Though it’s only September, the day cruise
from Heraklion to Santorini
hits dirty weather: rain, wind and high waves.
The toilets are awash with vomit.
We arrive in sunshine and calm waters.
The immense caldera diminishes
all manner of cruise ships. We ascend
the three hundred metre pumice cliff
by cable car – eschewing the footpath
and the donkeys. We visit Akrotiri –
like Pompeii, a city redeemed from ash.
There is the Admiral’s three storey house
with its stone path to the harbour – buried
and inundated like all of Minoa.
We leave as the sun is beginning to set.
The upper deck, with its bar tables and chairs,
is packed. The sun is huge as it reaches
the horizon, and, suddenly, everyone
is silent, watching this daily event
as if for the last or first time. When the sun sinks
everybody, unprompted, applauds.
The glow lingers on the waters awhile.
Then a cold wind blows as the dark falls.