The Laneway by Frances Daggar Roberts

The Laneway by Frances Daggar Roberts You can measure the weight of Italian Autumn days in flowers and colours. This day is ochre-shaded with a heavy drugging perfume of ripe fruit. We walk down the narrow cobbled ways familiar now with clumps of weeds, the corners where dogs defecate, the fences where grapes hang withinContinue reading “The Laneway by Frances Daggar Roberts”

The Starlings by Jesper Svenbro

The Starlings by Jesper Svenbro Translated from the Swedish by John Matthias and Lars-Håkan Svensson Late one afternoon in October I hear them for the first time: loud-voiced palavering, whistles, murmurs, quarrels, bickering and warbling, croaking and chatter in the high plane trees of the street. The leaves are all turning yellow this time ofContinue reading “The Starlings by Jesper Svenbro”

Ode to an Encyclopedia by James Arthur

Ode to an Encyclopediaby James Arthur O hefty hardcover on the built-in shelf in my parents’ living room,O authority stamped on linen paper, molted from your dust jacket,Questing Beast of blue and gold, you were my companion on beige afternoons that came slanting through the curtainsbehind the rough upholstered chair. You knew how to trimContinue reading “Ode to an Encyclopedia by James Arthur”

Syracuse at Dusk by Frances Daggar Roberts

Syracuse at Duskby Frances Daggar Roberts Seated at art-glass tablesby the muted tug of sea…lights across the bayand the feeling of centuriespreceding us.Battered bases to the buildingssome as old as Grecian conquest.Rough cobbled stonesand the evening stroll of families.Wine in our glasses slowly sipped. PHOTO: Fountain of Arethusa, Syracuse, Sicily, Italy. Photo by Luca NContinue reading “Syracuse at Dusk by Frances Daggar Roberts”

Tasting Lucca by Joan Leotta

Tasting Luccaby Joan Leotta Humming Puccini, wewalk the wide path on topof Lucca’s circular walluntil we reach the market steps.I descend to buy red beans, farro,Parmigiano, tomatoes, pancetta.In our apartment,I blend and magnifyflavors with a bit of thyme.As our soup simmers,the aroma transports us frommodern Lucca to its days as aconquered Etruscan outpost ofRome, soldiersContinue reading “Tasting Lucca by Joan Leotta”

Mulberry by Terrence Sykes

Mulberrymorus nigra — sanctus dominusby Terrence Sykes The mulberry strugglesthrough bricks in thecorner of the piazzaSanta Maria del Carminepast the Ponte Vecchiojust across the Arno cusp of dayleft then leftprophecy ofdouble damnationstepping into darknesscandles & incense Masaccio frescoExpulsionbirth of the Renaissancestillness in the churchladen with historyhas my past followed me Adam & Evepastel chiaroscuronakednesssworded angelContinue reading “Mulberry by Terrence Sykes”

A Map of Sicily by Marie Luise Kaschnitz

A Map of Sicily by Marie Luise Kaschnitz I’ll draw the outline for you. It’s a wing From the shoulder of the victory goddess. The side view is a chunk of rugged mountain Arrested in the brightness of the sun, The sea around it covering the plain With sand and seaweed and with schools ofContinue reading “A Map of Sicily by Marie Luise Kaschnitz”

Return to Florence by Geoffrey Grigson

Return to Florenceby Geoffrey Grigson A theatre-sky, of navy blue, at night:traffic of the night, it darts, it screams,it is straight swifts of night with lightedeyes: upwards I read on a new building’s Face, Here P.B. Shelley wroteOde to the West Wind. Your poet, no. Normine, yet saw wind as he will or wind,oh, IContinue reading “Return to Florence by Geoffrey Grigson”

Venice, Unaccompanied by Monica Youn

Venice, Unaccompaniedby Monica Youn Wakingon the train, I thoughtwe were attacked              by light:chrome-winged birdshatching from the lagoon.              That first daythe buoys were allthat made the harbor              bearable:pennies sewn into a hemline.Later I learned to live in it,              to walkthrough the alien city—a beekeeper’s habit—              with fierce lightclinging to my head and hands.Treated as gently asContinue reading “Venice, Unaccompanied by Monica Youn”