Burial Urns

The tomb urn is big enough to hold a body. (It is another way to bury the dead in ancient Sicily. We see them in the archeological museum.) I am climbing over an adult-sized one trying not to break it. When I get to the top, the urn falls forward and moves down a small hill. It does not break so my relief is great. A girl comes to help me to move it upright and to set it in a new place. I know this dream is about death. How the burying of the dead has changed since the beginning. Now I can choose my burial in an ecopod much like the urns of Sicily. I will know the falling of the vessel that takes me away. That it is there ready to receive me.

Burial Urns


I am sitting here eating sun-dried Greek figs, small, seedy and light skinned fruit. What variety of fig is this one that is so little and sweet? It is an Adriatic fig, pale yellow and sometimes called the white fig when it glows in the bright sunshine. It is brillant red on the inside and extra sweet, considered a dessert fig served with crème fraîche or mascarpone cheese, ice cream, or plain unsweetened yogurt. Or even better a sheep milk yogurt if you can find it.

Remember the fig tree that did not bear fruit? How it withered and died in the ground. “This is the barrenness of harvest or pestilence.”  

Now whenever I see a fig tree I look for the fruit. I want to see that the harvest is coming, or that it is here. Right now.


dVerse prompt on season and using the quote “This is the barrenness of harvest or pestilence.” from Louise Gluck’s All Hallows.


Ferry to Santorini

Seajet fast ferry

from Crete to Santorini

looks calm at the dock 

People file in


a soccer team

Five minutes out

waves plummet the vessel

children squeal with delight

A few more hard punches

bow rises and thumps hard

voices shriek 

Advice comes over the speaker

stay in your seats

mind your children

People start reaching for barf bags

you can hear a child puke

too late for the bag

Too late for Dramamine

all the team 

starts barfing

The crew is busy

handing out more bags

cleaning up messes

The children’s delight

turns into horror

some are crying out

I get my bag ready

It’s been awhile since I had motion sickness

now most everyone has it

If we are halfway there

no use to turn back

keep on going

Crossing the Sea of Crete

not even a storm

just some waves

Women and men tend to the children

I don’t know how they manage

when I move I barf again

There is a lull in the puking

stomachs have emptied

a rest from the vomit

Those who thought they could make it

raise their hand for a bag

their countenance broken

Quiet is disrupted now

with the sound of the dry heaves

deep from the guts on the vessel

I want only to hear that we have arrived

I search the horizon for land

I hold on so I don’t pass out

Grown men have been barfing too

some tried to make it

destination just too far away

Finally the crew woman speaks

we are getting close

what joy to my ears

The vessel enters the port

announced on the speaker

a boy yells hallelujah 

Calm returns to the water

ferry stops bouncing

ashen faces move to the door

One man is carried off 

on a support chair

to a waiting ambulance

Ferry to Santorini


At the airport in Catania I am randomly stopped during the security scan. My hands are swabbed for explosives. I showered after digging into the ground at Mt Etna so there should be no residue on my hands where I held the small lava stones still hot from the last eruption. “Your telephone.” Huh, I just came through the scanner. “What?” I ask. She thinks I ask why? “Your telephone,” she stearnly repeats. My telephone number?” I ask. ( That is the only thing relatable to my telephone that I have on me.). “Your telephone,” the voice grows louder. My daughter intervenes and pulls my old card. Saves me from the young Sicilian security woman as I remember my telephone is on the conveyor belt waiting for me and I forget every telephone number I ever knew.. Lost in translation— who calls the cell phone a telephone anymore?  


Four Questions

“Where can you find a bell that can ring in your dreams?” Pablo Neruda

Is there a water clock of life? The time goes on in dream and in your day so who can say what force drives you on? Is it the passage of time or in that moment when there is no time?


dVerse prompt to build on a question. Just saw a water clock in Agora Athens so wondering about how water was used to drive time forward by hydraulics.

Four Questions

Lost and Found

Just be aware

of the pickpockets

in Athens

on the train

people in front of the doors

that won’t open

now a hand has unzipped

a purse and wallet coming out

caught in the act

thieves working

planned target

move away unsuccessful

A purse is left

at Fortaleza de Sagres

in Portugal

when realized

you run back to where it is

a man sees you running

follows and speaking French

tells you that his wife

has found your bag

you can speak French

bag returned

new friends from Paris

Lost and Found


Plumes of ash

hot rocks under foot

we climb up to Mt Etna

no earthquake today

the air quivers with sound

of explosions underground

vent and spew on your own time

change can come quickly

expect the expectable

in a world of the predictable


dVerse prompt to write a quadrille using the word quiver. Went to Mt Etna, an active volcano in Sicily.