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POETRY FRIDAY -Poems From Three Islands

I have been a traveling poet of late. Exploring three islands in the Mediterranean region. Almost six weeks devoted to discovering and gathering on the islands of Capri, Sicily and Salina (part of the Aeolian island group).  With my trusty writer's notebook and camera, I made sure I soaked up as much detail as I could during my time in these special places. Snippets and snapshots were eagerly collected and raw words captured for later polishing...

Swimmers on the Malfa Beach, Salina
Valley of the Temples, Agrigento,Sicily.

Exploring Anacapri, Capri

Scala dei Turchi, Realmonte, Sicily

Cat in the Piazza, Erice, Sicily

The mist covered streets of Erice

Here are a few of  the many poems inspired by my time in these beautiful island settings.

A Night For Numbers
There were ten cats 
purring in the piazza this evening
Curled up 
Small, furry clumps shielded by the shadows of the oleander trees
Five Russian sailors sat in the ristorante
Thick necks all
Heads like dented buckets
Smoking, drinking
Inhaling their meals
At a nearby table
I sat with my wife
Silently sipping
a glass of sweet Malvasia

Morning on Salina

The birdsong begins early 
on Salina
-a soft light twittering
song floating down from the hinterland

A morning aria
Imbued with gentle optimism
A celebration
For the new day's promise

A Singular Pleasure
A single butterfly
A single bee
A single swallow
Just swooped past me

Olive Tree in Rosolini
When reflecting upon
the value of one's life
It would seem wise
Not to sit beneath
A six hundred year old olive tree
Still providing bountiful fruit
To assess your worldly contribution

Six hundred year old Olive Tree, Rosolini, Sicily

Excursion Group in Marzamemi

First you hear
the chitter-chatter of children-
They spill suddenly into view accompanied by hubbub and flurry
From a blind corner of the piazza
School children wearing uniforms
yet moving without any signs of uniformity
A teacher waves her arms wildly
Pretending to be in charge
Irregular progress is made
As voices ricochet
against the stone walls
of ancient buildings
They pass by erratically
This posse of curious learners


  1. I especially like your Night of Numbers. The imagery and alliteration is just lovely!

    1. Thank you Kat. I thoroughly enjoyed 'making' this poem. The pieces slotted into place so well- a rare and wonderful thing for a poet. The evening's events presented themselves up for consideration. I got lucky.

  2. It sounds like six weeks of wonder, Alan. It's hard to choose a favorite glimplse of all that you've shared. I love the 'morning aria', the description of those Russian soldiers, & the "chitter-chatter" posse. Happy for you that you had such a grand trip.

    1. It was indeed a wonderful adventure Linda. Glad you found connections in my various recollections -unintended rhyme there!

  3. Alan, what a great vacation you had-touring and writing under the sun. I like your first photo. It illustrates an important aspect of summer, relaxation. I am wondering if I can capture this photo you took for my Embraceable Summer Gallery. I also like Morning on Salina with its last lines, "A celebration
    For the new day's promise." May I add that poem to the collection also?

  4. Thank you Carol, it was an adventure in every way. Writers need to travel. We bring back treasure in the form of stories. Feel free to make use of the image and the poem. I feel honoured.

  5. What a stunning collection of photos and poems! I especially love "A Night for Numbers" with its wonderful sounds and imagery! As a teacher, I can really relate to your final poem and enjoyed the word play with uniforms and uniformity. I can also identify with the wild arm waving which may have been a part of my "back to school bad dream" last night! lol

    1. Thank you for your generous remarks Molly. Those of us who are educators can readily identify with the last poem, no doubt about it. It is sometimes akin to herding cats!

  6. Wow! What a fabulous trip with words and images. Thanks for letting us peek into your explorations. I love that last one - school children aren't so different even when so far away.

    1. There are certain core behaviours children en-masse exhibit Kay. It was a small yet significant moment on my marvellous trip. Glad you enjoyed the words and images I shared.

  7. What a rich time you enjoyed! I am glad you captured so much material as fodder for delightful poems. My favorite photos are the cat in the piazza and the olive tree. I love the olive tree poem for its wisdom and A Singular Pleasure for its simplicity and alliteration.

    1. Thank you for your kind and considered remarks Joyce. I have been most fortunate to have had this opportunity to gather a host of 'word sparks' while away. It has lead to a variety of poems, for which I am most grateful.

  8. I love those heads like dented buckets -- what a perfect image. I can see them!

    1. The imagery is deliberately strong in this poem, but it seemed to speak for itself. I had the advantage of sitting in a direct line with the sailor's table, so my observations were unimpeded.


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