Vesuvius Sleeping

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the pillow is a grill
and the band
down the street
sings to the ocean,
fishing boats
bobbing along

her voice powering through
notes
boxing gloves on

we turn over
and it gets hotter in the hotel
varnish on the shutters
snickering
and flies batting
their drowsy heads
against the glass

tomorrow we will need
to be awake
properly for Pompeii

to see the dogs
the deep wagon-ruts
the stone brothel
and somehow
come to realise just how brutal
a volcano can be

but her voice echoes on
and our air-conditioner
has been missing

since check in
and my head is Crying
the Lot of 49
a half-finished
copy sits beside
the semi-functional phone

and you aren’t sleeping either
but neither of us
can bear to admit it

and so instead of talking
we lie there
and wait
for the mountains
to swallow up the last
of the music

scrape its bowl clean
with thunder
and hints of rain.

(first published in between giants)

Gelati

Here in the frosty grip of winter I’m missing summer – so I’m re-posting this today!

ashley capes

A whole post on ice cream? Yep.

You cannot travel to Italy and not sample – extensively – the gelati. We probably tried around twenty flavours in three weeks and now that it’s so long ago I can’t recall them all, but I do remember a few. Vividly. The ‘panna cotta’ for instance, was earth-shakingly good, while classic flavours like fragola (strawberry) and cioccolato were also fantastic. Probably the hardest thing was knowing when to stop actually. All worth it though.

The sign below we found in the middle of Amalfi, up beyond the Piazza Duomo and had to find a new SD card in order to photograph it, as by then (our second city into the trip) we’d already gone through a few gig.

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Canals of Venice

I’m a little surprised to realise it’s been over a year since my wife and I returned from Italy – it doesn’t feel that long at all. We both think about Italy everyday and I’m always wondering how to get back. (One day, but not for a while at least). I also meant to write a lot more about Italy, but it’s fallen by the wayside for now, though I’ll get back to it sooner or later.

In the meantime, here’s a photo of me during a gondola ride in Venice, it was great to watch our gondolier kick off from walls and even other gondola, in addition to use of his oar.

Florence Haiku Sequence

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blood orange
in small plastic cups
green fields blur

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sidewalk café
crowded with the
swell of English accents

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miniatures
in the souvenir shop
the fan droops

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trimming mat board
with borrowed scissors
Dr Conrad squirms

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to climb the Duomo
and breathe in the whole city
– graffiti

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frozen white
David’s too-large-hands
towering over us

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Begging in Rome – Reposted at ‘Bucket List Publications’

Fantastic news, Lesley Carter has republished my ‘Begging in Rome’ post at her travel blog ‘Bucket List Publications‘ – very happy to announce it here, it was great to touch the post up again and to ‘revisit’ Italy, I’m reminded how lucky I was to visit.

Just watch out for my usual rambling style!

And be sure to have a look at the loads and loads of other great stories at her blog too.