Iíve seen the low sun

            nodding into the night

            across the water

Iíve seen the saints gathered

            for one last laugh

            before turning into light

Iíve heard Vivaldi

            snapping his fingers

            as he danced a jig

            in the Campo Manin

            the echoes of revelry

            pouring through a labyrinth

            illuminated by a thousand shadows

            every golden tile

            winking at the awe of strangers.


We have been invited by ghosts

            to listen to the heartbeat

            of Byzantium

to witness the coming

            of the flood

to walk into the life

            of the past

to see the splendor of imagination

to bow to the winged lion

            about to launch himself

            into the skies

            above a fleet of violins

to inhale the sea and a city

            at the same time

to feel the polished marble

            where fantastic humans

            laid their hands

            a thousand years ago

to climb the stairs

            of a bell tower

            fashioned by a man

            with a multitude of heads

to stop in an alley

            where a troll lives

            in perfect happiness

to find a statue of myself

            at the end of a long walk

            through a tunnel to nowhere

to be kissed by an angel

            when all is lost

to find another stairway

            to some perfect place

            with a window

            overlooking the world itself


Iíve seen your red robes

            and your false conscience

            going up in flames

Iíve marveled at your faith

            and your discoveries

your struggles and wars overwhelm me

what you have reached for

            is gentle and monstrous

the long-buried instruments

            you perform with

            confound my own palette

I want to know why the world

            becomes you so well.


Florence, Oct, 18, 1994 



All images and text copyrighted.  All rights reserved.  ©  Copyright 2002 David Wiley.