Saturday, December 19, 2009

tre marias

late morning coffee
near Santa Maria in Trastevere
mainly Italian tourists about
quietly milling this tranquil day

then beyond the fountain in the Piazza
for Chinese food with our friend Maria,
where yet another Maria
operates that restaurant

though not a true Maria
she was made in China with another name
but found it easier to be a Maria and go along
swiftly as the river flows though Roma

Friday, December 18, 2009

make a list

passed Monica
said high a little
she was gone

see her twenty-three times a year about
talk more or less a minute each time
and of all the people i know
she is a good one

dresses neat, stands up straight, cheery
how are you i am fine that’s it
she gets a gold star in my memory

so if i made a list of everyone i know
she’d make the good list
once, years ago when i was sad
i made a list

why not try it
make a list of everyone you can think of
everyone you know

see who’s there
the list is privileged information
and you have a right to know

Thursday, December 17, 2009

going about

going about in Roma
we have a car
and use it to get out
traffic clogged and lost

there is a slowing way down down
a large van is holding everyone up,
as we pass we see her reading a book
while texting on a cell phone

in circles by catacombs on Via Appia
old high stone walls so we can’t see
where we wander, which way we're headed
cloudy, so can’t tell north from south

then stopping for coffee, always a good idea
somewhere out of the center
where people get human again
we asked directions

sempre dritto, keep going straight ahead
that’s the best and favorite response
you’ll ever hear, no complications
they must teach it to children

strange, yet it works
for as all roads lead to Rome
inversely, when you are there
all roads will lead out of Rome

so no one is ever
really lost
only slowed
by traffic congestion

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

i've had it with you, Roma

i’ve had it with you, Roma
and refuse to be your fool any longer
two decades of chaos is enough
pushing, shoving, and oblivious pretentious aggravation

i’d rather pull my puppy’s ears
drag him out of the tiny box
from under the leaky sink
where i’d make him sleep if i were you

but to leave you, Roma
would be most difficult
to compensate for the loss
of aggravation

should i run stumbling against bulls in Spain
take lunging rapids in a leaky wooden boat
or walk in traffic blind folded
do please allow me to suffer longer

i know you lie and cheat to get your way
but loaded with art everywhere
you are noble, though distant and aloof
leave me unattended to wander in awe

scorch and boil me in summer’s cauldron
winters cast me out chilled into cold
treat me hard all seasons
if you must

but to turn away and leave you
as if you didn’t know me
would be more than i could bear
your tears would heap more agony on my anguished soul

allow perpetual suffering to continue
perhaps near the end you’ll cradle me
giving peace at last in knowing
that once you cared

for certain,
at the moment of torment’s end
my beloved,
i’d rather die in your arms

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

stolen horse

in light late afternoon chill rain
M. went to Standa to pick up things for diner
she’ll make pasta carbonara
carried a shoulder bag and an umbrella

bused up a few blocks
temperatures were dropping
she wore a hat pulled low
in gusts i started out to Alberto’s studio

along the way a couple called out
asked directions to Via Corso
i told them, pointed, down that way it begins
by the large monument at Piazza Venezia

then i walked out into heavy traffic
i was waiting for the light to change
must have forgotten, was distracted
from both directions cars were honking

made it calmly without incident,
and some embarrassment i digested
at that time
M. was carrying her loaded shopping bag

walking back across the bridge of angels
in front of the old castle San Angelo
there was an art show this weekend
Alberto told me his wife couldn’t go

because their five year old son
had homework to do
he said always there is too much homework
on the way home i saw Franco, age 67,

an Italian born in Libya
a persistent worker who lives miles away,
we crossed paths at the same corner in piazza Campo dei Fiori
near where he does inlay and waxing

fine detail in centuries old wood work
bought him coffee at the corner bar
he said a week ago gypsies stole
the cover for his motor bike

the evening before it disappeared
he saw the father and son checking it out
this weekend his motor bike,
his ride to work, was stolen

devastated, though tried not to show it
thievery is an invasion that strikes at the heart
i said it was like someone stealing his horse
he agreed, sadly, he agreed

we parted, i wished him well
by the time M. made it safely home
i did also, under city lights
and yes, her carbonara was outstanding

Monday, December 14, 2009

just say no to shopping

women don’t really want
hubby along slopping
always in the way
forever incompetent

to say they’ll take him
is only a scare tactic
a threat meant to show man
how brave they are

fighting fatties on electric isle-crowding carts
while finding the real bargains
checking what’s the latest
ahh, my queen of hearts, i know you’re da greatest

Sunday, December 13, 2009

making a list

making a list
or soon will be
nothing serious yet
in my head at first

have to get things in order
i’ll jot notes in a minute
when i get a few ideas going
i’ve just gotten started

right now, i’m looking out the window
and there, she is in the yard
head down, pulling weeds
doesn’t stop, ‘cept to wipe her brow

black birds and robins fight in the bird bath
nothing overly untoward, only showing who’s tougher
and there she keeps going, pulling’ weeds
i wonder what she’s thinking now

she had better wrap it up soon
come in and clean up
you know she ought to be
making a list