Posted on: 2020-02-07 13:59:14 UTC
Mountains flow past beneath me, Knife-edged, snow-softened, Kirtled by winter-deadened trees.
Between them, dragons' breath Flows down deep-cut valleys, Mist like a river, riding the breeze.
Then sudden, a green tide Crashes upon the snowbound shore: The lowlands flow in like the seas.
The trees are different here: Painted with a broader brush, Soft green in the heart of winter, Lining the roads and long-forgotten ways.
Fans that wave to praise departed kings, And dark-leaved shadows surging up To strike as spears towards the sun; Or spreading, shieldlike, againsts its rays.
They have been shaped by older times, Sculpted by a thousand thousand days, Their rows and copses made holy by the years: Arboreal geometries of an ancient age.
The streets of Rome are paved with gold: The heir of oil and wick, actinic light Sparks amid three thousand years of stone.
Cast between the mountains and the sea A constellation, jewelled with time, Lets fall the day and rules the night.
I rise on wings of steel, but behind A cascade of crystal spread like stars: The City Eternal bids farewell.
So what is this? I went to Rome! Sort of. For various reasons, I actually spent about 24 hours in a hotel a short way west of Rome engaging in tedious meetings, plus a chunk of time at the airport. I never laid eyes on anything even remotely famous, and the best views I had were of fields from the back of a taxi.
But still: Rome! I found myself thinking in poetry at the moment we flew over the sharp divide between the Alps and lowland Italy, and it just kind of stuck.
More generally, this is Friday Blogging: my probably-doomed attempt to revive my long-form blogging skills and maybe entertain a few people along the way. Of course, once I tell anyone something will happen on a specific day, it almost immediately stops, so I've probably just shot myself in the foot here... anyway, I try to vary the content a fair bit, so this week, you get poetry.