Thursday, 28 October 2010

Lime Trees in Autumn

These trees, behind my garden wall, have found their way into a number of my poems, bringing with them the ancient wall with its layered look of stone and red brick.

Pendulous with their random constellations,
a receding row of universes,
they stand as much beyond
my language as beyond my wall...

(from 'Lime Trees', The Old Women of Magione, 1997) 

The shards of glass on top of the wall were there before we arrived in 1991. Behind the wall, separated by the row of trees, are two schools, a primary and a secondary. The hanging terracotta pieces come from Arezzo, Italy. Two of them are meant to be sundials, representing the sun and the seasons, and the third, the smallest, is The Lovers as Sun and Moon. The green clump to the right is 'ivy's last stand': it is the remnant I haven't yet had the time or inclination to prize slowly and carefully off the wall.

Trimming of ivy, task of dislodging
petrified tendrils, allowing
the Virginia Creeper 
a suffocation-saving breather.
The long end-wall on which are hung
a terracotta moon and sun,
its layered look of lichened rock
with interruptions of red brick.

This last bit is from a poem I'm still working on. Note how the detail given above about the terracotta pieces becomes simplified and, you might say, inexact, under the pressure of rhyming couplets. But perhaps other people might more easily relate their own terracotta pieces to a less precise description.

The photograph was taken this morning, 28 October 2010, at about nine o'clock.

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