Sunset fleet

Gathering at harbour
towards evening
the heat of the day
still intense
a chattering assembly
clambered up the plank
to the scrubbed deck all
grateful for breeze
at that altitude
even before the little
ship set sail

Tihana, Alessandro, Goran,
Mauro, Sara, Luka, Maria,
Javier, Assunta, Stefano,
Mia, Gio

talk was inconsequential
of yesterday, today, tomorrow
of weather, wine and water
of this wondrous fleet and
of who, what, why and where and
had I been in an olive grove
instead of aboard I’d
have thought of cicadas
until homeward reflection
on sunset dolphins leaping
sounded like silently
thankful prayer


Quivering, swirling, tapping

Festal pyrotechnics
cotton dress swirling
his foot tapping
boy on guitar girl on violin
busking to intensely alive
international appreciation
just before midnight
still thirty degrees
but it’s their warmth and
ease everybody’s
noticed and slowed to
semi-circle standing for
shyly humming along
to the tune

A mildly drunk admirer
steps a touch too close but
feeling the little crowd’s
protective bristle sobering
swiftly allowing neck hairs
to settle only to rise
again in happier response
to now plaintive now playful
violin voice quivering
ducking and diving
laughing and thriving
delightfully playing
wide eyed celebration
beneath the full moon


Ancient of Days

It’s fiercely hot. Cool sanctuary in the basilica appeals. With fourth century mosaic pavements and a palace built by Bishop Euphrasius in the sixth, endless wooden stairs ascend to a busy scene in a cool belfry. A dozen or more out-of-breath pilgrims are rewarded with spectacular panoramic views over Poreč and the comings and goings of tourist boats and water taxis, before easier descent, first to a hot lavender-scented lapidiary complete with happy bees and striped butterflies, and on to grateful moments in the church awed by the thought of millions here before us. Ancient of Days!


Divine whispers of life-promise
were once delivered via
bell tower’s call – religiously
apparently – or not at all

This morning seagull’s
soaring is transient white light
aloft – and liberating
borderless and glorious it seems

Today the Voice is heard
soughing in trees and
rattling red roof tiles or
cast off feather’s fall

And blown through rusty
fanlight direct to dreams – or
satellite dish reception
delivering beams

Where are the edges beneath
this blue dome and whence the
soul-knowing recognising
home away from home?

There’s greater wider
gyre around the Tower
and the transient light
immutably knows – that all

is in all


see travelpad

Fully, really, alive

Cruising in the turquoise Adriatic, the shimmering of heat haze on the wide horizon, there’s similarity with pictures of paradise I loved in childhood. There’s a difference in the point of view though, for I’m still alive on earth to see these wonders, greeted in seven languages.

Actually, everyone looks fully, really alive – glowing, growing and happy. We sail past Vrsar into harbour in colourful Rovinj at noon. Angelus bells in the tower, spectacular fruit market, and stunning architecture in “Croatian Venice” sports family laundry lines, and seagull cries sound like someone told them a hilarious joke. Alive. Here. Now!

Gentle evening

Coffee coloured stucco. Ancient
shutters bleached silver
dishevelled on rusty hinges
rendering their apparent
permanence miraculous. Battered
blue bicycle leant against the
wall no longer going places – adventurous
travel having given way years ago to sunlit
evenings making embroidered
shawls on the doorstep, geraniums
glowing like the buttercup effect
at the chin beneath deeply
wrinkled concentration. There’s a
small glass of something or other
beside a basket of chocolate
brown bread and olive oil
on the little outdoor table, and
needles in her orange pin cushion.
In tonight’s gentle evening
breeze this quiet sometime cyclist is
mistress of her universe