dedicato a Marco, poeta e traddutore

The smell of seaweed burning, a scene smelt out of the day


there was nothing
else than the walk from
the shore to the house
all as it had been
for all time past
yet voices shouting*
bold with the
drink from your
own cellar
and you sank
the arrow
into their
fat revelry
even before
you had kicked
the stout door
in with calves
of iron


kavafy** i see
you with a suit
the grey of an
otago sky
the excellent
shades fining
your gold rimmed
glasses held
lens of hard
cold tears you
looked at
us through and
love ever turned
cold in that look
however dear
it was.


i might have
wanted more
got just what this
shore had always
held for me the
soft first step
of journey
or returning
the smell
of dry

january 2012

*reference to Odysseus’s return and his slaying of his wife’s suitors, who had drunk and feasted in his palace.
** reference to the Alexandrian Greek poet, Konstantinos (Constantine) Kavafy. Kavafy’s poem ‘Ithaca’ (Ithaki), which describes the significance of Odysseus’s home in the making of his legendary journey, is one of the iconic works of 20th century Greek literature.

Copyright © 2016 Peter Le Baige. All Rights Reserved

The music is from a 1969 recording by David Oistrakh (violin) & Sviatoslav Richter (piano) of the Sonata for Violin and Piano, op. 134 by Dmitri Shostakovich

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