This one was inspired by the constant battery of perfume advertisements that seems to accompany the winter holiday season. The images of women who look like they have been lobotomized or seriously drugged as they float through wispy clouds and satin drapery. Ooo, la la.
Living with hunger
She’s learned to live with hunger
and shoes that cause her pain.
“She’s every man’s desire.”
Oh, not that crap again!
You can see her on the TV
and in posters on the street,
but she doesn’t look like
any living woman you might meet.
Now she whispers to the camera.
She’s only wearing gauze.
Your eyes are glazing over, darling.
Here’s a cloth to wipe your jaw.
It’s just an advertisement.
She’s a phantom, my dear man!
Come serve the goddess in your household.
That is… if you still can.
As I mentioned in the previous post, rain is infrequent enough in Barcelona so that you really notice the difference. There are some beautiful gardens I pass every morning just before I arrive at the office. They have olive trees, pampas grass, and very healthy hedges to separate them from the sidewalk. And on the first rainy morning in a long while, I noticed that the hedges were animated! They had all their leaves reaching upward and looked like they had grown taller overnight. They looked happy! and that gave me this poem.
Look at how the plants reach out
to drink the welcome rain!
I envy them their simple life
that passes without pain.
Their leaves, like hands,
lift in delight.
They do not ask for much.
I wish my life were more like theirs –
to be content with such
a thoughtless gift come from the sky –
to simply live, and easy die.
Two striking things happened in Barcelona last week: it rained, and then it got cold. We’re talking hats, scarves, gloves, and boots. So it’s kind of ironic that I wrote this poem last week, inspired by a house I passed on my walk home from work.
Bougainvillea on a whitewashed wall
Bougainvillea on a whitewashed wall,
hibiscus in November.
It doesn't really look like fall,
at least not like I remember.
Where I come from, it used to rain,
cold wind would rake the sky.
One day you'd take a look outside,
and trees had turned to fire.
Such beauty there, such beauty here,
I try to love it all.
Eternal summer has its charm,
but I really miss the fall.