I stand before the Adriatic sea,

Unwreathed of confidence in things to be,

Time’s wind-born song of spray and transient foam

With each wave’s death dies one more death in me.


Behind, the glories of eternal Rome;

Above, a blank morn’s achromatic dome;

Below, the ebb and flow of all my days,

A distant sail, a vagrant thought of home.


I stand, a rock beneath the bone-blanched haze;

Lost eons rustle sand beneath my gaze;

The salt-breeze asks where all my Aprils fled,

And where my hopes, and where my fleeting Mays.


I ponder paths abandoned, where they led,

The swell of life, the outflow of the dead

Who wait to waken where their grey stones lie,

And muse on what might stir a dreamless head.


The green sea groans a long and wistful sigh;

The chant of fishermen draws near, and I

Wait on for thee, the sun my sea would wed,

One day, beneath a resurrected sky.

© Joseph Charles MacKenzie. All rights reserved. First published in the Society of Classical Poets, January 27, 2020. Re-published in “Rediscovering the Art of Poetry,” by Evan Mantyk, The Epoch Times, November 30, 2020. “Rimini” is one of three MacKenzie love poems that won the 2020 Society of Classical Poets Competition.