K. J. Van Deusen lives in the Black Hills of South Dakota with a man, a cat and a Welsh Corgi. She is an ardent hiker, skier, gardener, watcher of birds and taster of wines. She holds a BA in English and is a certified yoga instructor and owner of Sun & Moon Yoga in Rapid City since 2001. Her poetry can be found in the following journals and anthologies:
- Granite Island, Amber Sea: Writings from the Black Hills and Plains (2012)
- Pirene’s Fountain: A Journal of Poetry – Beverage Anthology (2012)
- Pirene’s Fountain: A Journal of Poetry (2010 & 2011)
- Victorian Violet Press and Journal (2011)
She hopes to return one day to the Mediterranean world. Meanwhile she will content herself with daily visits to this beautiful website!
In Ristorante Academia
I saw two young beautiful hearts
Break loose. Run wild. Collide.
The girl was the blonde
With the devastating eyes
And a gaze that could topple giants.
The boy her attentive waiter.
You could tell she loved his European look,
His passionate, polite, un-American ways,
His Italian accent, Serbian-tinged.
You could tell he loved
Her every word and glance and gesture.
The moon was full and marble that night
And low in the Florentine sky
And inside the tiny restaurant
You could feel its weight and mass.
The tables were close, every table taken
Air full of languages, basil and garlic.
And the painted walls gave light like honey
And the dry rose’ was the color of sun
Shining through rubies.
The boy was rooster, then he was lamb.
Speaker of poetry. And nonsense.
Dark eyes throwing off sparks and
One hand constantly smoothing the front
Of his white immaculate shirt.
Was it to calm the wild bird of his heart?
You could almost see the beating of wings.
And around the girl,
Shooting stars and a yellow aura.
I knew if I reached into the space between them
My hand would burn
And if I met the eyes of one or the other
I’d see the imminent wreckage.
So I just sat back in my chair
Sipping glass after glass of that gorgeous wine
Eating ravioli with truffle and Michelangelo salad.
Watching the boy tear the heart-
Shaped leaves off a nearby potted plant.
Watching the girl
As though she were not my daughter.
When You Drink Prosecco In Praiano
Drink to the house made of cake and white fondant
And the one hundred steep stone steps to get there
And its unscreened windows and doors –
The arched barrel-vaulted ones,
The white-iron, gated and scrolled ones
Framing all that blue.
Drink to the bird’s eye views from the terrace
Rooftops, gardens, groves and orchards
The sun-tilting tiles of San Gennaro’s dome
The fishing boats rocking on black glass water.
The many-colored cluttered cliffs of Positano.
Drink to the Mediterranean haze,
The sea and sky all of one color
The tour boats sailing into it and out of it
Capri and the horizon, appearing, disappearing.
Drink to the hand-painted table, laden
The bowl of lemons, the blue-glazed plate
Of cheese and bread and olives –
The green ones bright as limes,
The black wrinkled, glistening with oil.
Drink to the chaise lounge chairs
The salt and jasmine air
The sun falling on skin
Like the fine soft silt of crushed mica.
Drink to the darting Mediterranean lizards
With wallpaper patterns tattooed on their backs
And the Mediterranean snail,
Taking all of an afternoon to travel
One Mediterranean inch.
Drink to endlessly looking to the water
Through roses and bougainvillea
Through fluted glasses lifted
Through the palest gold wine
And through the tiniest of bubbles
Clinging to strawberries.
This poem has previously appeared in Pirene’s Fountain: A Journal of Poetry – Beverage Anthology
All poems on this post: © K. J. Van Deusen
Published with the permission of K. J. Van Deusen