St. Mark's with birds




it is not quite dawn

in the petite hotel

tucked into a corner

of Venice


in their room

my girls sleep as though enchanted

pink peignoirs neatly folded

onto two ornate chairs

slippers tucked beneath


everything so quiet

but, too wide awake,

I slip into warm slacks

a gondolier’s shirt

sensible shoes

for striding cobbles and bridges




tiptoe out of our room

into the paneled corridor

thread my hushed way through

that flowery forecourt


silence thick as clouds

or fog, renders all the bridges

different in dim light


I turn my lens

toward St. Mark’s crests

realizing I am the only

person in the piazza

gondolas bobbing, tethered, at my feet


2gondolas tethered


abruptly!  every bell in Venice

starts its hollow clamor

echoes chasing clangings

across wrinkled waters


the gilded clock awakens

bell-ringers moving so stiffly


Bell Ringers Clock St. Mark's Square


it’s Easter

every bird in Venice on the wing


Venice-pigeons-on wing



March 3, 2018





5 thoughts on “THE HUSHED TIME

  1. Penelope, I did not know this of you, of Venice. It was suddenly all so palpable to me tonight, before and after a call with Betty — no link that I know of. I did wonder, well, what would this mean to Penelope… Do you know (you can order it) the PBS DVD on Chihuly in Venice – working there, installing his creations hither and there, often near bridges. The wild colors, the sinuosities echoing the waters. He learned his art at Murano – so this was, in effect, honoring the creation, his creation as an artist. It’s thrilling! “Death in Venice” is thrilling too — for some reason I have that film. Haunting but essential…. c

  2. The title is perfect, and yes, it reminded me of our trip to Venice as well. It also reminds me of the quiet times I experience in the Park before dawn when it is only me, the birds and God’s magnificent creation. Your poem is touching in many respects. Thank you Carolyn.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s