OLD QUARTERS Over the breakwater tipped by a lighted buoy The tide scrambles. The washed stones sing. This is a still place, growing slow as a vine An absent-minded moon Rising like a fat pearl Among the family of stars. Outside the old fort That’s become impregnable As the old wars it fought, Besieged only by tourists The town’s pride leans from his plinth Pointing a lead finger out to sea. Tonight the light is opal, Canals that cut to the old capital Silt Where the immigrant wildfowl wade carefully.