As winter closes in, I shiver and think longingly of our three-months sojourn in Italy last year.
Jane, and I, with our little dog Holly, set off in springtime to drive to San Giovanni alla Vena, a small village in the province of Pisa.
We rented in a small house with gardens, adjacent to the village square, and for three joyous months immersed ourselves in an Italian way of life.
We agreed from the outset that our stay would not be a holiday but instead simply a change of domestic scene and an opportunity to live day-to-day immersed in a different culture.
The experience was one we both treasure and we have many happy memories of the warmth of the people we encountered and the glorious sunshine, the colourful, bustling market days, the friendliness in shops, cafes and bars and, of course, the unforgettable food and wine.
Whilst living there I wrote a number of new poems. This is one of them.
A moth came in at the screen door
attracted by light as moths are.
It flickered like a small dark fan,
here and there: he could not ignore
its plight and trapped it in a jar,
released it outside. Foolish man:
moths will return, against the odds,
seeking out light as we do gods.