People overhang terraces,
heavy with suspense and bougainvillea,
singing. A street away, an aqueduct
arches high hillsides like an aria
and olive groves open out, fruitful,
in early April. Rainwater drops
through boughs of Apennine firs
and mournful, black butterflies,
drift across wild orchids, tulips,
like last words, or eulogies.
Sempervivum flowers whisper
always alive into the changing winds
as cirrus clouds gather like last breaths.
Almond trees bud with white blossoms,
like handkerchiefs, as the sky weeps
onto the wings of spectacled warblers.
But on the sunlit terracotta balconies,
edged by oregano, sage and basil,
people are still singing in chorus, in crescendo,
singing and singing and giving the world what for?
Selina Whiteley is a human rights activist and feminist from a family of colour. She has poems widely published in two books, “Up to Our Necks in It” and “the Kaleidoscope Chronicles” as well as in several magazines, most recently, Literary Veganism. She has a poem forthcoming in The Lake.