Rupert Locke





I think that I cannot preserve my health and spirits, unless I spend four hours a day at least…sauntering through the woods and over the hills and fields – Henry David Thoreau

i’m sorry Mr Henry David Thoreau
it wasn’t Nature’s subtle magnetism
but a fickle blue arrow on Google Maps
that led me to saunter out of Marsala
down Contrada Spagnola to Mozia

it didn’t take the prescribed four hours
till I saw the salt pans segment the water
then the salt mounds and the windmill sails
up to the windmill’s jaunty red hat
beyond that kite surfing kites tacking the clouds

stretched out to my left the collapsing jetties
and dogwalkers striding through the lagoon
like those Cornish giants a childhood away
round a corner a tree of birds took off
and chirruped the air and the November sun

but in a poem so full of direction
let me turn off for one moment at this stone pier
and talk about how three years later right here
when I proposed in three different languages
you gave me back three different lots of I do

the wildness I found not yet subdued
deer eared on my pillow in a square of light
hair slicked back by sleep in the newborn morning
i guess old Thoreau was right after all
sometimes it pays not to know where you’re going



Rupert Locke is an English poet based in Sicily.  He completed a Masters in Creative Writing at the University of Exeter.  His poetry can be found online at Nine Muses Poetry.  He also has forthcoming work in Sarasvati and Picaroon.

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