Carnival in Venice


The place had been
An oasis of tranquillity,
The only sound
The soothing chant
Of monks in saffron robes,
Until the revels started.
The City opened its doors
From St. Mark’s to the ghetto
To a motley crew resembling
A tableau by Canaletto.
They are here to conceal
Their true identity
Wearing a golden mask
As if it were a pseudonym.
They adopt various disguises:
Harlequin or Columbine;
A Laughing Cavalier;
A Dancing Queen; a faerie.
A Spanish gypsy,
Whose Romany blood
Is reflected
In her refulgent cheeks.
A sad poppet, by the name of Juliet,
Forsaken by her handsome soul mate ,
Sits unsteadily on the parapet
Of a bridge.
– She had wished to be dead,
To chuck herself in the lagoon –
She weighed the pros and cons
And then decided
To choose life instead.
An old man,
A shadow of his former self,
Long past the first flush
Of youth, ogles his young quarry
And makes her blush.
She’s baffled by the intensity of his stare
Until the penny drops
– And feels a proper Charlie.
I watch from behind the shutters
Of my balcony as the din subsides
And the crowd disperses
At the onset of dawn.
I cannot join the rowdy merrymaking
For I do not see life
Through rose-tinted glasses anymore
But through a glass darkly.
I am haunted by the ghost of my past
And can only find solace
In silent memories.
© Luigi Pagano
From my collection “Idle Thoughts”

© ionicus 2023
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One of your best….among many! Thanks for sharing.



a kaleidoscope of colour and events…and yet, the human soul needs something else…
well presented, Luigi, old friend….

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