Tag Archives: memories

Waiting for Brueghel

You yearned to see him,
longed after him as you
did in your Florentine days;
Brueghel,
as advertised
Brueghel as promised;

Amid the pristine marble
of the Royal Fine Arts
(Brussels museum of renown)
Brueghel drew them,
drew you like a moth
to immortal f(l)ame,
you exchanged more than
rubies for a promised look;

Doors wide open
staircases agape,
you hurried on up
when the laconic voice intoned,
“ the 15th,16th,&19th.centuries
will be closed for lunch ”
a momentary disappointment,
your visual caresses postponed;

At one o’clock
your heart beat faster
and faster still at a minute past,
when the doorman capitulated
down the corridors you dashed to
see blank wall after blank wall,
a veritable Tabula Rasa
they forgot to mention
that during lunch
Brueghel had also left the Casa.

A Passage Through Time

Time was forgotten

by time itself,

even those that

remembered and knew

of its harsh cadences

fell into a silent repose;

where no time

no longer mattered,

for in essence

time itself was no more,

no morrow,

no morning

mourning as it all fell silently

into an oblivion

it had created for itself

throughout its ceaseless computations

until the numbers themselves

ran out..

The Stranger, one last time.

There he sat,

in the place where he sat

the last time that we spoke

all those years ago;

And there he sat

as if he’d never left

and the years hadn’t passed us by;

” I’m still waiting for my absinthe that I’ve ordered ” ,

he ventured apropos of nothing,

his deprecating smile lingered

as he brushed some imaginary

cigar ash off the table;

A faint susurration arose

from a Greek Chorus somewhere

in the background of this

mise – en – scene ;

” Years in a desert of empty days,

years in a white nothingness,

Time itself marooned in

a white swirling fog “.

” Waiting..” the Stranger began,

my curiousity piqued,he continued,

” is the worst part of waiting “.

I concurred,which seemed

to set him at his ease,

though he glanced obsessively

at his pocket watch;

” Time flies and having flown

runs out of fuel and crashes

amidst the contretemps and vicissitudes

of our world “.

He once more glanced around for signs

of a waiter with the absinthe which he’d

ordered such a long.long time ago;

but no-one was forthcoming and

overcome by ineluctable disappointment

he rose and bidding me adieu

swept with customary insouciance

from the cafe into the busy boulevard;

as I turned my gaze from the departing stranger,

I saw the waiter arrive with a tray

bearing a singular glass..

**********************

Author’s Footnote:

The reader might care to also read ” A Stranger Returns ” -April 23 2018

and ” Encounter with a Stranger ” -October 3 2017 .

Bruxelles

Starless

we waited,

for the dawn

together,

waited to hear

the hour chime,

waited

for the earth

to slowly spin

through time and space

and time again,

together

for the dawn

we waited,

and heard the hour chime,

Starless…

Author’s biographical footnote:

I originally composed this in 2002 dedicated to C.K.whose identity will remain a mystery

In Bruges

A soft elegant turquoise
caresses your eyes,
inviting you to join
and enter into the day;
a day of glances and looks,
talk and walk, coffee and books;
still now,languid at eight in the morning,
early buses down from
the station circumnavigate
the splendid Markt ,
diverting to destinations
hidden in a
nuanced symmetry of slowly
revealing labyrinths hewn
and cobbled,restored,narrow
and poignant two-storied brick
houses with neat serrated roofs
in angles and parabolas
fanning out from Langstraat
up to Jerusalemkerk with
their careful clever twists,
you navigate by spires,
cathedral and churches
and totemic Belfort ,
clocked and counting,
its innard three hundred and sixty-five steps
a challenge for later ;
now, bicycles, delivery vans
and the morning commuters are
unravelling their silken-thread
routes and your eyes trace a
lazy line on your pocketbook map,
from where you are to where
you need to be,
here in Bruges,
it’s all the same.

