirt reads ‘Paris – City of Love’

But she is in Bologna.

Her face a picture of untravelled dismay,

Her forehead creased with care-worn frowns,

As yet undisclosed at Passport Control.

The highlight of her day

Is the pleasure she derives

From directing the innocent tourist

To an incorrect location.

Voluptuous desires

And her dreams of erotic Parisian adventures

Sated by a wrong turn,

A left instead of a right,

Via Zamboni

When she knows it’s quicker via

Via Belle Arti.

Her ramrod-stiff Romeo lies bedded

Between the covers of her Michelin Green guide;

Her Moulin Rouge hidden

Behind a barrier of red tape.

For the Tourist Information Officer

On the Piazza Maggiore,

Eiffel Tower apparel must suffice;

She cradles her dreams,

Crumpled like yesterday’s travel itinerary

As she heads for her home

On the Via Malcontenti.

Looking-Glass World

High on the upper walls of the crumbling house
Hangs a gilded hand-mirror
Its frame an intricate fretwork
Of knotted garlands; English roses.
Held in your selfish hands,
It reflects your image
Silvers the tarnish,
Affirms your being, in the sea-level landscape
A trinket to hold in your hands.

You weigh its worth, then place it, face-down
Or hang it tenderly on the hook,
Lovingly abandoned
Cold against bare plaster walls
Where it remains, silently reflecting
Your unassailable beauty
Till the next year’s spring brings you
Travelling North again,
Seeking out your looking-glass world.

Henri and the Snail

The two of us, alike, you and I.

Creatures both confined.

One to his shell

One to his bed.

Candlelight through a spiral transparency

Cradled so carefully between

Thumb and forefinger of my left hand.

I drew, and drew,

Conscientiously

Studied and learned

The essence of form and shape

Abstraction of nature

Growing, unfurling,

Brittle calcium hardening,

Then tumbling,

Green over blue

Finding the centre

My whole world, for a while,

Purified to one movement

One cut

One dance.