Lakeside Evening

The moon seems too bright,
Almost a Hollywood technicolor version,
Hanging like a stage light,
Illuminating the busy lakeside scene.
Teenagers,toddlers,adults of all ages;
Some casting baited lines into the dark Lago;
Some cycling continuously around
Puccini’s statue and gardens;
Others feeding the quiet mallard
Making wedge patterns in the water;
Or trying yet another flavour in the ice cream parlour
The coffee machine erupts with a roar
Like a train in a tunnel;
The tiny cyclists call out excitedly;
Scooters draw up and unload
helmeted pillion-passengers…

And from the Gran Theatre stage
A tenor practises a line from Turandot,
While from the half-hid Torre del Lago
A window, reflecting the last pale
Patch of sky
Hints at the listening ghost of the
Great composer…

August 2011 Torre del Lago, Tuscany

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De que parte stai?

Which side are you on?
No man has to meet Death
In these hasty trenches
Facing an unstoppable foe.

The ragtag uniformed army strives,
Struggles, strives anew.
Many fall, seem to lie unmoving
As their gigantic assailant
Sweeps past
Through the screaming hordes
Of the mad army
Of wave-jumpers…
Which side are you on?
The seaside!

West Wittering August 2011

Way to Heaven

Like wide-bodied aeroplanes
Threading through the New York sky,
They navigate with seeming ease
Between green pillars metre-high;
Heavy-laden, hear them come
With their terrifying hum
Crashing into tower tops
Assaulting all the rooftop shops…
Religiously they work to please
Their God – or Queen of honeybees…
Luckily only a lavender heaven.
Not another nine/eleven…