Linda Ibbotson







La Serenissima –



At Chiesa di San Vidal

I recall how you

saw music in black water,

gondola oars circling the flat bottomed boat

as if drawing the bow across seven strings.

You tuned the viola d’amore to the key of A,

the same key as five bells of The Campanile,

each carried by the wind.


In the sacristy,

winter hands shaped cadences;

Concerto in D minor,

as deftly as white snow falls into the palms of saints,

patterns unravelling as if prayer mats

or an arabesque on an Arabian scroll,

in the gateway to the east.


There is a long passage in a Motet;

Nulla In Mundo Pax Sincera

that moves like a slow train

back to the mouth of waters.

You sculpted notes as if a delicate musical maquette,

arch over secrets close enough to touch.


My throat became a hollow throat of a flute,

that longed to play in La Pietà

but you left for Vienna

before returning with the plaintive cry

of a river god someone once knew;

Tiepolo’s; Nymph Reclining with Putto

beneath bridges of half sleeping eyes.


I imagined you as a black swan,

the shape of a gondola,

your neck coiled as a cello’s scroll,

wings as the wings of a black lion

curled against your cheek.


I watched you sinking into a glass mirror,

anointed you with holy oil,

wrote an elegy at the Bridge of Flowers,

Istrian stone, your headstone.

imagined the canal to be a tree

wrapping its watery branches around you

as if you were a disintegrating leaf,

trembling in the corner of latticed galleries

where Anna Maria dal Violin once played.


A window of sky opened and closed,

your violin, silent, floating in the white snow


and I wondered…..


A che punto è la notte –  At what point does it turn into night







In the Absence of Boundaries –

Meditation in a Minor Chord


Dali paints the heat

with surrealist eyes.

One eye faces inward

into uncertainty,

the other to

an epitaph of bones

longing to relinquish their secrets.

With a grasshopper’s wing

he sculpts the scars of the dispossessed

into a minor chord,

a dissonant lament of blue and gold.

In the shade of the acacias

he sculpts an arc of flight

aching for redemption.


In Catalonia,

a cathedral inhabited by ants,

as cold and silent as an empty womb,


In the window,

a Narcissus Poeticus; 

a poet’s eye,

planted in stone looks up,

remembers it is Spring.


Time to blossom again.



(Published in Fifty Ways to Fly, 2017)






She took in New York.



She gazed at pubescent bellboys

preening their sardonic smiles

in art deco elevators.


She hailed yellow taxis

transporting antediluvians

in a 5th avenue frenzy

where architectural veils

hung between cold comfort thighs

and impotent bureaucrats

pillage the heartbeat of a stranger.


She rode subway and graffiti.

Trajectories of complementary colors,

heroin haunts and self pity.


She ascended the Empire State

where axioms of Machiavellian protagonists

regress into mutinous deliverance

of  rhetoric and bile.


She took in 42nd Street.

Bizarre exhibits of reluctant modernity

and jazz at the Half Note, In Greenwich,

2 blocks from Breakfast at Tiffany’s

and the stench of dead fish.


Out to the Jersey Turnpike

she lay beneath carillons of songbirds

savoured by the bourgeoisie and zen

where she scattered her flecks of despair

as she took in

New York.


And New York

took her.



(Published in PB7 Poetry Bus, 2018)












Linda Ibbotson is a poet, artist and photographer from the UK, currently residing in Co. Cork, Ireland. Her poetry, artwork and photography has been published internationally including Levure Litteraire, Enchanting Verses Literary Review, Irish Examiner, California Quarterly , Fekt, Live Encounters, Sermos Galica, PB7 and forthcoming Poethead, also read on radio and performed in France by Irish musician and actor Davog Rynne.

Her painting Cascade featured as the cover of a cd. She writes an arts blog Contemplating the Muse.

Linda was invited to read at the Abroad Writers Conference in Lismore Castle, Butlers Townhouse, Dublin and Kinsale.


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