Thursday, November 25, 2010

giving thanks

the pilgrim’s Mayflower didn’t pass this way,
not Rome, Italy. an email from M. told me
she’s off to my brother’s for a family dinner.
that’s how i found out it is today.

went out this morning to bus away,
to the large strange market Esquilino.
first though, i wandered a bit, then decided
i already had enough vegetables for soup.

took coffee at one of the remaining old bars,
for old times sake, in celebration of the day.
this bar remains leftover from the Nineteenth Century,
while most places change, for the sake of change.

i passed into the piazza of Chiesa Nuova.
paused in a steam of golden sun, to think, to rest.
a familiar beggar quickly glanced, quietly went by.
evidently he remembered this time, i am a local.

then Campo dei Fiori. faces i know.
jokes, calls and small talk abound.
sat on the ledge at the base of the stature of Bruno
in the warm hold of morning sun glow.

Prospero, the veteran salesman, as of late
it's a plastic tool that cuts veggies into squiggles,
who says a few words of banter in many languages,
has a man working for him now. to sell to tourists.

Prospero came over to where i sat,
we’ve spoken many times. said he remembered,
waving, pointing, when i painted in the market everyday.
there and there. memories of the ebbing last century.

we talked of the old and current changing times,
of those come and gone, of this market now for tourists.
he is older and played these streets as a ragamuffin.
i'v known these waves of change a meager twenty years.

much of the old has been discarded, renewed modern.
he recalled the beauty of the faded unpainted stone exteriors.
i told him our building’s 400 year old worn smooth marble steps
have been replaced by sharp edged cheaper new ones.

then nearly home i saw my friend Franco, wood worker.
23 years in his unchanged ancient shop on our lane,
where more than four hundred years ago
it was named for the hat makers, via dei Cappellarri.

in these hard times Franco’s landlord has tripled the rent.
Franco is saddened to be leaving to an area farther out.
i will miss him and the picturesque shop that is sure to change,
a left over. as fewer and fewer of the old shops remain.

again another beggar passed, going the opposite way.
with sad face he called back to me, “Ho Fame.”
readers, that means i am hungry. what do you say?
and this morning i learned Thanksgiving's this day.

surely not only the poet has heart,
and feelings run deep as large fish in great rivers.
whether warm or icy, under clouds of rain or sunny skies,
we must accept life as it is given, and should give thanks in return.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

another rainy day

another rainy day.
the only people on the street
were selling umbrellas.
need a back up? or bigger?

from the corner where i stood
i could see seven or eight umbie salesmen.
like mushrooms in the spring
they pop out when it rains.

by the train terminal is our favorite breakfast spot,
for familiar friendly faces and good food.
Sfizio it is.
the name has reverted

to the real name on the sign
Sfizio. translates to – whim.
no longer Rocco’s, as we called it.
he’s two doors down, where he began.

at Sfizio i spoke to Teresa and Cecilia
Corine and Nicola. ordered and sat down,
just then – Corine had the radio turned up
to hear their horoscopes.

there were no other customers seated,
one or two for order and go,
came and went.
i like a quiet breakfast.

a man came in then,
set a suitcase down,
right in the middle of the floor
and then left.

didn’t hear what he said.
i knew the case wasn’t heavy
so i doubted it was a nuclear explosive,
but thought about it as i ate.

my eggs were already scrambled sufficiently,
so was i. then the man came back to eat,
then i drank my coffee,
then bid all a good day when i left.

a dead fish

a fish died in our pond today
the first to go in eight years or so
not a floater, lying on the bottom
on his side, all alone

i scooped him out
laid him in the garden
and said words of goodbye,
he was white, formerly orange

i call it him
instead of it or she
don’t know why
surely doesn’t matter

the next day he was gone
don’t think he resurrected
something recycled him for dinner
so some good came out of it

I happened on this in the archives. It was from a year ago. Now it's out again, for you.

Monday, November 22, 2010

went to the dentist

went to the dentist,
haven’t seen this one in five years
so i missed my bus stop.
had to walk back up the steep hill.

a delivery truck was there.
a man carried on his shoulder
a huge refrigerated something that
looked like a cold white leg of elephant .

at a small outside market
got two bananas, 6 tangerines,
a pound mixed vegetables for soup.
very low cost, it's out of the center.

on the upper street i asked directions.
the dentist was two steps further.
took the small elevator to the third floor,
couldn’t get out.

doors opened to a flat wall.
i read all the signs twice,
then found the other door
on the rear wall of the elevator.

at the only door the nice lady said
the dentist was one floor down.
i apologized to her.
although the sign outside said it was this floor.

in the dental waiting room a newspaper headline
said China invades the USA.
also front page story, the Harry Potter film
was blood and sex.

saw the dentist and remembered
why my last visit to him was five years ago.
i didn’t like him.
he gave me an estimate for 1,345 euros work.

the receptionist made three appointments.
first one way later this afternoon.
in less than an hour i was home.
called and cancelled my dental appointments.