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Honey from a Weed

By Patience Gray

Published 1986

The wind plays over Apulia. It plays on every stone that is raised, until it is worn to filigree; the castle erodes in the same way as the rock on which it stands. There is a feeling of being marooned in an older kind of time; the peninsula is like an island ‘full of noises’ that brings invisible Ariels and Calibans to mind.
The castle farms look like great ships from afar, riding a waste of stones or riding at anchor among the vines. Approach them and the castle becomes a shepherd’s byre in a ruined Renaissance watch tower. The towers were built five hundred years ago in the reign of Carlo Quinto in expectation of the pirates. Nothing in Apulia has endured longer than this expectation.