At Rudy’s Bar, Alassio
(After Thomas Hardy)
– O how could I order that tuna and chips,
– And sip my beer and gaze at yachts and cruise ships
Beyond the tops of changing booths and beach umbrella tips;
– And glimpse and catch the sea’s soughing of old truths
– Through exhaled smoke of bronze Italian youths
And cries of a fat child a made-up plastic granny soothes;
– And not think of a Romantic poet’s pyre,
– Or Claude’s Seaport, which Turner set on fire,
Or brine-drenched heroes Neptune saved from Aeolus and Juno’s ire.
– But I confess it took an old tourist’s poem,
– And my desire to make his tercets my own,
For me to see this sea transcending our own and Aeneas’ Rome.
– When we were on our way down here through Nice
– We saw b-boys do flares, headspins, then freeze.
On Friday nights the promenade is checked by Finance Police.
– But all the while, at the sandy edge of sight,
– On feathery legs of old, gods roll from the night,
And we would sense them could we still perform the proper rite.
Feature Image created by Daniele Idini.