Ken Bolton / September Poems / 3.

3  (The rooftop apartment) from Hvar

Here I am on the balcony
writing this line—the
first page 
of a school 
exercise book.  Am I
‘not very good
at holidays’?  
                       Will I die
not knowing—what 
a campanilé is
for instance—not knowing
‘for sure’?

I have got a
considerable way
so far without that knowledge.

I think the would-be 
knowing term
“campanilé envy”
made the word
no-go territory, for me.
In Italy.

But it comes back.
Washing hangs
between me & the church tower
—the campanilé, in fact—
the clothes 25 metres away
(the tower a further
seventy or so), the
enormously tall palm
just off true vertical

makes an almost graphic
dark line against
the church—this last
a pleasant, distempered cream.  

The palm stands a little closer
—tho further back
than the washing—
two dissecting lines ,
the bellying arc
of the washing line, the
swifter, more stable
line of the dark-
trunked palm.

Stains, of a ‘lobster-sauce’
mark the church’s features—a
lobster sauce 
that has been
sponged away
that clings 
only in the
delineations of
carved & cut stone.  
The tower
is beautiful.  Each level,
as it ascends,
has more, & finer
apertures & columns—
an airier
lightening effect
while the overall
square proportions
to describe it
is too much bother,
which is not what
the church intends:

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