(Inspired by Dun Aengus by David Whyte)
(Publ. in Life & Labyrinth and Simply Put)
ITALY –© arlene s bice
And when you go,
try to go before the season
when tourists fill every place.
They take the soul of place away.
See Italy as its people have,
from centuries ago to the present.
Join them with colorful pottery pitchers
of wine on each table alongside baskets of
bread yet warm, with the scent of hot oven-baking
still floating from the kitchen to your table to your nose
to whet your appetite.
Walk the narrow cobbled streets
where the clatter of horses’ hooves fill
your ears even though that time is a long way
passed. Throw open a casement window in your
castle bedroom to sweep your eyes over clay tiled
roofs to the mountains in the distance. Mountains that
pierce clouds as you do, driving down the mountain, the
road carrying you through the cloud slowly that it lays
on your shoulders, imbeds itself into your pores, mouth
and your brain.
Soak in sounds of the squeeze-box;
a strolling soprano sings with all his being
as you stroll along the canals of Venice holding
hands most sensuously not ignoring strangers, but
saving them for the trattoria, where everyone shares a
moment or announced event; they will cheer your good news.
Drink in the crisp, clear water
spouting out of the mountain, like
champagne surging from a wedding fountain.
Place a small offering in the roadside box with the
Madonna, even though you aren’t Catholic, never will
be & don’t believe that stuff. Do it anyway, be Italian
while you are here.
Drive along the Costera Azura
not falling off the mountain into the
azure blue water like you expect to do
at the next sharp turn where you meet a bus
coming the other way. Italians have been driving
this road for centuries and do fall off crashing onto the
rocks below, but you won’t. You have too much to take
home to hold onto when there are only memories to make
you smile with inner glow; you once lived with a joyful heart in Italy.