Camilla Lambert

An Ode to the Volcano

Camilla Lambert
An Ode to the Volcano


We long to be in England, where softer winds are sighing,
back at home in England we’ll say goodbye to sighing.
Find us a train, a coach, no planes are up and flying.

No roses in the market, the mangoes rot in piles.
no luscious scarlet roses, sick smell of mango piles;
work all gone to waste, tears instead of smiles.

We sit and wait in Puglia, cut off from the world,
nothing to do but waiting, in a shrunken cloudy world,
puny figures trapped, while smoke and ash is hurled.

Nature kicking back or the devil’s fiery curse?
Nature’s warning knell or a crazy devil’s curse?
Who will pay the price, who has the deepest purse?

We cluster into cafés, down the dark red wine,
rumours grow in cafés, multiplied by wine;
they’re sending in the Navy, everything is fine.

What tales we’ll tell our friends of the days the planes stopped flying,
dining out on stories of the days the planes stopped flying,
pretending no-one realised the world we know is dying.

In time all prayers are answered, something comes along,
stoic English prayers are answered, two coaches roll along
not to the prince’s ball, but to the land where we belong.

Threading the roads of Europe, under a cloudless sky,
through weary night-time Europe, the moon low in the sky;
throw away those blues, see the white cliffs standing high.