Bells as old as iron
Ring out into furnace heat
A sound new to me,
But ancestral to waiters
Serving coffee, water and more.

Later, limping from shade to shade
I visualise the square tower,
Its black cups rocking upside down.
There is no pattern or rhythm I can understand
But for those they call, obvious.

This culture is not mine.
This heat, this Saint’s Day procession
With its custom and music
Exist here only,
As does the municipal motif on the hot iron grid.

Then at night – more bells.
Three sets ringing the hours separately.
Even time is different.
A lizard crawls my wall
As I continue an uneasy, damp sleep.

(October 2003)