Civita di Bagnoregio, city reaching sky

  • high the crumbling hill, tall the ancient tower,
    deep the precipice fall, sunset-fading hour

    hunter’s lonely heart, unimpeded distant view,
    mountains grass-striped, sky washed grey-blue

    foreign tongue echoes, wind snatches words away,
    summit circled by birds, her smile for which I pray

    narrow lane pilgrim, pacing cool cobble stones,
    limp ivy arc-hung, hungry praise haunts bones

    apertured walls hug hill, landslides pause threat,
    mountain retreat waits, half-firm its hope is set

    Civitia di Bagnoregio, Niente può fermare la natura*
    I salute your ancient stones, gold bricked bravura

    sky-reaching small city, old muscles slowly crumble,
    re-enforced plates and rods prevent further tumble

    engineer-strength most sure, angels hold their breath
    – who will come to save us, who mocks certain death?

    I depart by arched viaduct, clock tolls midnight hour:
    goodbye noble hill, farewell watchman’s tower

    photo: Civita di Bagnoregio1526_56e004914c0017.44073076-big


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