Geoffrey B. Cain is an artist and educator who lives in University Place, WA, USA. where he writes novels, short stories, and poetry. His previous work has appeared in Border Crossing, the Sonoma Mandala, Tom Cat, Deluge 6, and other fine publications. After a year of Covid lockdown, he is desperate to return to Italy.
What One Begins to See in the Stones
Ocean washed white marble steps of Venice
Tinged with the green life of the Adriatic,
White blocks of limestone in renaissance bridges
Each one a bridge of sighs
As we cross our way
From palace to prison
And back again;
Granite paving stones from the hills high in the Veneto;
There are fossil ammonites coiled deep
Within the polished stairways of the Correr;
Each stone touched by the dreams of another
By alleyways and canals,
By ancient joining and time,
By light and shadow,
Each stone joined one to another,
Time a thin river of mortar
That leads to the shores of this sea
And join with those who walked here too:
Refugee Romans who fled my marauding ancestors,
The effluvia of empires,
Armies like tides,
Centuries of dogery and capital,
The forgotten vagrants and visitors,
Masked lovers in black and gold rococo gondolas,
Always the inevitable lovers and writers and tourists
Who flock like pigeons to Piazza San Marco.
The late summer sun
Sets in billowing clouds of pastels;
The tips of waves,
Reflect the orange of the buildings across the canal:
All the paintings are true.
In the aquamarine blue of the sea.
Layers of time in all of these stones,
Always seeming so solid, but always
Sinking, slowly sinking,
Like time and the sun.
Poetry in this post: © Geoffrey B. Cain
Published with the permission of Geoffrey B. Cain