Sep 122013
 

Ristretto

 

Sitting with a ristretto

Con permisso

The road outside is oh so

Rhythm passes

People walk

On a train you travel

Iron roads to walk

Some days there is so much talk

But when you’re sitting iron roads talk

Con permisso

A ristretto

Iron roads to walk

Dec 232012
 

The Bar of No Return

In the bar it was hot, smoky, stale and dripping.
Last night’s smoke still seemed to leave a stronger taste on the palate than the uncontrollable spirals that were now rising from Mendosa’s gold-tipped cigarette, which emitted a sickly sweet Balkan tang.
Bobby twirled bottles to an unappreciative audience of regulars who seemed not to notice the perfect timing, the coordination and skill embodied in this display. His act was an automatic one for him, it passed the time, but more important, it gave him a feeling of purpose and achievement while working at a job which seemed condescending. It also seemed like hard work. It seemed like hard work not because of the rush of Rita’s rapid fire ordering of drinks, but the conversations with partially and , all too often totally, drunk customers.
Rita was stunning. Auburn hair streamed like a waterfall to her shoulders, long enough to cause her to swirl it – by swoop-turning her head….

To be continued.

Dec 232012
 

On the Street    (Started March 21, 1995)

The couple drinking or spooning the longest, richest, thickest drinks are from New York – you can tell – or maybe Florida. It’s the white legs that look like tusk, white ivory, but not pure and appealing like a maiden of youth, grey and pallid like the sickness of cosmopolitan, city denial.

Two who chatter are adopting the pose of the concerned adult – they are hardly adults yet, luckily for them, there is so often a brilliant haze of self-conscious posing by teenagers and young adults here, so much must be shown. In teenage, in adolescence it is hardly new, one is endlessly at fever pitch, tightly strung in awareness of how I look, how I seem, sound, smell, appear, move, as if on a perpetual performance always in the lead role and always at the most dramatic moment of crisis. Alive on a knife edge.

One is sitting legs folded under her, long lashes of hair fall in a self-concealing way, like the ear-pieces of a Roman sentry’s helmet, to protect, to help make her disappear at the most embarrassing moments. Her friend is more relaxed, looks but may not be, older. The friend is wearing a baseball cap the right way round, this even seems notable for a girl in the reverse of the gang uniform-become-fashion that is so common, and she is fuller, a body more pliant and lush, less stretched and tense. Passing time, that’s what they do, that’s what they have to do here, there’s not so much else at that age (oh bull!) when it’s all, every minute, every second of that minute, all day every day and sometimes all night, peak performance “what’s happening?”. Strange as I think that, because I think suddenly that it’s always been like that for me, what’s happening?

A woman sitting behind me reads a book with the title “An Artist’s Life” – or similar, she’s not attractive in an immediate sense and I haven’t spent the time to see if a longer look makes her seem better, or interesting somehow! She does not “seem” like an artist either – there’s no vibration of that, no sliding and slipping, everything held and planned the female version of the Swiss watch on chips.

Dec 232012
 

One of my special places

Sending a parcel of intentionally distilled thoughts
I caused – so it seems – a cascade of rocks
this landslide on the hill opposite
a goat looked up guiltily
oh so very clever
the goat in want of amusement at breakfast had convinced me
very badly
so much success these things have with bad, erroneous ways
but still the water sparkles,
launches chug and gurgle cooling water,
the symphony soothes breakfasters
a lone stout-shooed walker rises ever more slowly
ever higher above sea level
rising travelling further out of range till
he is no longer there to see
and in this observing the replacement of interest
becomes the shading of clouds, their sharply defined edges
confused by the ragged rocks, blurring clarity, relaxing stable certainty

Dec 232012
 

Written after hearing of the sinking Estonia ferry sailing from Estonia to Sweden, September 1994

 

The ferry

Whatever the torment
the torture of cold tongues of water
icy
breathless
shocked
bewildered
lost
despairing
begging
pleading
praying

whatever the horror
nightmares alive like sharp knives
open wounds
there is no preparation for this
never
ever

I would still travel
I will board ferries
I will fly
motorcycle
swim
run
walk
climb
ski
skate
roll
surf

It may be that way
the way to say yes
you were right to have travelled
and right to have been there
even though the tongues of icy
perishing, foaming waters lapped over
and devoured you
You were right to seek and see
to wonder abroad
I praise you.

Dec 232012
 

They Float Islands Here

Pink Floyd is playing in the after-sun

They gather in crushed velvet bikinis, torn or tie-dyed shorts and other garb to distinguish a new generation.

I dreamed of floating islands but days before and here in Homeric lands they do indeed float islands behind the near-mist of the early evening

My skin is shouting of the day’s earlier power and sun

Now music makes the fun and islands are on the run

Jul 012011
 

Shots in Caracas

 

The rusty taxi sliced and rattled through thick smelly air

a bullet passed my ear

there was nobody there to hear

The driver would not comment

I looked at the shanty clad hillsides

not much fear

Just an adventure

Just an event

Life is held so dear by me

Life is a commodity here

I knew I had no allies, not friends nor foes

Who would have known who I was had the bullet been too near

This is no resort holiday, no exotic beach

They say travel is a lesson

What lesson did this teach?

I will know the answer in the future

For now it is a story and later on I will understand

Jul 012011
 

Santorini Serenade

I sailed in.

As the ship approached that magic arc the engine quietened

I saw the tip top ridge, the sparkling white snow-like houses

The sun warmed the nape of my neck, my arms, and lit the sea and sky

Later from a within a pool of water I gazed at a starless daytime sky

I marvelled at the unique ‘scape, the sea, the tip of volcanic memory

Santorini rippled like a warm shiver down my spine

I am here in this place of promise

And for now – it is all mine

– – –

[ Footnote: With the splendid travel concierge SuperbGreece.com – such a spectacular place ]

 

Jul 012011
 

The road is ruined but my feet are strong

My steps are taken slowly in this new land

Tears fill my eyes with wanderer’s joy

The joy of discovery, making this land my own

Every place I go, I own… this is my home