Alessio Zanelli

At The Seaside

Sunset from Byron’s Grotto in Portovenere, Liguria, Italy At The Seaside Her hand holds his, clenches it at times,readily pulls his arm upwardto keep him safe from the breaking wavelets.His little body is almost lifted off the sand.The early-morning swash is too cold for his bare feet,even at the height of summer.He is a sickly […]

The Runner

Bolsterstone Road drops into Bradfield Dale, South Yorkshire, England The Runner On feet of dreams the runner’s headed to land’s end.She knows the horizon keeps receding while she’s running,but she runs as though it didn’t.A finish line is not her aim.Along the pathway time’s not measured in seconds but in paces,in fact a runner’s time […]

Lach di Ciàz

The tiny Lach di Ciàz and the head of Valmalenco, Lombardy, Italy Lach di Ciàz Foot after footthe peaks emergefrom the forest. My ghost awakesand rises up,above the trees,above the crestof aging dreams. My eyes commandwhat used to rulemy head below,but not the heights,the upper heightsof yore of whichI must let go. Let go to […]


The sun goes down at Podere Mezzastrada in Fiano, Tuscany, Italy Sunset She was pausing in the midst of the setting sun,a honey disk as large as the hill underneath,no further than ten yards away in front,the gaze fixed on my reddening face,not the slightest jerk of the eyes, as if suspended between earth and […]


The One World Trade Center, aka Freedom Tower, New York, USA Collapse A snip knocked down the stronghold,a behemoth of sureties with feet of clay,in one go, like the tiny pebble big Goliath.Now we know we’re all in the same league,none of us leads or is able to sow new seeds.In saecula saeculorum, as the […]

Water Cradle

Sunrise on the Silberhorn, Berner Oberland, Switzerland Water Cradle Rounded and rolling,like a pebble under the effectof millennia-long smoothing,slow but incessant—I slide away in the current,docile and faithfuldown the fluid riverbed.Waiting for my turn,a final gush to push me to the mouth,just enough to reach the seam,to then linger there,gently rocking to and froat the […]

The Brigand

Sunset over Heads Lane ridge, Bolsterstone, South Yorkshire, England​ The Brigand I only wished to start a new one. May this be home? Millstone grit and heather?Undulating pastures and drystack fences?The dales once ruled by the Brigantes?A place this ancient—where days glide by so slowand human presence is not a fundamental trait—surely wrings my deepest […]

A Critique Of Fog

Rocca Viscontea emerges from the fog, Castell’Arquato, Emilia Romagna, Italy A Critique Of Fog The moral law is something Kant revealed in full,by far the simplest rule to live consistent with.But then what would Immanuel be induced to hold,should he at last realize that in and out coincide,a stubborn fog be all by which he’s […]

Kuramathi Dawn

Stormy dawn over the sandspit of Kuramathi Island, Rasdhoo Atoll, Maldives Kuramathi Dawn The morning moves in shouting like a desert. An ear to the rippleswashing the lagoon ladder,the other to the waveslapping onto the golden sandspit. The eyes adriftacross the creased turquoise. A silent prayerto the storm looming north. The swooshing breezegrows to howling […]


Twilight over the North Sea at Whitby, North Yorkshire, England Aquanaut Water prison. Inside the bubble still—environed, sunken, missed. Terra firma. Who says it’s out of reach?The sky is gliding by. Chances surface. Whatever means will do—a raft, a wreck, a whale. First published in New Contrast (South Africa)

Where The Horizon Ends

The Pennine and Lepontine Alps from Passo dei Salati, Val d’Aosta, Italy Where The Horizon Ends Sun-captive Earth and Earth-captive Moon,both have been haunting my dreamssince I was imprisoned in a man.Tracing mind paths through the stars,as if destined for infinity,is not what best suits onewho was born by a winding river’s shore,in a floodplain […]

A Migrant’s Lay

Golfo di Macari from the summit of Monte Monaco, Sicily, Italy A Migrant’s Lay They’d said at least I would have had a chance.It took me endless days, a slave again,and sleepless nights, with past and future ghosts,to save the cash and find the guts for it.I’ll always bless the time at last I quit. […]

Down The Homestretch

The dirt road to Baita Segantini near Passo Rolle, Trentino, Italy Down The Homestretch It’s next toimpossible to know beforehandwhether tears or a smile will come more naturallythe exact moment when—the green days long gone andthe gold ones speeding away—one feels like turning back towatch the distance covered, contemplate it, rejoice about thepace having never […]


Snowy floodplain near Stagno Lombardo, Lombardy, Italy Iceblink Cold yellow, as of winter sun; even the silhouette of stocky whitemulberries—usually might and sharp—looks fuzzy, virtually rubbed out by the glare. The air sizzles noiselessly, pervadesthe outerwear, invades into the mouth, slips liquid down the windpipe. And in front of the breadth, of the overflowing energyof […]


Enrosadira (alpenglow) on Campanile e Cima di Val di Roda, Trentino, Italy Climbers Misty-footed further off, they cast their topsup in the sky—gold slivers on lapis lazuli.And yet they’re wholes—there are no parts,no discontinuities. They’re huge and grand.Young but primal, transcendent standers—most pure and perfect absolutes. Monoliths.Fixed out there for us to win or be […]

Mare Nostrum

Crystal turquoise water near Cala Pira, Sardinia, Italy Mare Nostrum The sun still rises from the Dardanelles,draws an arc to Africaand sets upon the Pillars of Hercules,while the eagle has ceased to sweep the surge,does not fly from end to end anymore. Sunken down the shoalsoff the French Riviera,hulks of warships act as treasure cheststo […]

