© From A Window…
In the early hours of the morn as we were borne by bus from London to Dover,
We gazed nonplussed from our window at the wide stretches of parkland and clover
Called ‘Blackheath’. “Good grief”! My old hometown named for this place
Where are buried countless victims of the 'Black Death'. But this green space
Is where county cricket is played watched by genteel folk sipping lemonade,
In summer. Not daunted by the highwaymen who haunted the passing parade,
In the 17th century. Eventually, many dangled from gibbets ‘til their bones bleached.
Later, other flibbertigibbets campaigned here for women's suffrage and free speech.
Other women, not as discriminating, gaze from their shop windows in Amsterdam.
They watch scornfully the punting ‘mugs’ and other thugs who damn
Their occupation. Gawking tourists, who stroll by the canal, marked by their banal
Comments and apparel, oblivious to the blandishments of hawkers in flannel.
We gazed upon the city of water; from the barge other sights caught our attention.
Anne Frank’s Achterhuis where she hid with her family to avoid detection,
From the Nazis, who were particularly nasty; a poignant reminder of a dreadful war.
A happier sight is an ocean liner cruising towards our hotel, seen from the 14th floor.
Later on the Grand Canal, in total bliss, we glistened along by boat and gondola.
Venezia – the city of masks, the city of bridges, St. Mark’s square and laguna.
One tries, in vain, to see the Bridge of Sighs, covered by hoardings, and yet a kiss...
To buttress our union as the legend say; hey! Lord Byron doesn’t know what he missed!
Long colourful mooring poles poke up drunkenly, like oversize drinking straws
From the dank water. We saunter beside the canal, ordering white wine – “per favore”.
Then pay homage to the ‘Queen of the Adriatic’ despite how aromatic she seems.
A decaying, erratic, erotic dream sinking slowly into the realm of the slipstream.
As we approached in our luxury coach, we gazed, amazed by the hills of Tuscany,
The medieval town of San Gimignano arose in fragrant musk. Any...
Chance we took to look for cappuccino in the gorgeous trattorias.
Paintings of Etruscan vases; a perpetual reminder of the long and glorious
Past history of this region, visions of the Roman legions heading north
To conquer Europe. Inhabitants of Gaul and Hispania also sallied forth.
To no avail, the endless tale of plundering armies assaulting the garrisons,
Alas, dear friends, our European adventure now pales in comparison.
From the window of the hospital I gazed, unfazed, upon the city of Lucerne.
The mountain ~ Pilatus stood in ‘stark relief’ and in silent grief I turned...
My mind to contemplate and renegotiate the unlikely status of my life.
In Florence, ‘David’ had looked odd; his upper body and head jaded, in strife.
And here was I just the same, or perhaps I lieth ... I am Goliath instead?
I could find no answer, and with nothing fancier to do, I lay in my bed.
To ponder Renaissance obsession with perfect harmony of form, ratio, expression.
I’ll use other windows in the future to nurture my comprehension.