In the shop…
“The Fire in Me Now”
Urban Fox Press;
“In the Affirmative”
“Red Meat Dreams”
and “Serotonin Days”
– Redbeck Press;
I fetched up in a city of giants, gods still held
in the lanterned rock, the precincts of Diana’s temple.
Friends found it too, followed the stilted highway
across the valley, though they paid a price
for their comforts, loves afflicted by death, disease.
A few still shudder when possibilities call, a smile
turns on them, when the remains of the evening sun
smear the western sky with orange and purple.
Others missed the target, veered off in the winds
that threaten us all into a tangle of broken vows
and stalled careers, woke in the end to find
themselves in intense rooms of studied solitude.
Some were cut short, gone like Carthaginians,
Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Angevins but
to more intimate histories, shared out sparingly
at Christmas gatherings or on certain anniversaries.
I flirted with the Palazzo Reale, its tempting golds,
frescoes that seemed to explain everything, then
tried candled mosaics in glowing Monreale yet
couldn’t handle its dimensions so caught the train
here. I navigate the Lungomare, a weathered pilot,
keep railings to my left, ensure the beach bars,
rows of slide-rule parasols, cavorting families
stay solidly between me and wide blue eternity
find harbour where indestructible fishermen
keep us alive another day, pick my way past
tourist grottos, yawning restaurants, pre-empt
an advancing loss of light to head right back to you.