WARNING! Sensitive content. This poem may offend some people. Three times in the past week I’ve seen a nun in an all white habit walking along the same path I take in the morning. The question in the first line came up because you really don’t see many nuns in habits walking on the street anymore, not even here in Barcelona. And after that, thinking that in these hard times, she’s not so badly off.
I'd like to know her order's name,
that nun all dressed in white,
and test the comfort of the bed
where she spends every night.
She's married with her sisters
to a single deity!
I wonder how it works at night?
First you, and then it's me?
I wonder how her marriage fares,
is she still attracted to her lord?
Or did she choose the convent life
just for the room and board?
Yesterday the metropolitan bus system was on strike. In theory, they are required to offer a fixed minimum service, something like 50% of the usual bus frequency. If you take public transport, you’ve been there, and you know that minimum seems like none. This jingle came to me this morning as I waited for the bus.
The woman in front of me melted
as we stood waiting in line.
(It wasn’t exactly a party;
We’d been there a very long time.)
I reached out and tried to support her,
grasping for some solid bit
so a doctor somewhere might rebuild her.
(In theory all you need is a rib.)
The bus was arriving!
Our wait finally over!
“You’re melting too soon!”,
I heard myself scold her.
My efforts were fruitless.
She was already gone.
Just a spot on the sidewalk.
The line had moved on.
Back after a long summer break. Walking to work again. Since I get lost in my thoughts as I walk, I’m known for tripping (not that kind!) and occasionally taking a glorious fall, garnering lots of attention and immediate sympathy from any old people near me. So intermittently I have to remind myself to “walk consciously”, “be in the moment”, pay attention to where I am and the fact that I’m in motion and not to disconnect from my feet! Once again, this poem is an ode to my city, Barcelona.
Walk consciously, and keep your gaze
fixed on the path ahead.
Discreetly dodge the dog shit
and any pigeons lying dead
upon the sidewalk that you cherish.
Keep on walking every day.
A city has its faults and flaws,
and some have history.
This one is built on Roman stones,
has two mountains and a sea.
The sidewalk bears an artist’s stamp.
Another artist draws
with wind and leaves and cast off flowers,
an ephemeral collage.
Such beauty more than compensates
for anything I dodge.