Breakfast

Barcelona has an active and abundant bird population. Birds are important in an urban environment. They add to the soundtrack of the city. And as often happens, a moment on my walk to work brought me to a standstill. Magpies are so loud!


Breakfast

The birds dispute their breakfast
in the bare December trees.
One worm between the two of them,
and both of them are thieves.

The magpie is a foulmouthed sort,
be glad you don’t speak Bird!
For I hesitate to translate
the things I overheard.

Poor Mr. Worm, in politics,
leans neither left nor right.
Unfortunately, the magpies do.
It was a gruesome sight.

Starry night

On a trip this summer, I had the chance to admire a collection of quilts. The technique of quilting actually requires a lot of pre-planning, design and calculation – very rational stuff. But the visual result can be wild and dizzying, as the colors play off each other and invariably the whole is somehow greater than its parts, something that the quilter must see before the quilt exists. Back home, I began a series of quilt designs on my iPad, and walking to work one morning, the first two lines of this poem came to me.

vincent quilt_shape

Starry, starry night

We love the works of madmen
for saying what we don’t dare:
that Life’s a swollen yellow room,
with a pair of crooked chairs,
a narrow bed where restless dreams
have led our hearts astray.

How brave! The man who looked outside
before the break of day
and saw the quilted sky of stars
turned into ferris wheels!
He gave such beauty through his pain.
The art of madmen heals.

What if I kept on walking?

The PSL has been silent for quite a while. Circumstances regarding the day job eliminated the necessary contact with the sidewalk. If I wanted to walk, my choices were to make circles around a parking lot, or pace back and forth along a stretch of industrial park road which dead ends in a vacant lot scattered with construction debris. Then one day, as the end of my sojourn there was drawing to a close, a line came to me in the middle of my pacing: What if i kept on walking? The thing about a void is that it eventually sucks you in.

road
What if I kept on walking?

What if I kept on walking,
and never turned around?
What if I kept on walking,
and I was never found?

"What if I kept on walking?"
I kind of like the sound.

No need for an objective,
no dream, no special cause.
My journey simple evidence
of one of Nature's laws:
an object once in motion;
no obstacle, no pause.

Tattoos

Another poem that started with the glimpse of a leg of a person standing next to me at a stop light. Nothing special, just a tattoo. And that made me think, how sad! Why isn’t a tattoo special? It’s because of the overkill!

If you walk around Barcelona, you will see lots of people with tattoos. Young/ old/ fat/ thin/ male/ female. At the beaches on the Costa Brava, you can probably see more ink on skin than bathing suits! A trip to the Balearic islands isn’t complete unless you come back with a tattoo! For me, the atavistic charm of bodyart disappeared when it became just another form of merchandise, part of the decor of summer beer commercials on TV.

Another Tattoo

The dragon wraps around her leg like Druid art of old. A decision on an island made when she was young and bold.

“Let’s be different!” they all said; so each one did the same. Now time has turned youth’s outré badge to a sagging faded stain.

The Business School

Until recently, my morning walk to work led me to the doors of a well-reputed business school. Usually I focussed on the beautiful gardens and buildings, as well as the people walking by. Almost every day I saw something worth writing about, something beautiful or curious. However, Barcelona, like any city, has a darker side.

The morning I saw a man digging through the garbage bins located practically at the doors of the school, the irony gave me this:

The Business School

Dumpster diving at the business school, now that's a sight to see! His family’s going hungry, but he’s got a fine degree.

He did just what they told him and he doesn't understand why the speculation failed him when he bought up all that land.

It was easy! No one mentioned he was trafficking with air. He thought that he was clever! now he's closer to despair.

He lives near his alma mater until the bank calls in the loan. That could happen any day now. He could even lose his home!

He hopes that no one sees him as he's sorting through the trash. He doesn't want his kids to know that they're completely out of cash.

He bought into a system that turned out to be a lie. You must admire his dignity. he's still wearing a tie.

 

Jasmine

This poem, like others, was inspired by Barcelona’s lovely vegetation. I was walking home from work at about 8 p.m. and found myself enveloped in a heady fragrance that reminded me of my grandmother.

jasmine
Jasmine

I walk through curtains of jasmine.
It smells like movie stars...
the ones who wore those négligées,
and winked at men in bars.

A fragrance out of fashion,
in close quarters, it's too sweet.
But in a city on an evening
in the summer, it's a treat.

Compartint la vella manta

First post in Catalan! This one goes out to those who too often remain nameless. Any native Catalan speaker is more than welcome to correct errors!

Compartint la vella manta

Compartint la vella manta és amor, al meu parer. Encara que siguin pobres i visquin al carrer.

La mare els coneixia, "Són bona gent amb mala sort." Sovint és el que passa amb la gent que ve de l'hort.

La ciutat els menja l'espirit i els calés. No em preguntis pels cognoms. Són en Joan i na Roser.