Dials and Bells

Dials and Bells

looking up skywards
   we can't fail to see

      dials and bells
      on a tower face


   marking time
sounding alarms

   as our lives tick by
chimes ringing out


      we can yell
   we can scream
whisper or shout

dials mark time
   in a visual way


      but now we find
   we may not know
   or even understand


      what time is
or how it flows


   what really matters 
with the time we have
      is how we grow
and what we grow into

Amphorae

wine bottles
      seem so small

   after you have 
seen amphorae.


civilization is such 
      a big surprise.

all it takes to tame
   troupes of
frantic monkeys 

is sufficient alcohol.


   amphorae do look 
interesting in a way.

cool shapes.

(comforting somehow)

frantic monkeys do
      love their comfort.


fear the pandemic,
   it can damage 
our feeble brains.

      already we are
woefully underpowered.

save my cpu!

Spring by the Lake

the water's cold
   although the 
      ice is gone.

   we know icy water 
from almost before 
      we were young .

   stick your toes
in springtime's 
      chilly water. 

your toes went in
      to the ankle;
you know cold water
for long as you live.


      deep chill, 
      down deep
to where light fades

into featureless
      blurry shadow

      diffuse light
seems to come
from every place.


interesting days,
      we still survive:

      icy weather,
   cold spring water
chills our toddler toes.

Share the Road

tiny trucks deliver
to tiny shops,

as if there was
room on roads.


pedestrians
learn quickly.

out of the way!


(no suitable
translation
springs to mind.)

everyone moves
aside, quickly.

tiny trucks
go slowly by.


white-painted 
roads in a 
beautiful place.

tiny trucks leave
no dirty tracks
on the streets.


shops sell a few
amazing things:
exquisite art,

a bowl: carved
of ancient olive,
grown thousands
of years ago.

cool shade is
an under-rated
blessing.

just stay cool!

Spring Seawall

drifting along
a beautiful
seawall on
an island,

they have
no agenda,
nor purpose.

nothing's
important
on a day 
like this.


quarried stone
holds back waves,

waves breaking
unnaturally
on hard stone.

make no mistake;
any rock weathers
on these edges.

some last longer
than others. 
 
these stones last 
longer than we do.


for us the people 
are always the story.

and here, the story 
is that the people
do not seem so 
very important.

not much going on,
no real dramas
are unfolding.


the drama here
is all unseen,
and unseeable,
or maybe 
the drama is
the landscape.
 

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.

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.


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.