Libeccio PDF Print E-mail
Written by John Fuller   
Friday, 21 May 2010 16:35

The orange petals lift in the libeccio

Like the shoulders of girls being kissed upon the neck.

It shifts the random spillage along the terrace

(Breadcrumbs, grape-pips, toe-nails, pistachio-shells)

Like a gambler counting his chips to the table edge

And letting them drop into a practised palm.

It blows across the rapt profile of siesta,

Legs tucked up on the day-bed, the hand on the cheek,

And the mind exploring in wonder its gift from the bottle.

The hanging strips of the terrace curtain stir,


With a distant whisper of insistent gossip,

And the sea begins to tear itself to pieces.

We have shut ourselves from these continuous sounds

As having no urgent claim on our peaceful dreams.

But perhaps we should take note of its querulous meddling,

This warm wind whose ambition is to be spent

Here and now at our centre of consciousness.

It blows with a sense of its belated longing,

Like an old man in the sudden fullness of memory,

Salacious, wistful, destructive, impotent.


John Fuller’s Collected Poems were published in 1996, and his Stones and Fires won the Forward Prize in 1997. His latest collection, Pebble & I, released Spring 2010 from Chatto and Windus. He was Fellow and Tutor in English at Magdalen College, Oxford, from 1966 to 2002. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

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Last Updated on Monday, 24 May 2010 08:13