Thursday, 11 April 2013

Postcard from Venice. The Early Morning.

The first bell tolls. It is 7 A.M.
Dawn has arrived but Venice is quiet.
Boats laden with produce chug under bridges.
Fruit vendors set up their street stalls.
Workers trickle in by train or vaporetta
And sleepily walk, hands in pockets,
Eyes downcast. A street sweeper
Whisks away the myriad cigarette butts.
Rubbish lies in the streets in neat little piles.
The  Rialto Bridge is empty and still.
No gondolas move serenely along
The green canals or under the pontes.
A lone photographer is in St. Mark's square
Looking for morning's soft glow of light.
The marbled splendour of palaces,
Museums, galleries and churches
Stand quietly as if in waiting.
The footsteps of locals walking their dogs echo,
For the great, heaving mass of people
That choke the lanes, bridges and squares
And line in great, serpentine queues
Outside St. Mark's Basillica or Doge's palace
Have not yet emerged from their slumber.
The glittering shops beneath the crumbling buildings
Are sleeping too, as if gathering strength
For the shoulder to shoulder crush of the coming day.

Three photos from about 6.15 A.M.

Looking out from St. Mark's Square

An empty Grand Canal.

Working boats near an empty Rialto Bridge.

Diana on her own in the courtyard of the Doge's Palace.

A few people, mostly workers, in St. Mark's Square.

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