1. On Piran Seafront
Ten thousand years of people stare
Off out to sea and feel its breath.
Ten thousand years of questioned souls
Who turn, and shrug, and build their worlds,
Those years are here within this point.
Entranced, we watch the fish and boats:
That silver dart, that bobbing float.
We are those generations now.
Then Trieste fades and Piran falls,
The bells un-ring and we are back.
The fish all hide, the sun is bright,
I hold your hand, we are alone.
The Adriatic Sea is blue:
It always is – is ever new.
2. When the Birds Fly Low
You see the point in being close:
An avalanche destroyed that house,
An earthquake took the town that day,
You closed your heart as war raged on,
You see the way the birds fly low.
You buy the cheese and share the bread.
A flock of alpine choughs descend:
They work as one, they fly as one.
As snow is creeping through the trees,
A dusting through Arolla Pine,
It brings its memories of times.
The birds fly down amongst the town.
You turn your back upon the cold.
You feed the birds and drink your fill.
3. Rainfall in the Julian Alps
The sun won’t break the clouds today.
The mountain crags have gathered rain,
The sparrows hide beneath the eaves,
The church bells echo hidden peaks.
The peace of circle patterned slates:
The point before the rivers form.
Within a pine a blackbird preens.
The air is still, the rain is clean.
A miracle has formed the sky.
Here in the sky, we are the sky.
The snowmelt cycles up, then through:
We breathe the ice of years gone by.
Within the clouds I see the sun.
Amidst the rainfall there is song.
4. Night in the Julian Alps
We do our best to kill the still
With street light, owl hoots, cow bells, cars.
We build and burn, we run and hide,
But up here nothing comes our way.
The mountain’s cold and silent depths,
The forest’s growth on rotten roots,
The haze which twinkles dying stars:
They are the silence we can’t dodge.
We think we are unique in this –
Us falcons, martens, humans, frogs –
Not caught in headlights: we freeze at night,
And stare into the mountain depths.
The long collective mass of life
Is just a tiny flick of light.