Saturday, March 01, 2008


as you drive along the autostrada
ahead is a covered bridge that spans the highway
with a parking area on the right and on the left
look! it's not a bridge
it's auto grill
everyone is saved

half way to anywhere in forty countries
you'll find the multinational food and retail conglomerate
at airports and on highways
serves food to drivers
has clean restrooms

and if you go when it is not meal time in italy
it will be nearly empty
at meal time it will be packed

you pull off and park
go up two floors by stairs or an elevator
and the restaurant and store part spans the highway
nice view

want a postcard, chocolate or a small sandwich, t-shirt and coffee
you've got it
(cd's and perfume also available)

Friday, February 29, 2008

fontana di trevi

i came out of the bank and walked left
down the street, just behind trevi fountain
pointing to the closed doors on the opposite side when i
asked a shop keeper why the engraving museum isn't open
he shrugged and said it's one block over

at the fountain i walked around the front
in 19 b.c. romans built the acqueduct
that brings water from the hills 8 miles out of roma
it actually travels 14 miles before it gets here
even water gets the run-around

in 1953 roman holiday with audrey hepburn and cary grant
brought the fountain to our attention

i had walked nearly all the way around before i looked at the fountain
after a hundred times in that square i didn't have to look right away
watching where i was going through the many tourists
kept me occupied

the middle point around i was at the church
the point of the three roads intersecting
tre vie, three roads, trevi

years ago i sat on those church steps opposite the fountain
drawing it for an hour or two
passing tour groups woke me to realize
more buses than i could recall
had entered the piazza one at a time
unloaded and reloaded and left

i looked toward the waters again
no wonder they all come
it's such a pretty fountain

Thursday, February 28, 2008

john and bill

we went to the post office at san silvestro
to pay the fine we got yesterday
for not paying the exit toll at the autostrada,
because the machine was broken

the post office was like a fifteenth century
first class lounge with fifty service windows
we paid the one euro fine instead of
waiting for them to increase the fine
and repossess everything we own,
i don't know about jail time

then we walked next door
to the church san silvestro in capite
meri took a picture of the head of john the baptist

about five places around the world
claim to have his head,
the place i doubt is
disneyworld in orlando - come on!

then we walked around the corner
to the cafe greco at the foot of the spanish steps
and saw a photo of buffalo bill cody
taken when he was there in 1903

here it is one hundred five years later
not only is the bar still there
but the furniture is the same
point that out to your wife the next time
she wants to do some redecorating at home

just your average day in the dis-average roma

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

bus drivers in roma

wwhat’s the big hurry with the bus drivers?
did mommy or daddy chase them with a bus?

some of them can drive ok but don’t stop well
bad, let’s say the truth - they stop like hell

the passengers get jerked all around.
those standing spin like pole dancers

did they really pass a driving test?
who gave it to them, their girlfriend?

what's the bus man's rush all about anyway?
they have to work their shift, don't they?

if it was the number of circuits they had to make
they’d get someone to lie for them about how many

then they'd knock off early
which could be best for all

some drive well, this i must admit, and some
are kind and considerate to their passengers

there are exceptions to every rule
still others curse and drive and drool

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


i knew what obelisks were all of my life
but until i walked in the shadow of one
and saw the intricate inscriptions that i cannot read
did i feel their strength and splender

there are 30 in the world, all from egypt
13 in roma, in egypt only seven, four standing
the ones in london and new york
used to be in roma

san giovanni's in roma
is the tallest in the world, 105 feet,
originally 140 feet
and the oldest - 15 century b.c.

a true obelisk is made from one piece of stone
so they say
washington monument is 555 feet tall
many pieces, but obelisk enough for me

in roma obelisks are impossible to avoid
easy to glance at from afar
worth seeking out
magnificent to examine

Monday, February 25, 2008

artists dinner

saturday all of us met for dinner
at marina's house in the country

eight robust artist types
drank wine and laughed

bread, fruit, cheese, and one oven cooked chicken
we ate and ate, enjoyed talking, and then ate more

then when we were finished
all completely well satisfied

we noticed there was chicken left over
no drugs, no miracle, how could it be?

Sunday, February 24, 2008


we took a train an hour south to anzio
a thousand others had the same idea

had a fine seafood lunch at the lovely port
so did the thousand others

our seafood anti-pasta for two
came on fifteen different large plates

how can there still be fish in the sea?
we sure are eating a lot of it

note that everything at the anzio station is broken
and covered with more graffiti than we've seen anywhere else

the day was sunny and warm
and full of people

it's not yet spring, the tourists haven't even arrived
and they will