Seas of enlivening magenta
under a sky of azure blue,
frame a canary in an avocado tree.
Lizards sunbathe on the path below.

Leaves of banana trees sway in the breeze,
as farmers wrap the fruit in sapphire and
the sea, enveloping pebbles,
pulls them back to bed.

The sun lowers its glow behind the mountain
as the scent of jasmine fills the air,
while, from a cobbled alley, comes the sound of a
trumpet playing jazz.

Some gather to drink sweet wine and Poncha.
Others stroll through avenues of palms,
lights in the houses cascade down the mountainside,
to the city below.

A peace descends when the moon lights the paths.
Crickets provide the soundtrack to the early hours;
hidden amongst the shadows,
they lull us all to sleep.

^This poem is set in Madeira and is about my holiday there when recovering from treatment for cancer

Lost in Translation

Thirty minutes on a speedboat
clinging to the metal rail,
we screamed in bikinis until
arrival at the pit stop.

Making footprints on the wooden slats
before touching sand,
we dodged pine shadows,
curtains of bougainvillea.

Kalos Irthate! rang out from
behind wooden tables;
iced coke and Mythos invoking
collective sighs from the arrivals.

We scanned the board:
Lamb Kofta
asking for Riseballswapped;
we were relieved when stuffed vine leaves appeared.

^This poem is inspired by an event in Spetses, when I was island hopping in Greece.

Asking for It

When you mopped
the sweat from your
burnt neck, I knew.
No sahri for you,
no ring on that unbrightened finger;
your figure a coconut tree in a field of Bodhis.
Just missing mopeds,
tuktuks, you reached
my bench; asked to sit.
You flicked through books,
took photos with your phone,
sipped bottled water.
I slipped nearer to those
lassi legs; cotton-covered
flesh of Hollywood.
A smash of metal and wheels ahead;
your eyes looked to angry faces,
your forehead reflecting their frowns.
It was time. I raised my arm and, with lightness of
silk, landed my finger.
Drew a line along
your stitches, to
where the legs meet.
Your eyes swung to
mine, mouth open,
before your ascent,
eyes focused,
frown deep.
I smiled and
looked away.

^This poem is based on an experience I had on a train in India.

Jo Weston is an English writer and poet whose work has been published in six anthologies, online, in the arts magazine Left Lion and broadcast on BBC radio.
Jo was the first Writer-in-Residence at the Nottingham Maggie’s Centre, is a creative non-fiction reader for The Nasiona magazine and has an MA in Creative Writing with distinction from Nottingham Trent University, including for a prose memoir on India.
Her poetry was shortlisted in the Bridport prize (2016) and longlisted in the Mslexia Women’s Poetry Competition (2017). In 2019, she was selected as a Featured Poet in the Erbacce Prize, for which an interview and selection of her poems will be published in the April 2020 issue of Erbacce Journal.