As I made my coffee this morning in silence, I read my posts that spoke of fear and hate and the torment all felt these last few days.
I remember a different world, first as a lost young man wandering, later with children running, laughing ahead never threatened and just a few years ago as a old man see ancient stairs a different way.
I seemed to taste things differently now and I sought out places to share with a lover I have known for many years. Maybe what was missing then as I stood on the banks of the Rhine or on top of an Alpen crest was someone to share that moment with. In my youth, I would turn to my lover to share and she wasn’t there. And the moment was lost to the share, but buried somewhere in my heart’s memory.
This morning many of those heart’s memories came rushing back and it was hard to capture them as they raced by like so many pidgeons,startled from a fountain taking flight in all directions.
I specifically thought of four places from my past. I have a tinge of sorrow that they have felt pain over the last few years.
But I hold onto their memories as do so many.
My days in Marrakesh filled my romantic days
With scented medina’s, Muslim women, burka wrapped, face tight hidden,
jumping in bright colored tubs, each colored of their chosen task.
See them in the market, bodies total blue, red, green,
Barking fiercely mad, not mad though just rushed to return to their tubs
And to their Berber villages a million years from my home.
bargaining fierce with ancient shopkeepers
and buying dried sweets and unknown powders
They dyed rugs I could not afford, could not carry on my way.
Donkeys waited patient enjoying the moments before they head back
Up into thirst and the Gran Atlas Mountain,
And the shopkeeper were browned from a Moroccan sun
With hand upturned as if plaintive begging.
My band of lost Romantics of ballet girls of forlorn Swedish poet boys and an awol Marine
Who left the death blood of faraway jungles to wander
all to wander the tangled web of long ancient unmapped market streets.
His face never far from a immense grin, but always aware who walked behind him in the shadows.
My days in Madrid, I wandered the Calle, standing puff chested at the base of castles
as if I had order their building.
Wide-eyed by green that went on forever and spotted
many souls moving so slow, barely with cares and lost in dreams.
Parks fill with warm Sundays that never came to an end.
I was amused at the Museo del Jamón
with a hundred ham swinging free from the ceiling
And I thought it so strange to worship the ham.
I rode clanky trains and drank cheap wine with warm friends
And we talked of art majestic hanging in Royal rooms lit only by a yellow white Madrid sun.
We sat with gypsies and sang struggling with the words
“Seeking out the places where the ragged people go”
And I think I saw Hemingway pass by and I left.
My days in New York were more than movie scenes, places on a screen
Where they ate or she kissed him for the first time or lost gorillas made futile escapes
Up manstacked mountains.
It was everything, of sounds music echoing in a subway tunnel, it was smells and tastes and crowds
And empty streets looking for the treasure of an empty cab when the rains came.
We walked into strange warehouse buildings where people drank and dancing,
Where no one looked and no one cares.
You felt the electric buzz of the edge and how it felt to be alone ‘mong millions
And part of a human organism you never had to leave.
I wandered first alone and later with family.
In a zoo, in another park, in their own childish movie scenes they would split three ways running
laughing until they spied a man selling sweets and they returned for change.
My days in Paris of colored lights and I looked at rooftops and drank strong coffees.
In tiny hotels, up twisted stairs, I carried my trusty Smith-Corona and wrote
Of girls that laughed loud with wine then warm with love’s touch
Their dreams…my dreams filled my evening as I tapped my smooth keys.
I worked for a while in the Quartier, on the banks of the Seine past worn wooden racks of booksellers.
The old men dusty with crushed hats stood reading of news and girls and poets, world wars long past.
I spend nights in a hushed bookstore, hearing whispers of Pound and Eliot speaking of Michelangelo
Of a sad F. Scott, drunk and wondering aloud of the rich. And in the window an old woman shared
sweets made from grams of foreign lands with a man who dreamed of faces turned just so.
Later at night the fountains sprayed and we watched what it was to be a young lover on cobbled streets.
Some nights never came and the days lasted longer than we could.
From Place de la this to Place de la that, we sought out the fabled frown finding none but along the way
nibbled crepes and sipped strong coffees at tables we thought too long.
We sought out arrondissements and graves of poets and corner that made you stop and kiss your lover.
And in Paris, you were lost in your lover and if they were gone, you stared out across the roofs
And ached to hold them before you went out to find the perfect croissant.