Tag Archives: Poem

the particulars of travelling

It’s the details
the minutiae
a long series of challenges and puzzles
all day, every day

Oh, sure, the sights are wondrous
But it is the interactions
the interpreting
the map reading
and the trivial accomplishments

Everything unfamiliar
Nothing can be assumed
All to be deciphered, understood

How do I order coffee?
Do we drink it at the counter?
No, no
That’s only in Italy

Where do we buy the tickets?
Can we get a weekly pass?
No, no
You can’t buy a ticket on the tram

Those are the wrong tickets
Say all the ladies on the bus in French

You’re going the wrong way
Says the man in Italian
As the rental car gets stuck
trying to turn
down a medieval lane
And he makes the traffic behind reverse
while he escorts us out

I am so grateful I would kiss him
But he is gone on his scooter

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only in solitude

Writing, for me, comes in times of stillness
The letters and words float into my head
and I ease them down to paper

I don’t sit down to write
The words find me when I am quiet
When I listen

Now that I am working again
and busy,
oh so busy,
my head is full up
No time for listening
No space for letters
Just do, do, do

It’s 4.30 am
An unplanned moment of solitude