Paris

Paris November 2004 – Part I

Ryanair.

Thrill to take-off as it used to be.

Roar of motors, lifting off the ground.

Paris. Metro. Steps and steps.

Circumventing square in search of cab.

Lane behind iron gate.

Low houses painted sky-blue, pink, yellow.

Steep half-width steps winding up

(one floor only, thank our stars!)

Instructions from our friend.

Turn on water next to zebra.

Quiet. Even quieter than home.

I get double bed with duvet. That’s what Carolyn calls it.

I’d just call it quilt.

Tiny john (or lou says Carolyn) next to entrance.

Bath with bright orange walls at end of hall.

Patchwork panels on the walls.

Orange cat curled up on leaves.

Window across the way,

peeping toms we watch someone else’s day unfold.

Morning – coffee, creamy, croissant.

Forget my glasses.

Get lost going back.

Simpler to get a new pair.

Walk in cemetery. Golden leaves, black crows,

grey tombstones.

Orange chrysanthemums.

Molière, Degas. Forget who else we found.

Or didn’t find – Ingres, Delacroix.

Let’s find a restaurant. Man handing out brochures.

We try. Chang Sheng. Fine. The first of many.

Bus – our obviously “ancient “ aspect gets us seats.

Pompidou. Up, up to view of Paris.

To rows of white umbrellas, closed,

with one red rose before each one.

Rain. But we’re inside.

Old friends hanging on the walls.

And some surprisingly new, like the Pollock,

black heart encapsulated in white swirls.

Boxes of pure pigments. Installation.

Intense brilliant colors glow –

how long will they last ?

Ephemeral, like sounds,

like today’s communication,

but they’ve had their say and will be remembered.

Supper

Baguettes. Tzatsiki. Red wine. 2.20 euros fine.

Next to the sink

inchworm, inchworm, climbing up the wall…

To be continued

One thought on “Paris

  1. I cannot take my eyes off those haunting umbrellas. At first I thought they were the nuns in the Met’s astonishing recent staging of Poulenc’s opera, «Les dialogues des Carmélites.»

    *
    Another striking part of this post:

    Intense brilliant colors glow –
    how long will they last ?
    Ephemeral, like sounds,
    like today’s communication,
    but they’ve had their say and will be remembered.

    What you say here reminds me of the eloquent final lines of a Yale lecture I once heard on “The Iliad”:

    Zeus watches war as an entertaining spectacle. The true meaning of human action is unknown even to the initiators of it. But art can replace war: music versus armor. Life can be replaced by memory.

    ***In the Iliad, nothing is restored, but all is remembered.***

    *
    I want to add one more relevant quote from one of your new favorite authors, Clive James—

    This lovely, consolatory epigraph is also from Homer: “The race of men/Is like the generations of the leaves – /They fall in autumn to return in spring.” (From a Guardian article on Clive James)

    Liked by 1 person

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