Thursday, July 28, 2005

Three Poems


In the morning
After her shower
In the cramped bathroom
Of her tiny hotel room
She decides to wear her green top
Baggy khaki cut-offs
White trainers
And white socks

Later, on the island,
In the shadow of the twin towers
Of Notre Dam,
In the shadows of a thousand pigeons
And a million cameras,
As the bells clank and clang,
She gathers dutifully around
Her English guide in the square
Who explains –

When travelling on the Metro
Allow two minutes per station
And five to ten minutes
If you have to change lines

This information
Will prove invaluable
Later on


I idly watch the bicycle policemen
In their black and blue crash helmets
As they stop and chat to the
Singing double bassist
Whose stage is the Quai Aux Fleurs

On the Steps of Sacré Coeur

Before the poem even starts
I see my father’s shadow
Cast on the brightly-lit stone steps
But that soon fades
And words begin to shape my thoughts
Not images

To think, you were here
On these same steps
Overlooking Paris
Nearly forty years ago

And we could have told the French kids
Strumming a guitar
And singing California Dreaming
That you sang that song
When it was new
As you sat on the same steps
Breathing the clouds of dope
Rising from the city
Engulfing the future
In peace and love

And kids in baseball caps
Toss fireworks
The tourists take snapshots
Of the church
For their screensavers
And we gradually wind down the hill
Along the cobbled roads
Past weary street artists
Past Lapin Agile
Back to our hotel

And I think about how far we’ve come
And how we’ve come
No distance at all


Roger Stevens said...

Had a lovely time in Paris. Wrote lots of poems - more of which will probably find their way here.
Now it's back to work, n'est-ce pas?

michael said...

You sound inspired Roger. These are great and a nice flavour of your french dressing!

transience said...

wow! you're on a roll, roger! all three poems are lovely but i am especially fond of the first one. it's simple and direct, but filled with such pretty metaphors. incidentally, i would have worn a baby tee, a skirt and flip-flops. but that's just me.

Sue hardy-Dawson said...

Really love the last one best it has a whimsical quality, I love to look at old objects and imagine how many people must have handled them and what their hopes and dreams might have been

Cate said...

Now I the only one who read the first poem and wanted to know more? Why will this information prove invaluable later on? What happens to her that the minutes are vital to know? Did I miss something when I read it? What is the rest of the story?

gulnaz said...

i am glad you had such a lovely time in paris, you reallly seem to be on a roll here. i love all the three poems here, can't decide whether i like the first one best or the last one. such pretty images in the first, brings a gay and busy paris to mind. i like the haunting-ness of the last one too. when i see an old house, i often wonder how it would have seemed earlier.

Kimberly said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kimberly said...

Roger:Thank you for the books you have posted to me. I really loved them both and also thank you for the autographs as well. I really enjoyed looking at them both and reading them.

You are a marvelous writer and i am completely impressed with your work. I even took the time to notice the little things that made me laugh when it came down to the "do not use as a dartboard' bit.

You are something else and i am truely amazed.Thanks again. oh and i loved the dedication to your wife. so sweet

Anonymous Poet said...

Roger: Well, I guess I don't need to watch the travel channel this summer. I have already been to Paris and back in mind because of you. Thanks!

Especially, I like the nostalgia of the last piece. The last lines are wonderful! "And I think about how far we’ve come
And how we’ve come
No distance at all." Just wonderful!

Also, I posted a response to your last comment on "Metro" at my site. And I posted a new piece with a more whimsical tone that I thought you might appreciate.

Take care!

Syl said...

I love these vignettes of sights, was along the Seine I loved to walk. Then over to St. Germaine to the boutiques. My sorry French asking directions from the gendarme. Thankfully getting lost in Paris can mean coming upon a totally impromtu music session...and they are remarkably good! Glad you two are home...and more poems please.

justrose said...

thanks so much for your comment on my blog roger. your poetry is awesome. i especially like "this information/will prove invaluable/later on" -- i love poems in motion; that's what this one is (to me anyway). i pontificated on war literature on my blog return comment, but i will say that the beatles, dave brubeck and jimi are among my all-time faves from your musical selections. have you listened to brubeck doing west side story? sublime.

oh -- wait. sorry. hi back!

Ostrich said...

"And we could have told the French kids
Strumming a guitar
And singing California Dreaming
That you sang that song
When it was new"

That's very touching and beautiful. I'm still smoke free, thanks :) hug

Liam Wilkinson said...

Nice stuff, Roger. I particularly liked 'Bridge' - reminded me of Blaise Cendrars!

Amie said...

travelling to a place through your poems are real fun! the 3 poems are pretty good. they each have their own flavor.

Cocaine Jesus said...

paris suits you both. great poems. time for another book? e-mail me when you get back.

Russell Ragsdale said...

such a wonderful poem, it walks and thinks and feels. we are truely happy to tiptoe along in reverence!

NicoleBraganza said...

Really wonderful Roger.
Wrote any poems in french? I might put up one of my french poems if I muster up the courage to do so!
Look forward to readin more. A new book being written in your head??

Free Spirit said...

Your work is so lyrical, I won't be surprised if somebody turns it into a song.

Becky said...

Roger, where are you?!

I need to read some pretty words! stat!

Roger Stevens said...

Michael - I am inspired. And tomorrow I shall be suitably dressed in the French style again for more verse.
Trans - baby tee and skirt eh? I wonder if you do resemble your blog picture?
Thanks Sue
Cate - well the Metro's like that. All those people rushing around with their own stories. And we only get fragments and have to make wildly inaccurate guesses.
Gulnaz - it was interesting putting up three poems. Some liked one, some another.
Kimberley - glad you're enjoying my work. And yes, all I do is dedicated to Jill.
Thanks Anon.
Hi Syl. I'll be dropping by later.
Justrose - poems on the move. Being on the move stimulates the creative areas of the brain apparently. But then so does staying very still. Moving very slowly is not so good obviously. Hi!
Ostrich - stay with it. It'll start getting easier soon.
Hi Liam.
Hi Amie.
Hi Coke.
Hi Russ.
Hi Nicole.
Sorry - I'm getting tired now. It's past my bedtime. And we're off to France tomorrow on our hols. See next blog which I haven't put up yet but should be there by the time you read this.
Hi Free - love the butterfly effect. Yes, I also write songs. Check out Wonky Finger by following the Rabbit Press link or from earlier blogs.
Hi Becky.

Au Revoir mes amies, or should that be mes amis?