Poetry: Gabriel Griffin

Evening in Piazza Motta

This evening there’s
a business of birds
by Orta’s water,
a blackbird – brown, the

hen – is rooting all along the
gutter and flies off with
a bushy beak of bits
to chestnut nest. The male

is picking around new-
planted marigolds
while whirls of sparrows
win from flags’ cracks

crumbs and flakes from
ice-cream cones. Kids
chase dogs and footballs
round the square, the cafés serve

aperitifs and olives, crisps.
In the falling light,
ignored at last, the Isle,
crouched in its watery vale,

is fixing us
with terrible eyes.


Gabriel Griffin is the founder and organiser of Poetry on the Lake competition, festival and events on Lake Orta, Italy, (poetryonthelake.org); she is also editor of anthologies and POTL Journal. Prized and placed in competitions, she has been published widely, and has published two collections, Campango and the Mouthbrooders, and Transumanza (poetgabrielgriffin.com).