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Venice is…











the chop of water,

its lap and lisp on gondola prows,

and the slap of waves eroding

foundation stones and marble steps.



Gondola Repair Yard

Gondola Repair Yard



the sound of tools

tapping, planing, polishing.

the caress of a cello’s chord

soaring through a basilica.





Vivaldi and Monteverdi threading



the contrapunt of vegetable vendors,

vying with street music. Bar music

drifting down canals after dark.





It is…

where the smell of cappuccino

slips out of doorways,

lingers over oregano and cardamom,

mingles with must on saltwater.




Venice is…


Grand Canal

Grand Canal

light caught at an angle

in all the fragility of stained glass.

the color of pigment

hand-ground by Bellini, Canaletto, Gambello,



masters who painted the saturation

Piazza San Marco

Piazza San Marco

of jade water channels, the filigree of crosses,

the shadow of wrought iron,

and the many faces of Madonna and Child.




the color of liquid reflecting palazzo walls

laundry drying high on lines.




the jewels applied by the makers of masques.

and the mystery behind the masque.