Two Poems (Venetian Nocturne & Darkest Hour Before Dawn)

Venetian Nocturne
These stones 
reverb steps 
echoes the past 
dust of the future
Curtains of the day
fading as these walls
protect & confine
along the way
Reflections of silhouettes  
upon suspended linen & lace 
tracings of the longing wind             
clouds clothes pinned to the sky
Alchemical weaving
dance amongst the laundry
waxing & waning 
as the day journeys
Dishes silverware
clang & clash
delicious aromas
drift through shutters
Gondolas clatter like reeds
upon the narrow canals
echoes heard but unseen
limbo’d in a labyrinth
In Venice – walking on water
no miracle .. merely at ease
stone & brick & sweat
once slush & weeds
What bones & memories
buried in piles & rubble
St Mark arises a lotus
from an archaic mire
Do ancient or modern faithful 
tabulate the littered churches 
only bent in blind faith
abacus burdens & crosses
Stain glass light
falls onto grey stones
pieces of the puzzles
blank as slate
Geometric spiralings
squares – piazzas
triangles – sails
circles – globes
Setting sun
over the Guiddecca
orange silver gold
spill into canal waters
Apparitions abound
illuminated texts
potent elixirs
anchor in the ports
Alphabetic echoes
languages once spoken
forgotten & lost 
upon the docks
Across the lagoon 
islands glimmer 
galaxies far away
this world consumed
Darkest Hour Before Dawn
in a walachian fog 
as i wandered grey 
narrow streets
bucharest lay before me
dim lamp posts 
yielded forth 
precious little 
to light my path
my unknown way
mercifully the haze softened
seemingly endless blocks of drab 
soviet-era block housing 
staler than week old rye
searching & seeking
cobblestoned streets
echoed stillness & silence
my first or last time 
merely a returning 
from a previous lived life
white-washed pollarded trees 
stood guard over the
dimbovita embankment 
Or was it the jordan
perchance the river styx
unseen waters
gave apparitions
as if the very source
of the rising mist 
that blanketed the city
solemn  blackness
of the hours before dawn
were at last broken only by dim
lights – unseen clatter 
bakers who toiled
to make their daily bread
did they do it in faith 
or merely to stave off hunger
shipwrecked upon 
unknown  sidewalks
this very hunger drove me 
forward & onward
for as when I had
thought myself lost
fragrance of bread
would arise – manna
map from heaven 
seemingly after
an eternity
forty years
forty nights
or merely
forty minutes
a small café door was left
ajambed by a faithful brick
as if to invite those who 
yearned & hungered 
unable to speak the language
placing lei  coins & paper money
upon the slanting table
i silently blessed
breaking of fast
strong tea for weak senses
for the stomach – warm bread 
a field of unknown grains
harvested my thoughts
as I prayed for the 
resurrection of the new day
in a walachian fog 
as i wandered the grey 
narrow streets
bucharest lay before me
About the contributor: Terrence Sykes was born and raised in the rural coal mining area of Virginia.  This isolation brings the theme of remembrance to his creations, whether real or imagined.  His poetry – photography – flash fiction has been published in Canada, Ireland ,India, Mauritius,Scotland, Spain and the USA.

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