Peter Russell

(1921-2003 / Bristol)

Venice in winter For Gitta in Berlin


The clouds obscure the island and the church
And the cold sea is streaked with grey like mud;
Dark cypresses (but not a single birch
As in Berlin) edge the Venetian flood.
Follow the Lido with your wind-swept eye
-Long needle of the land that threads the sea -
Where white gulls in the stormy distance, fly
Past lonely gardens and the last green tree.

You wouldn't think the citizens would dare
To venture out upon the streets below
With all this frosty dampness in the air;
But when night falls you'll see the scarlet glow
Of braziers roasting chestnuts near the Square,
And sweet potatoes in Sant'Angelo.

Submitted: Tuesday, May 20, 2014

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