Poetry: An Italian View
I lived for many years in Italy – almost half my life actually. So much of my life experience is based on those years. To say that I love Italy is putting it mildly. Italy is my “soul home”. It is where I feel most at home. It is the place that when I arrive there I feel that internal soft sigh and a voice that says, “Ah, I’m home.”
I think the creative Muse was awakened in me during all those years. Or perhaps it would be more truthful to say she was re-awakened. It was during those years that I went back to painting for the first time since my teens, and it was in Italy that I began to write poetry.
Ten of those years were spent on the island of Sardinia. It was actually on a return visit to Sardinia,to the southern part of the island, near the capital of Cagliari, that I had an incredible experience one evening sitting on a beach at Santa Margherita di Pula. It was a dark yet star-studded night and the water was calm and still, like sheet glass. And then I was gifted to see a full moon rise, and this is what I wrote when I went home that night.
Full Moon Rise
It must have been an invitation such as this,
That sent Columbus round the world.
He must have stood upon the shore one summer’s eve
To watch the gentle waves unfurled.
And as he gazed into the dark and distant night,
An orange glow appeared to East.
With bated breathe he sat to watch the shadowy sky,
Yet ignorant of the coming feast.
Amidst that mellow, musky haze where sky meets sea,
There blossomed forth an amber bloom,
A perfect sphere that seemed to hang suspended there
As ripe as woman’s fertile womb.
Then slowly, inch by inch, it left horizon’s line
And started on a slow ascent
Into the violet, velvet dark of August’s night,
Toward the West it leant.
And as it carefully cleaved a path among the stars,
The amber ball to yellow paled,
But t’was a brilliant pallor, clear and lemon-bright,
The splendid, sparkling stars it veiled.
Upward it arched, the heavens high to reign,
While o’er the seas its light was spread,
Like myriads of dancing diamonds on the waves below,
Connected to a single thread.
A wondrous, silver, shimmering street across the sea,
The gate to worlds yet unexplored.
All this Columbus must have seen one summer’s eve,
The morn his sails to set abroad.