and a green lemon dropped from the tree and rolled
across the cracked marble of the terrace.
For a second I was arrested
in the moment of lifting a jug of iced
water that slopped over the rim onto my toes.
The roof-tiles chattered as if
someone was running a thumb along the edge
of a deck of cards at Scopa.
And then a pause - everything still.
A breeze fluttering the leaves of the olive trees.
Everything as it was before - except
that the rock I am standing on has shifted
two centimetres further south and,
bare-foot, jug in hand, I have moved with it.
I wrote this when I was living in Italy last year. Earth tremors are common there, but we also had a couple of quite big earth tremors in England too. The poem is still a work in progress - it takes me a long time to get from a collection of images or ideas to the finished thing. With this one, I haven't yet managed to get beyond description.