THE TRAVELING CURMUDGEON,
SOMEWHERE NEAR PERUGIA
There’s so much to see wherever you go,
Why else would so many spend
So much dough getting to Europe
And back with so many photos?
I haven’t seen all that much,
Or maybe I’ve looked at the wrong things
In the wrong way. The churches, for instance,
Leave me cold, their stone armature
Ascending into gloomy regions of shadow
And silence. Nor are the fountains remarkable,
Except that they smell awfully funny,
Like overused and seldom cleaned
Public restrooms smell funny
In a subterranean sort of way.
Then there are the people,
Literally throngs of them, travelers
And natives alike vying noisily
For table, cab and tram, or a halfway decent
Rate of exchange. Clamorous rather than
Glamorous, they eye each other surreptitiously
While suffering various affronts
To cherished ideals and personal beliefs
Sounding in history, or what might be called
The mystery of mistaken impressions.
I’ve been dead tired more often than not,
Tired of looking for places that seem
Always hidden in a fold of my map,
Or folded in a map of the hidden.
Someone once said (it may have been me
After one two many glasses of Frascati),
That we travel to find ourselves
And in the process sink effortlessly
Beneath the surface of things,
Another voice or vista always calling,
Another way of seeing the world always
Possible, not fixed in time and definite
Like death and axes,
But neither ephemeral either.
It’s more a state of mind we try,
A transition as it were, where who we are
And whence we came is never as important
As where we want to go tomorrow,
And the next day, and the next day after that,
Tickets in hand, camera ready.
–by R. Diguette
THE GEOGRAPHY LESSON, or,
CRAM’S IMPERIAL WORLD GLOBE
That’s the world up there
on the shelf, I told my son,
rounder of course than it really is,
for the world is out of round,
(which is something you may not know)
and a good deal smaller as well,
made from some kind of cardboard,
I guess, covered with curious shapes
in bright colors, a/k/a countries.
And you may have noticed that
the George F. Cram Company, which
made that world, likes topography;
pass your hand over the Adirondacks
and feel for a moment like God,
or if not like God then Odin, who,
legend has it fashioned the world
from the giant Ymir’s loins,
(which is something you may not need to know)
or somewhat closer to home, like Paul
Bunyan, who with his blue ox Babe
left giant footprints that are
the lakes we swim and fish in
–by R. Diguette
Rick Diguette writes poetry and fiction.
Copyright ©Spinozablue and Rick Diguette 2008.