At the Cimitero Acattolico di Roma: a Sonnet*

by Julia Kaylock

‘Here Lies One Whose Name Was Writ in Water’

If time extended not through thread so fine
With you I’d speak, my muse to reinspire,
For then, despite our lifetimes thus defined
I’d pen a verse so grand, that you’d admire;
No matter history foolishly arranged
For centuries to compartmentalise;
Chronology would not make us estranged
And years would not our fortunes override.
Alas! Time weaves her tapestry
From end to end, thus mortals separate
And ticking clock commands our destiny;
Here, at your grassy bedside, I come - too late!
Yet, as the trick of light does morning crack
I feel you breathe once more, as years roll back.
*with a bow to Shakespeare’s Sonnet 44

Having found inspiration in Keats’ work from the age of sixteen, more than three decades later I finally got the chance the follow a Keats’ trail. My pilgrimage began with a visit to Keats’ home in Hampstead Heath, London, and ended in Rome, Italy, with a visit to his grave. Despite being located in a busy part of the city, it was peculiarly quiet in the early hours of the morning, and my poetic soul found a safe harbour.

Julia Kaylock lives on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria Australia. With a background in adult education, career coaching and educational publishing, Julia has been published widely in newspapers, journals, magazines, and online. Her poems and short stories have appeared in several publications including The Blue Nib (Issue 41, 2020). Julia is also an editor, including the anthology Gatherings by the Lighthouse (Picklepoetry, 2019) and Messages from the Embers: From Devastation to Hope (Black Quill Press, 2020). Julia’s memoir in verse is scheduled for publication in late 2021.

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