Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Time stands still
As the slow bus from Sienna
Crawls up the stolid hill.
Drowsy wheels purr
Across sweating tarmac,
Babel in my ears,
One memory blurs
Into another, on the endless journey back.

A chorus line of chirpy nuns
Flutters across the Palio, delirious in the sun.
A pair of working girls mouth sweet nothings into mobiles.
Business is booming in their worn out smiles.

In hot pursuit a grizzled column of Texans
Grumbles forward and in a voice designed to deafen
One announces, ‘Carmine just sent me a text –
They’re going on to do Venice next.’

Through the glass bleakly, something quite absurd –
A beaten up sparrow with a long, long face
Struggles to make her cracked voice heard.
Out of tune, out of luck, out of place.

This has been simmering away since our visit to Italy. We had a lovely week, but Sienna was overwhelmed with tourists even that late in the year.

Welcome Tanzania!

Thursday, November 01, 2007


For you, a stranger, a neighbour, a friend, for his Wales
He’d run through granite walls,
The first to answer any call,
The first to dive in for the fifty-fifty ball,
The first to raise you up, if you should fall,
Who made the greatest challenge seem so small,
The one to make you feel more than ten feet tall.

He wouldn’t do with all this doom and gloom.
Be grateful you breathed the same air as him.
Now stand as one and make a nation of Gravs bloom!