Cassio's Return

After the storm he woke,
not to Cyprus' rocky shores and angry passion
but to Venetian golden calm.
A battered soldier, exhausted from hunting past lives,
Cassio sprawls in bar-room chair,
calloused hand clasping a fading dream,
stirs to long-lived spires thrusting
through dawn's shining mists -
seeks out the surge of gondolas,
black against marbled walls,
waiting for couples, swollen with love,
to lie, smiling, on embroidered cushions,
seeking passion writ in black and white,
shouted across dusty squares,
echoing amid lewd frescoes,
emerging consummated from inns.
Alone now, he knows the news he bears
will tear at hearts
for passion leaves little for the living
and news of distant deaths
will not endear
even to those who knew honour amid such honest men.

Alan Papprill

If you've any comments on his poem, Alan Papprill would be pleased to hear from you.