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Tag Archives indigo

THE SEA AND THE STARS

The owl we heard last night hoots near the road

and a fox barks deep among the oak trees.

Though it is moonless and the sea a sliver

of a different dark, light pollution

from the small resort to the east

means we must find the westernmost wall

to lean against and view the stars tonight.

We see them trembling and marvel, wordless,

so many more than we ever remember.

We forget they are always above us.

 

‘What is the sky for?’

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A DEFINITIVE HISTORY OF VENICE

PIAZZA DI SAN MARCO

 

After the sky has shaded from indigo

to sepia, when swifts have gone and pigeons

roost in the crepuscular arcades,

when the Basilica’s looted bronze horses

are illumined – where Rossano Brazzi

and Katherine Hepburn failed to meet

at any one of the five cafés in

Napoleon’s ‘most splendid drawing room

in Europe’, where Proust (holidaying

at the Danieli with mother) corrected

his translation of Ruskin and criticised

the risotto,

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DULCE DOMUM

Built well before the Mahdi sacked Khartoum,

like a ledger or the Church of England

our house is square, accommodating. Swifts,

each May, pronounce their southern benison

on ashlar cornerstones and dead masons…

A butterfly, lost in the wintry cellar,

seems closed as death but wings part knowingly.

O peacock eyes, how you seduce from purpose

and time! Imperial birds cry harshly

in paper gardens… At dusk, in indigo,

swifts dissolve. The house is white, seems solid

as a steamship.

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