Man with the doves

This poem has taken a while to develop. Like the other sidewalk poems, the first line was prompted by a real moment on the street. A contrast that registered.

In building the poem, I realized that I wanted to transmit the images with impartiality, the citywalker as photojournalist.

The man with the doves

The man with the doves
is asking for coins.

The man in the poster
– naked chest, naked loins –
announces a lotion
¡cash-back, guarranteed!
to smoothe your abdomen
at night while you sleep.

The doves peck at nothing,
they dance and they coo
around the old man
who does not look at you.

His hat sits before him,
a basket of hope –
originally white,
now the far side of taupe.

I live with both men,
our relationship bound
by the shared stretch of  sidewalk,
profane and profound.

disclaimer ;-)

I strongly advise readers not to consider any of these poems to be autobiographical! The only thing autobiographical is the introductory text to each poem.

However, the themes seem to be relevant to women of a certain age,  something that no doubt has contributed to the ease with which these verses have been written.

Please also appreciate that I have refrained from including a winking smiley face at the end line of several of them ;-)

Old man with a cell phone (version 2)

With a nod to D.H. Lawrence……

Old man with a cell phone

The old man with a cell phone
and cufflinks on his sleeves
still tells his wife he loves her
each morning as he leaves.

He dresses like he’s off to work.
They both know that’s a lie.
(There hasn’t been a paycheck
since a year ago, July.)

He thinks of her as boring,
a cleaning tool at best.
His mistress has a PhD,
and looks great in a dress.

His wife’s at home, and busy too,
with the gardener in his shed.
He keeps it full of flowers,
but best of all’s the bed!

Old man with a cell phone (Version 1)

One sunny morning on the way to the office, I spied an impeccably groomed older man sitting at a terrace, writing a text message on his cell phone.

I couldn’t see his face, but he looked to be long past 60. He had chosen to keep his hair a bit long, combed back over his head with hair gel, those little curls just grazing the collar of his elegant dark suit (a look locally known as engominado), and I could see the glint of cufflinks on his sleeves.  I had the first verse before I arrived at the office. Naughty me, I knew where it was going to go from the moment I saw him.

Old man with a cell phone

The old man with a cell phone
and cufflinks on his sleeves
still tells his wife he loves her
each morning as he leaves.

He dresses like he’s off to work.
They both know that’s a lie.
(There hasn’t been a paycheck
since a year ago, July.)

He imagines her as busy,
ironing his shirts,
and as he texts his mistress,
briefly wonders if it hurts.

But no harm done, a man’s a man!
It’s always been this way!
(Unknown to him, his wife has guests,
a new one every day.)

Design

The other day, as I was photographing cyclists riding up and down Rambla Catalunya with total indifference to the  “bicycles forbidden” signs, I saw that I had captured something much more interesting….. Design is everywhere.