Dome, Tower, Light and Bridge

here there were 
wonders 
on the northern
edge of the sea.

we see beauty
all around us;


a dome towers
in the background;

as it is upstaged 
by a tower, 

which is, in its turn,
eclipsed by a 
very old street lamp,
all very beautiful.

then there is 
a bridge,
something that
anchors us,

reminding us that
the photograph
was made,
someplace in venice.


all that water,
everywhere,

it was strange,
another kind 
of world.

venetian bridges 
and murano
glass were best:

things to remember
and cherish.

Grand Canal

that morning the 
north end of 
the adriatic sea,

looked like a
scene from a 
monster movie, 
after the crowd 
ran away.

venice started 
out that way, 
a barbarian army 
at the edge 
of a swamp. 

nothing much 
has changed


an awful mist 
hung over
the grand canal,

as we looked 
toward a modern 
art museum.

maybe it excited
her to support men
who might some 
day be known 
as greats.

you never know.

a carpenter 
might become 
a fisherman;

a slave might 
become a 
famous sculptor,
a plowman, a poet.


and we had faith
that sunshine
would come back.

Brown Bridge Pub

Brown Bridge Pub

in princeton you 
sometimes go to 
the brown bridge pub,

to tell stories and
drink some beer,

making the hard 
edges soften,

simplifying every
complicated mess
until it becomes
bearable and sleep,

of a sort, brings a 
morning thunderstorm

inside a throbbing skull
that feels like it should
belong to someone else.


colours are so bright
that it looks like a 
happy place to visit,

so bright that you 
can't imagine 
staying too long,

surely not so long
thay they'll throw
your drunken body

out the door, into an 
imaginary alley, with 
stinking garbage bins,

because that's a bit
too shameful and sad.


but those bright 
cheerful colours are
a little garish after
not many drinks,  it's
a kind of torture,

and we have to leave.



Ghost Town

(near the temple 
of Artemis,)

the ferility goddess,
and divine huntress,

(in a major port 
and distribution 
centre,)

our mystery is:
where did all
the people go?

earthquakes
shake everything

as african coastlines
crowd closer to 
european beaches.

and if that violence
didn't destroy enough, 

there are droughts,
and sandstorms,
famines and
epidemics.


people move on.

so far, there are 
many of us left.


nothing is
certain, and we

cannot predict
how successful
we will be,

people die out,
sometimes.

Coldstream Creekside

somewhere near,
a road-building
project destroyed

a historic wonder,
i made a photograph:
a very old log house.

sunburned from
probably a century
of summer sun.

logs turned rich
brown and black,

cracks filled with 
old white plaster.
whitewash, maybe.

i don't know the 
stories i can't see.

i can always
believe nonsense;
it's a very human 
thing to do.


the creek flowed
silently past the
old log house.

maybe it was
drinking water,
though today it
looks murky,
a bit dangerous.


old stories are
impossible to
prove, a bit murky,

digging for
truth a little quirky

we turn over stones,
looking to see clues
to untold stories,
stories we can't see.

Ancient Doorways

through those
ancient doorways

ancestral feet 
wandered in 
through those 
doors, and out.


masons built
such solid walls,

brick and mortar
last so long.

nothing is
forever, it is said.

two thousand years
those bricks 
held strong;

there's little
left of the old town;
the doorways now
are falling down.


through those
ancient doorways

ancestral feet 
wandered in 
through those 
doors, and out.



Black Widow Spider

   she's such a 
      gruesome
creature, 

  waiting quietly
  for something
foolish enough

      to wander
close enough.

      she will
pounce and
sink fangs in
deep enough

to inject her
   poisonous
      venom.


two workmen
   watched me
      capture 
her image,

to make this 
   photograph,

from what they
   considered a
safe distance.


her bite might 
   not be fatal
for someone
      my size.

it might make
   me very sorry.

   and sorrier,
      her mate,
who i am not,
may be killed
      and eaten.

   i am not him,
   and keep my
safe distance.


      she is so
beautiful in
   her hunger,

      almost a
      majestic
creature,

      with such
   gruesome
expectations.

 
   she is amazing, 
a thing of wonder.


Stairway on Mikonos

Stairway on Mikonos

looking up 
an old stair,

where dusty
tired feet
have worn
this path for
many sleepy
centuries,
 
in my shifty
memories,

i saw sunlight
bouncing, from
side to side,

making all
the ancient 
shadows
disappear,

for centuries,
they were on 
a pathway
to nowhere.


white walls
have so little
definition,

no shadows
make it so 
difficult
to see detail,

those wonderful
ancient stories.

unless, of course
there's nothing
there to see.

so difficult
to believe!

Hydrangea Bouquet

springtime, in the
floral department,
looks like this.


many times, in a
long cold winter,
we craved warmth,

wanting what we
did not have.


maybe it's always
springtime, in the
floral department,

i wouldn't know.

there are things
that i don't need
to see or 
hear or say..

but i fear that i am 
no wise monkey,

and see so much
that makes me sad. 


springtime, in the
floral department,
looks like this.

Tortured Tree

Tortured Tree

i don't know why
it grows like this,
this tortured tree.

looking like
six scary movies
rolled into
one tortured tree,

something seems
to have happened
here again 
and again.

maybe it grew
towards an opportunity 
we never saw,

something that
seemed to come
but disappeared,
unexploited,

causing this
twisted wonder
to try again,

looking for a
better way to grow.

i too look for
possibilities for
nourishment,

if not for my body,
which seems
fairly unimportant,
then maybe for
the real me.