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Tag Archives Adriatic

APOCALYPSE

Via Del Corso, Rome, March 2020.

The boutiques had been closed by decree, even

Calvin Klein Underwear and Brooks Brothers.

The only pedestrians were the Pope,

in his white robes, and his bodyguard,

in bulging suits – on a pilgrimage

to the ancient church of San Marcello

set back from the street. Beneath a crucifix,

used to assuage a 15th century plague,

Pope Francis prayed to God to stop the virus.

 

The street, in Roman times, was Via Lata –

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GRANDE HÔTEL DES BAINS

‘A camera on a tripod stood at the edge of the water, apparently abandoned; its black cloth snapped in the freshening wind.’

DEATH IN VENICE Thomas Mann

 

…Cholera is no longer a rumour.

Besotted, face rouged, hair dyed, he dies

staring unseeing at the shallow sea.

Artifice, made and re-made, fades in the rain,

like the islands with their ‘gorgeous palaces’…

 

Near the Palazzo del Cinema –

where, annually, insubstantial

figures, louder than life,

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