Saturday, November 20, 2010

half a bag of butterflies

half a bag of butterflies,
that’s what i made
with green sauce
store bought.

i swear i didn’t
put it in my cart
it sort of floated there like butterflies do.
oh, i just tattered my poetic license.

for you rookie cookers, it's easy,
it's written on the bag.
all i had to do was count to twelve.
minutes, that is. presto.

now, pesto – that’s the sauce
i knew it would come to me.
like, when i saw it in the store
and it seemed a good idea.

ate half a bag
cause that’s what i cooked.
thought to save some for later.
saved the dishes to clean up instead.

here’s how it happened.
first i ate a third,
thought that might be enough.
then had seconds.

now there was only a third left,
hardly enough to heat up later,
and i didn’t plan eat a snack between meals,
so i downed it at onecet.

Oncet is an old Southern U.S. expression that I heard many times from a lady when I was growing up. Can't spell it, can't find it in the dictionary or google. Then again, perhaps also related, my dad used to say chimley.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

at San Silvestro

it was noon when
i stepped off the busy street
into the quiet courtyard
at the church of San Silvestro.

didn’t go in to see john the Baptist’s head again.
there are a few in Rome,
john’s head, that is.
i’ve seen a couple.

here the courtyard brick walls are adorned with
fragment marble pieces bearing inscriptions, some
carved graffiti, from posted public notices and grave
markers a few hundred,to more than a two thousand years ago.

blocked from wind by tall yellowed travertine walls,
in a streaming beam of sun i sat outside,
on an old, smooth worn white marble bench,
to tie my shoe and consider.

i didn’t plan on considering.
my intention to be there
was to tie my shoe.
but since i was here anyway . . .
it’s a fine old courtyard
if it were in my back yard
i’d be able to do nothing for a while and observe,
but that is difficult here

when i had a single purpose
for my pause in this place
and really should
be moving along.

it’s another spot where tourists
and the prayerful pass.
most without inclination to sit and consider.
even those who come to go inside to pray

have other things on their minds.
but i, with no intention for being there,
other than to tie my shoe,
took the moment to soak in beauty.

and that reminds me of something ,
this morning when i awaoke it occurred to me
how everyone is living their life
as fast as they can.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

to Esquilino - the huge farmers market

on the 70 near Santa Maria Maggiore
the large dark church on a hill in the city,
saw a young man in his twenties
dressed in two shiny dark grey trash bags,

seated back against the wall with stocking cap
and full beard, a faraway look in this eye.
a large decorated cardboard box in front of him,
presumably for you to throw money into.

the bus stopped close to the market.
i know the routine,
we'd done it many times.
gotta eat, today i go it alone.

first a coffee and a warm sweet roll for one fifty.
told the guy the coffee was good, i noticed.
smiling he said, he new it was good, cause he made it.
that’s what my Polish grandmother used to say, didn't tell him.

85 cents for three bananas,
gave 90 with the thought he can keep the change.
five and penny coins are ridiculously small and annoying.
he interrupted my thought to give me back twenty cents

don't think twice
it's all right,
Bob Dylan got that
the way it is.

got a huge, solid red work-of-art of a pepper - 47 cents.
a small pizza with red sauce to take home for an euro.
had breakfast, bacon two eggs, a hot roll,
coffee and orange juice for 5 euro.

said good byes and started off.
a woman on the bus
wore a tribal head wrap,
and an intriging red patterned dress. mysterious.

all in a days venture
into the dark heart of the city,
for a big trip to the famers market.
started raining, and hard, a minute after i got home.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sunday thin clouds

Sunday thin clouds,
seventy degrees,
air is still.
is it really mid November?

as is our Sunday custom, i walk to Trastevere.
on the ancient stone bridge over
i give a euro
to the accordion player from Japan.

soon i am seated at the back table,
under the awning,
opposite the church Santa Maria,
beyond the fountain in the center of the piazza.

first coffee and then a spremuta,
that’s fresh squeezed orange juice,
on this day quiet, yet alive with hushed chatter.
Luciana arrives with an amica from Firenze,

then my friend Maria shows up.
later she and i go to the Chinese restaurant
to partake in our Sunday usual.
the owner at the restaurant asks.

everyone had asked where is M.
yes, even the accordion player on the bridge.
two weeks, i tell them. i’m the advance man,
she’s fall cleanup raker.

walking back with my supper,
leftover lunch in a bag, i marvel at the beauty
as the last rays of today’s sun spill gleaming,
this Roman golden and so very still mid-November.