The Dust Bowl

The names and their faces
those times and their places,
the rundown rail depot
from where the last westbound left
in that dry-cracked goodbye summer
when water was heaven
and wells coughed their
grinding choking echo,
dust for a future
that had yet to be;
In those places and their times
heavy inked portraiture faces
made indistinguishable by
careless careworn thumb and fingers
of the ones chosen to
witness their passing,
so that records were kept
for whoever would come after
to research rediscover
those times and their places,
shrouded names and their faces
down by the rail depot
in that dry-cracked summer
when the westbound whistled its goodbye.

A whiff of the past…

Some aromas give you
A whiff of the past;
And you breathe in,
A part of your own yesterdays,
Like forgotten melodies rippling away
To faded pages
Of a yellowed diary.

Last day, the scent of turmeric
Took me with absolute ease-
To a pampered childhood-
Of healed bruises-
It showed me a serene face
With a sparkling nosepin
And a purple kumkum
And wrinkled palms with rough fingers-
Adept at hardwork-
Tending to my wounds.

I reminded myself that the earth, in fact, had gulped down her soul-
And I wondered if she had left parts of herself here with me-
Probably her best ones.

Tomboy:A Childhood Reminiscence

She’s got no claws,

she’s got no sting

but still she gushes in my blood;

she punctures holes in

in my thick old skin

she puts dead roses back to bud,

I held up pictures

of her climbing trees

Boys couldn’t reach those

far-off heights,but banged their

heads and cracked their fall.

then crawled back up

to kiss her knees.

(Copyright in this work has been asserted by Martin Nicholson)

The Saint,A Stranger Among Men

The Saint, A Stranger Among Men
A previous age, perhaps less materialistic than our present one would have recognised and
acknowledged his otherness. His air of inner spirituality which others say he carried with him
and wore as lightly as the finest cape about his shoulders. Shoulders that others imagined
might have sprouted angelic wings. Eccentric, a flaneur with a quietly assertive insouciance
he wafted along the boulevards with transcendent equanimity. Then on a day of no particular
significance, at least none that I could apprehend at the time nor afterward, I actually
encountered him at one of the more popular Cafes, this figure of some Left bank
intellectual /philosophical speculation /admiration/veneration. This itinerant dispenser of
wisdom and insight.
The Saint with the shabby overcoat and hangdog expression asked me if I could spare him a
few reminiscences. I replied that the change in my pockets changes with the changing tide,
though I could offer him some reflections instead. The Stranger sat back in his chair
ordered himself another absinthe and began whistling some nameless tune while he waited
for his drink to arrive.
” If all our pain and sorrow only came on the morrow would we set the alarm late or not at
all? taking the chance that vicissitudes had all somehow passed us by while we were fast
asleep.”
This I realised immediately was the aphoristic balm which the Saint dispensed with
customary generosity to those he presumed were in need of immediate spiritual relief of some
kind; which in his own inimitable view included just about everybody. Though not all at the
same time.
” And were we to store all our tears shed in our lives, how big would the bottle have to be?
Could we claim back some pennies if we returned it empty? ” I was inwardly responding with
something akin to mild annoyance, outwardly with a beatific smile bordering on rictus when,
the Saint glanced askance at his watch where time had stopped years ago.
He wondered aloud where the waiter might’ve got to with his drink? “ If we don’t feel the
suffering of others, how will we know if we have blood in our veins? ” thereupon the Saint
got up, bid me adieu and was gone.
Some time after he’d left I saw in the mirror that there was no longer a reflection there
of me.

Loss

Eyes gaze

at a Meissen

cup and saucer,

white like the

exquisite Flemish

lace covering the

polished teak table

where fingers drum

on a dusty

book cover:

inside

on yellowing pages

words crumble

like dried bones,

and the eyes

that once sought

after them

for meaning,

now gaze

immobile,

detached,

at someone’s fingers

drumming on a

dusty book cover

drumming their

own retreat

from a philosophy

that long ago

faded

and longer ago

was forgotten,

left

discarded

on the polished

teak table

covered by

exquisite Flemish lace,

white

like a  Meissen

saucer

and..