Poetry Drawer: Trieste I & II: Stopping for Lunch in Vipiteno by Neil Leadbeater

Trieste I

In the crook of Italy,
the coffee capital of Illy and Hausbrandt,
that dark rich brew of a city
huddled in a demitasse cup –
home of Italian ceramics,
Istrian truffles and old world grandeur,
Architecture comes with a mixed message:
Mitteleuropa with mansard windows
meets full-on Italian Liberty style
where a gale force katabatic wind
cups its resonance round open squares
fresh off the mountains of Europe.

Trieste II

Those glory days of Belle époch posters, tariff lists and liners
reminders of an eclectic era from the shipyards of old
is where East meets West and everyone shouts ‘Trst je naš!’
Trieste is ours: a landscape in limbo –
the last ring on the rail
that held up the Iron Curtain –
a deep-water port of Latin, Slavic and German cultures
and everywhere the sea, the blue-dazed beauty of it,
dazzling stars.

The big question now:
Do you lean towards Ljubljana or run back to Rome?
Which is it to be?

Swing by for a week
and you might just stay forever.

Stopping for Lunch in Vipiteno

Twinned with Kitzbühel, the city boasts two names:
Sterzing / Vipiteno –
a place more Austrian than Italian
snuggled by mountains
in the province of Bolzano,
South Tyrol.

Coming out of Café Mondschein
where the menu is still in German,
we walk beneath the Tower of Twelve
known for its midday chimes.

A firebreak between two worlds
with views into the hills.

Neil Leadbeater was born and brought up in Wolverhampton, England. He was educated at Repton and is an English graduate from the University of London. He now resides in Edinburgh, Scotland. His short stories, articles and poems have been published widely in anthologies and journals both at home and abroad. His publications include Librettos for the Black Madonna (White Adder Press, 2011); The Loveliest Vein of Our Lives (Poetry Space, 2014), Finding the River Horse (Littoral Press, 2017), Punching Cork Stoppers (Original Plus, 2018) River Hoard (Cyberwit.net, Allahabad, India, 2019), Reading Between the Lines (Littoral Press, 2020) and Journeys in Europe (co-authored with Monica Manolachi) (Editura Bifrost , Bucharest, Romania, 2022). His work has been translated into several languages. He is a member of the Federation of Writers Scotland and he is a regular reviewer for several journals including Quill & Parchment (USA), The Halo-Halo Review (USA), Write Out Loud (UK) and The Poet (UK). His many and varied interests embrace most aspects of the arts and, on winter evenings, he enjoys the challenge of getting to grips with ancient, medieval and modern languages.

You can find more of Neil’s work here on Ink Pantry.

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