…is our sort of place – an island only
at spring tides. Sant Dwynwen, patroness
of lovers, was a princess, virgin, nun.
Her true love test required fresh bread crumbs,
a linen kerchief, a well, an eel
– and an optimistic lad and lass.
The saint’s shrine was popular until
the Puritan heave-ho – although, even now,
perhaps, in the earliest of summer’s dawns
or when mists rise or by full moonlight
some lovers will come to find the well.

Beyond the lighthouse, the cormorants and
distant rocks,



We first saw them in Taormina
on the railings of the piazza
overlooking the Bay of Naxos;
then on the railings at the Albert Dock
behind the Tate opposite Birkenhead;
and on the steps by the old County Hall
from the Embankment up to Waterloo Bridge.

They are usually small padlocks, some
combination although most are keyed,
the sort used for suitcases or garden sheds,
some with names or initials but most seem
anonymous – though perhaps the weathers
have made them so – some obviously purchased
for the occasion,



In our time we have sashayed by the Arno,
we have loitered on the Ponte Vecchio
in our time, as if Beatrice and Dante
were liberated from their fine romance,
their courtly allegory of love,
their dalliance with Mariolatry.

But even in Florence it rains, cascades
down the Basilica and the Uffizi,
darkening terra-cotta, marble, limestone.
Lovers repair to bars for sambuca,
each with three coffee beans – the holy
trinity of health, wealth and happiness,
to be lit then snuffed before imbibing,
like brief votive candles.



For you and me, like Henry Moore’s bronze
kings and queens, there is something very
special about sitting together
on a public seat with a majestic view…


On the erstwhile Exxon Valdez ride
at the ’90s Epcot Centre, plunging
above Alaska with a dying friend…

Snow falling on Halkyn Mountain over
the estuary from Parkgate promenade
and a fire briefly flaring then dying
by Flint Castle on the distant shore…

A child begging on the corniche at Luxor,
singing, ‘Michael, row the boat ashore,’



A wedding gift from an American friend,
the Thai temple stone rubbing of a sueng player,
a lutist – this one left-handed, flying
with wind blown robes – has travelled with us
from our first bedroom, in a flat, to this
‘music room’ – named for a piano,
a violin, a penny whistle,
a bohran, a family of recorders
and the air-borne musician. Nearly
fifty years have changed the rice paper
from off-white to almost sepia
but the imagined plangent notes steep
the gathered stillness of the room.