Victoria, British Columbia

Castel Gandolfo

September 19, 2004

Climbing the cobbled hill above Lake Albano

whose sapphire surface reflects the morning sun

we halt for second wind, spy a village

cat tonguing its tabby coat

a

On the grass below, a policeman

leans against a cruiser, Uzzi

nestled in the crook of his arm

At the entrance to Piazza della Liberta

we pass a pair of constables

who share not a smile

not a gleam of the eye

a

Swiss guardsmen stand

on either side of a towering church doorway

resplendent in stripes

of yellow, red and Medici blue, armed

with centuries of patience, buttressed

by medieval halberds

a

Jet-lagged tourists cram

dark souvenir shops, or languidly

circle the ancient square

a

A gowned choir gathers

to loft heavenly strains

into the warm autumn air

a

Black-robed priests

and puffed-up dignitaries

are engulfed by an exuberant throng

brandishing banners

in long, looping figures-of-eight

a

The Pope is coming!

a

frail and heroic

on the edge

of eternity

a

At the apex

of anticipation

we depart

a

This tour

leaves no time

for history.

***


Rosalee van Stelten is a Victoria free-lance writer and poet whose second book, Echoes, is due for release by Frontenac House www.frontenachouse.com in autumn 2008.

Advertisements

2 responses to “Victoria, British Columbia

  1. Rosalee van Stelten – you write such visual words! As a painter, I could literally paint what you wrote. So beautiful. Creative way to end the poem.

  2. Truus de Bruijn

    Rosalee,
    What a beautiful poem! I especially like the way you describe the different colours in this poem.
    I also like the composition of the words.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s