The Rooftops of Nezignan L'Eveque

J.S. Watts

1. Early afternoon

The roof tiles of Nezignan are singing,
Beaming back the joy of the sun,
Dancing and shimmying under his gaze.
Red and orange and mottled stone
Shouting out in unison
Against a crisp blue sky.
It is a song of centuries.
It is a song of the very now.
It is a song sung in silence,
But loudly.

2. Late afternoon

The birds are singing
Over the rooftops of Nezignan,
Dancing with the songs the tiles have been breathing,
Embracing the sky
With the black of their wings.
A half moon peers out cautiously
From her pale blue veil,
Disturbed by the birds’ raucous joy
Which rises above the rooftops
All the way to Heaven.

3. Night time

A darker black against the sky’s deep tent,
The town is sleeping the sleep of ages;
People, dogs, rooftops. A solitary owl
Spreads the myth of his wings
Along a narrow street
Below the consciousness of the roof tiles,
Briefly gilding his feathers in a puddle of lamplight
Before reclaiming his shadow
From the waiting night.
Silence sings out softly across the town’s roofs.

This poem was first published in Five Poetry Journal. And appears in the collection Cats and Other Myths.

Check out some other poems about the Languedoc.

Main Location:

34120 Nézignan-l'Évêque, France

Other locations:

The rooftops of Nezignan LEveque in France