Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Ash Wednesday

Last night, musicians, jugglers and other street entertainers thronged the city with colorful amusement and song. Fireworks turned the horizon into glittering blossoms of milkweed that floated over bell towers and dark canals. This was a time for self-indulgence, passion and joy. It was a night when relationships feasted on forbidden fruit and worries about tomorrow dissolved in soft moonlight. Wednesday would awaken with bells and a sacred emphasis on reflection and sacrifice. But memories of the Carnival would linger and penetrate the masks of piety worn by priest and parishioner, the aura of peace emitted by doves and votive candlelight. They would haunt and disturb the city's imagination as people still dreamed and wondered about love...


Quando sono sola
sogno all'orizzonte

It’s morning
and church domes muted by mist
now glorify the Venetian sky
with luminous metal.

Wind tugs at the sea
titling silence as birds glide in
and stir the ether. Whispers
snuffed out hours ago
when pier lamps and stars
dimmed near dawn, are rekindled

remembered by those who loved
under the carnival glitter.
A priest stares toward his hand
holding a broken eucharist
and sees the silhouette
of a pale lady on black stone.

The cameo worn by Lisetta Marie
was the first thing he noticed.
It emphasized her neck, a long stem
flowing into perfumed shoulders
and Persian silk draping
young breasts that discreetly
nursed royal children , sustained
the soft warmth of an evening sun

Last night,
behind the gondola curtains,
she offered him radiance , gold brighter
than his cross or communion cup. Today
he will pray, garner ashes.

In the name of the woman, the lover
and sweet sin...
the mist has cleared,
sunlight spawned but the dream sings on.

Fingers tremble, and the Jesuit
wonders if is she is standing
on a balcony suspended
one hundred rooftops away;

her hand clutching
the rail’s iron flowers

her eyes on the water
igniting reflection.

Like him, she glistens --
wine, candles, and the heat
of white limbs rubbed together
before dawn.

Note - The epigram in English means, “When I am alone, I dream of the horizon.”


jack said...

good afternoon Wendy

I have to say your work leaves me at a loss for words
this the second time
I have fumbled around like a schoolboy
looking for the right words to say after I have read a work


have to think about that
possibly I don’t want to look like and idiot
what ever

that’s a beautiful description
followed by an excellent poem

you have a way of catching the past
I believe you said in a work you inhale it
I would agree you do

the poem is filled with sophisticated images
they draw the reader into a hidden world
perhaps a world most would like one time to experience
that’s if they have a heart which breathes

the feeling of Venice
the festivals
love and its longing to fulfill itself
becomes life itself

I do admire

warm regards jack

Cynthia said...

Equisite! Again, the most
pleasurable blog, I hate to use
such a mundane word for your
spiritual/love prose.
Ash wednesday feeds my desire
for spirituality and erotica.