The Stagnone


Tonight the lagoon
is a banquet of stars.
In clear water
the universe is reflected.

The fish sleep.
The gulls sleep.
Delicately a swish
breaks the still:
a wave that breaks,
vanishing into sand.
Close to the jetty
in matching cadence
the boats are swayed.

Impromptu and alone
a small reef fish appears
wriggles then dives
leaving behind it
little ripples of water.
Amid white saltpans
the sleepy windmills
await the mistral wind.

The air is floodlit
in moon-white
sowing peace and sighs.
The sky gets intimate,
intimate with the stars.
The lagoon is in ecstasy.
The lagoon dreams…dreams.
Dream does the lagoon
with fishing lamps on its waters
and the moon in its firmament.
The soul is enraptured
brimming with feeling.

Stagnone, salt pits - open

Stagnone - open

Stagnone, Alga cape - open

Stagnone near Birgi - open


It is a small lagoon archipelago, a bridgehead between land and sea in front of the Egadi Islands.  It includes St. Pantaleus’isle, (the ancient Motya), Scola, Isola Grande (Big Island) renamed Isola Longa (Long Island), and the small St. Mary’s isle.

In this middle area, between the coast and Favignana, the conclusive battle of the first Punic war was  fought on March 10th, 241 B.C. between the Carthaginian fleet headed by Hannon and the Roman one under consul C. Lutatius Catulus’s orders. It ended with the Carthaginians’ defeat.