White painted clerestory arches loop,
Pillars stand grey, and swallows swoop.
Serene, the tolling of a bell,
Cool terracotta tiles, a well.
A square of green, enclosed below,
And almost all is shadow, though
The sun casts arches on the red
The wind blows gently, and the dead,
The hallowed dead, who lie above,
Whose names are honoured in calm love,
Are here recalled. The swallows call,
And roses blow, and from it all
The burning heat of afternoon
Lies on the cloister. Then too soon
Come human voices. We don’t drown
But peace that built is broken down.
23rd June 2016, Florence