The Walk

Upper Heads Lane above Bolsterstone, South Yorkshire, England The Walk The spool’s unwound,the thread unwoven,the weaver’s hands worn out,the loom long frozen. What’s left is just a road,the one of a novel kind.Weaving turns to walking,non-spaced, non-timed. The walk leads nowhere but to itself,is not for usual flops,takes more than simple years,does not admit of […]

Dark Ages

Howden Reservoir and Dam, Derbyshire, England Dark Ages Ranging within the two stone damsencasing Upper Derwent Reservoir.Towers and walls as imposingas early Norman keepsacross the vied-for country had to appear.As sudden as déjà vu,the morbid, hazardous impulseto run lost in the forestbesieging the fern-covered slopesalong the shoreline,or sink in the cobalt blue waters.For a moment […]


Midhope Moors by Langsett Reservoir, South Yorkshire, England Call Atop again—still.Facing West—cuddled by the evening breeze.Commandingthe heart-stopping Pennine extent.The sun through high, thin, opalescent clouds,setting in a finally familiar sky.No thoughts, no more struggle.No sound,save that of the air in and out of the nostrilsand the barely audible roarof a tractor up the slope a […]

At A Loss

Swamp within Parco Isola Giarola, Emilia Romagna, Italy At A Loss On a mission. A tiny clod amid still, muddy waters.Alone, no dueler in front, I draw.Through the cylinder’s bores—the pupil and the gunpowder,as the cock rests, waiting for the forefinger.There’s no getting round it, the hour is striking.A prayer, or a shot in the […]

Knocker Of Giants

The north face of the Eiger, Berner Oberland, Switzerland Knocker Of Giants For Sir Edmund Hillary Clouds part above the bastardto welcome you on high,clouds so statelyyou could have never conqueredfor all your human valor.While you ascendto those ultimate giantsthe little men below so dear to youare raising prayersto timeless gods of rock and ice.Goodbye,noble […]


The Cristallo group mirrored in Lago di Landro, South Tyrol, Italy Mirroring We are all the others. Each of us. All we are or attain in lifeis also due to all the others. Everybody—alone—is nobody. We are the success and the failureof everybody else,we are the joy and the sorrowof everybody else. We are the […]

I Am Not Earth

Toward sunset along the Urr estuary, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland I Am Not Earth It is no use chiding mefor being elusive stuffslipping out of your hand. In vain you keep on grumblingI had better be more concrete,steadfast, tangible, consistent. Each time you think you hold her,after long pursuing my semblance,my true nature shuns your […]

And Now

On the brink of precipice in Val di Peio, Trentino, Italy And Now And nowthat the fruit is ripebut doesn’t fall into your hands;now that the sun has risen within your eyes,former wells of deepest darkness;now tell me—if the courage to stareat your image in the mirror does not fail you—whether it has been worth […]

Over Misty Plains

Brumous dawn over the plain southeast of Vicenza, Veneto, Italy Over Misty Plains Whoever was this tiny manwho used to run against the wind,through the fog,in the rain,on snow-covered paths,owards the sun—away from his own shadow? Nobody knows the truth.Because nobody keeps clear memories,each intent on their little deeds. And the ground keeps no footprintsof […]

The Rolling Soul And The Mountain Ghost

Autumn in Valmalenco, Lombardy, Italy The Rolling Soul And The Mountain Ghost Are you not really out of breath yet? However fast you rush down the slope,you will never be able to outstrip him. The mountain ghostruns after and Attacksthe solitary spirits;those more tenaciousthan a pine that pushesits way for lightthrough the rocks,bending its trunkif […]


The north face of Monte Disgrazia in Valmalenco, Lombardy, Italy Recall Granite towers,          sentinels of the past,                 warners of these days.The child phantom         wanders through the hollow,                 to collect its fragments        […]

When The Time Comes

Sunset from Val di Funes, South Tyrol, Italy When The Time Comes When I have ceased to watch the sungo down and roll on the spine of the world,plunge into the heap of our once passionate hours; when you have no more silent tears to shed,no more sere remembrances to cherish,no more private regrets to […]

Sketch For My Hometown, Cremona

The Torrazzo of Cremona from the River Po floodplain, Lombardy, Italy Sketch For My Hometown, Cremona Rather than Amati, Stradivari, Monteverdi and evenpopular heroes like Zanéen de la Bala—rather than all the artand views you can inhale on all sides, the monumentsand museums, battlements and spires—rather than obscureluthiers’ workshops and treasures of culinary traditions—rather than […]

Dineh Ritual Of Recall

Totem Pole in Monument Valley, Arizona, USA Dineh Ritual Of Recall Slit-eyed chief He-Who-Drinks-From-SourceSubduedly tunes up the antique lament. At onceThe Long Walk revives. Dancing spirits of smokeExhale from fires spread across the venue. Sort of a privileged intruder—now I too canPerceive the raped earth’s wail. Vacant-lookingFaces transmit memories and deliver places’Quiddity. Being native slithers […]

Love Age Myths

Multiheight clouds at twilight in Cremona, Lombardy, Italy Love Age Myths Ice lances, as hard as steel,Pierce through your flexible heart,And hissing in the silenceLike whispers of innocenceYou just can but give in to,They tear your pale soul away. Once there were the heroesWho rescued you from woe,Once there was their powerTo force back your […]