Rory Nunn

We lunched on Ithaca

Where sunset copperplates the sea 

With flecks of gold and Verdigris,

And down below, the ghosts of ships do battle in the bay. 

Where in the morning, rising scents of sea salt and of sage

Drift up the hill on gifted wings to greet the kids that come of age

On dry stone walls in olive groves

Beneath the strident sun.


Sharp shadows cast by old scrub oaks

Where once young shepherds flung their cloaks,

Resist the timeless tug of war of brash Etesian winds.

Where goats' bells bounce off whitewashed walls, with each staccato leap

And black-wrapped widows spin their webs to catch what precious dream-filled sleep

They might ‘neath watch of leaning, still

Centurions of stone.


To soothe the white heat of the sun

We dived and left our limbs undone,

In ocean coolness, born again - and flushed, we struck for shore.

With towels held high above our heads, we tiptoed onto land

And broke from canvas rare delights to share upon the sand.

The day we lunched on Ithaca

A thousand orbits turned.


Content, we hung in listless sleep

As painted ladies traced our shape

Until the lure of barefoot expeditions brought me round.

I picked my steps with casual ease, through shade of salt-dried driftwood trees

And swore I’d found the very glade where hung the Golden Fleece.

I turned to share my thrill with you,

But chose instead to spare your peace.


Soon after came the faithful sound

Of bells that haul the Earth around,

Each chime remarking loud and clear its moment’s fading grace.

And deep within you as you slept, inaudible at first

The beating of a second drum began to be rehearsed.

The day we lunched on Ithaca

Life’s liquor quenched our thirst.


  • Tony36

    Great write

  • Michael Edwards

    Good poetry IMHO should tell a story and this does in buckets - love it.

To be able to comment and rate this poem, you must be registered. Register here or if you are already registered, login here.