I live in an old attic
Beneath the roof,
Under the stars.
A winding staircase leads
To a small room
Beside a busy road,
With a view of open skies
And tree-lined avenues.
The windows are open,
The rumble of traffic
Is an unceasing melody.
The piercing afternoon sun
Fills the room that looks
A little too comfortably inhabited.
But an artist cannot be too neat
Or where would inspiration come from?
I have a new pen in hand,
A quill and ink from lovely Venice
Brought all this way just for this moment,
Just for this purpose
Of chronicling these fleeing memories
That cannot be captured by words.
But who is to stop me from trying?
How else will these memories live?
I have only just arrived
And yet it already feels as though
A lifetime has passed in the
City of love, these blue-roofed houses
Become a home, that flowing river
A welcome sight for sore eyes,
A place of crossroads, where old and new
Merge into inexplicable destiny.
My home, I know, is as far
From this place as it can be,
Across vast oceans and foreign lands
Back to white shores and golden sand,
Of a language that I dream in
With people who have known me for
Longer than I can remember
And better than I know myself.
Here we are all foreigners,
A brave facade before a lost soul
With all the time in the world
That slips through fingers like
Grains of sand.
So desperate to make the most of time,
To have the time of our lives,
Yet we do not know how.
So throw yourself headfirst, my friend,
Or retreat into friendly faces.
Rise with the moon or set with the sun,
Walk tree-lined streets in your dreams,
Visit a thousand museums,
Take a million flights,
Stutter and garble the language,
Whisper desire into the night.
This may be Paris, that renowned city,
But do not come with expectations.
City of love, but love is fickle,
City of lights, or a mirage?
This is a place of old charm
That reverberates deep in its heart.
Do not come with foreign notions of pride,
It will not serve; simply adapt.
One day when I look back,
I will not remember the minutes
Spent waiting for a bus,
The stairs climbed to reach my room,
The meals bought for a lazy lunch.
But that, my friend, is the essence of living.
Amidst grand history and art
I leave my mark.
[Written 7/9/16. The photo is the view from my window]