Friday, November 12, 2010

here now

here now, this is Roma, this time.
the Buddha said -
all life is suffering.
maybe he had been here.

from a downtown bus i saw
a disheveled old lady on the sidewalk
seated legs out, smoking, drinking a beer,
talking and no one listening.

passed an old coffee bar,
where we had many coffees.
transformed, now it’s called Bali Way,
selling the true meaning of tourist junk.

the two old ladies in their eighties
who lived twenty years with shopping carts
outside, on the corner, by the train station,
are gone with no trace.

a decade ago taxis numbered four thousand,
now there are eight thousand.
is this why there are so few buses?
i walked, not for health, merely to get me there.

stopped where a friend
will open an art show in January
the owner gave me a ficus leaf.
said it is for luck.

the weather in Roma is like Ohio
much of the time.
then, there are other things
that are different.

i could cry.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

i don't know these fish

though i see them everyday.
we’ve nothing to say
i don’t know these fish.
not personally.

the sight of them brings me joy.
enough to smile a hi.
to expect reply,
is not my wish.

they’re in my pond
where they were born.
here they live in relative safety.
for a fish, that’s living - big time.

this morning it was above freezing, barely.
they were drift floating
in sun- lit clear water,
low, by the stems of the water lilies,
taking the appearance of
orange and white ornaments
on the tranquil filaments
of an underwater holiday tree

no motion.
i don’t blame them.
a living still life
with nowhere to go.
a happy day for them?
would they know?

winter is a month away,
when it will be frozen Ohio cold.
yes, the fish will be fine.
it’s nice of you to ask.
and when water warms
they’ll wake to swim again.
i’ll see them in the spring.