Friday, November 20, 2009

In Umbria

In February of 2007, I spent two weeks with my friends
Robin & Sean and their two children in the hills of Umbria.
They were renting, for several months, a converted
mill-house. (Used for pressing olives.) I ran across
these journal entries and decided to post a few of them
until the muse (and the finger muscles) return.
Here's the first installment:

Pi and I hiked up the road this afternoon, daring the sun

to make an appearance. Few humans. Probably more dogs:

hunting dogs penned and barking, a chained Great Dane rattling

across his yard to us, teeth bared. A barnyard of ewes

and lambs, bumping into and stepping on top of each other.

Bleating, bleating. A coterie of doves. Rabbits in cages,

each with an inverted Fanta bottle tapped as water supply.

A friendly horse, a galloping donkey. A lonely apiary

on a hilltop, each painted a green the color of early lettuce,

each topped with an irregular lunk of concrete.

Waded through mud, watched some men on a far hillside

tend a burnpile of brush, the crackle & spit easily within

hearing distance. Wandered offroad and traced the edge

of the hillside above the Molino, looking for a switch-back

down, but relented when every trail seemed to veer

precipitously close to a certain death. Down, down the valley,

the stream tumbling below, past the menacing dogs,

past the donkey and the horse, past the two men in red

chainsawing young trees – a scarcity of firewood.

Down to the Molino, where a thin trail of smoke

promised a warm hearth, a cup of tea,

the comfort of Randy-the-cat on the lap.

The Molino.


  1. Lovely post T. Is that a pic of the house your friends rented - I love rustic anything! I would like to hear more about your trip.

  2. Thanks, RW! And yes, that's the house where we stayed. Stone! Cold! Check it out: