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five towers by James Morehead

July 5, 2011

five towers

by James Morehead

a dizzying twirl to stefansdom's peak
steps block on block hug a solitary column
far below nestled in the catacombs keep
eleven thousand souls sleep in silence
in crypts burrowed deep from dirt and rubble
bones and skulls in even rows stacked
shadows of saints sinners plague victims unknown

south from stefandom's patterned tiles
past venezian canals and its leaning gondoliers
over ridges hillsides vineyards mediterranean shores
leans pisa's torre pendente
stone steps circle a slanted hollow core
worn uneven by i turisti swaying to and fro
and far below lovers support the tower in framed relief

free from pisa's peak over chianti vigne and san gimignano gates
fly sienese flags - seventeen contrade unfurled for il palio's race
in centuries unchanged these medieval dreams
under piazza del campo's slender tower
where narrow crouching darkness leads to clear bells' call
and duomo's colored stone silhouetted prayer

chianti grapes and tuscan hills lead to apuane ridges majestic horizon
stadtturm - innsbruck's city tower - encased in dolomite ice and stone
stark severe graceful majestic ancient peaks
look down and gaze at stadtturm's steps of modern steel and ancient oak
a plaform open air where bells now silent once tolled
and pastel apartments lined up side by side in cool dusk's breeze
call their children home

salzach's waters swelled by winter's melting drifts
hohensalzburg's keep overlooks
cobblestone streets give way to funicular rails
rising to a solitary peak
where gazing out brings shivers in the hot june sun
turrets of white stone topaz domes and slender points of gild
from towers steps to open air eyes closed a trumpet sounds
a single note propelled high above the five towers and lost in echos

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