somewhere along the way–

“what about Amsterdam..?” i ask,
cruise the waterways, eat
gouda and green herring,
stretch our legs in street cafés
like kids that stop their play
for just a moment to slurp
sips of northern sun &
through the haze, watch
dreams take shape, form

cornfields, almond blooms &
sunflowers, ripe with seeds
like in a van Gogh painting,
maybe we’re too tired or too scared
to even talk about ’em but then
scratch ash with a swiss army knife
off floors and tables–
No one–

finds it strange–
we learned by now
how precious hope is, just the desperate
let it die &

there’s no poetry in dreams,
that lie crippled in the alleys
with cracked lips, twisted limbs on
greyish concrete, whisper–
Save–PLEASE– Save//Our//Souls,

& i—

like Anne Frank,
write diaries of Hope AgAinst hope,
verse that beats reality
because there’s someone who refuses
to give up,
cause soil’s still soft,
and i believe–
there must be wings
somewhere–

.

over at Wonders in the dark, the lovely DeeDee interviewed me about my poetry and a bit more..and she asked some really smart questions.. you can read the interview HERE

not sure how familiar you are with Anne Frank, she was a german, jewish girl who wrote a diary during WWII while hiding for two years  in a house in Amsterdam– 15 years old, she died in a concentration camp…Amsterdam has also the biggest van Gogh collection in the world in their van Gogh museum…. so yep..about to plan a trip…

and today. we’re beating the poetic drums again over at dVerse— join us for OpenLinkNight, share your verse and read some amazing poetry from around the world.. doors open at 3pm EST

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83 responses to “somewhere along the way–

  1. your interview is wonderful claudia…i really like the sense of hope that you end on in this…hope is a precious thing and fragile at times as well…the imagery as well in the dreams lying in the alleys…..nice…

  2. “how precious hope is, just the desperate
    let it die” to me this says it all !! Sensational as usual ! ah Amsterdam been there and would go back in a NY minute!

  3. “verse that beats reality
    because there’s someone who refuses
    to give up”

    I can relate to these lines. I can’t say I was bedazzled by Amsterdam

  4. Without hope and dreams to keep it alive, the soul dies. Another wonderful peek into the way you mind sees your world. Yes, considering how young she was, Anne Frank has taught so many how to keep on loving and trusting through all the fear and hatred. She was a special girl in many ways, a teacher to humanity.
    Lovely prose Claudia, enjoy the trip.

    • Anne Frank’s story was edited for consumer consumption and marketed successfully. There is more to that story. Agendas. Believe nothing of what you hear and half of what you see.
      or… Exercise critical and informed thought , and never accept only 1 perspective.

  5. Hope IS precious. Anne Frank kept it, long after others would have lost it. And I think her writing HELPED her keep that hope alive. Maybe Van Gogh’s paintings did that for him as well. And some of us have our poetry!! Maybe the message is where there is art hope lives!

    I read the interview, Claudia. Very nice!

  6. Hope is something one must have in some way or will surely be in disarray. Another trip too? Geez aren’t you just the jet setter now. Interview as well, I read that yesterday, as you talked up Brian. What the hell?…LMAO

  7. Claudia, once again a lovely piece, are you here? In Amsterdam ? I will be happy to show you where the poetry lurks…mine is on walls all over town…hahaha but seriously…mi casa tu casa ❤

  8. Ah…’hope does spring eternal’…it is the one element that we must maintain if we are to even begin to change the world…enjoyed this one much.

  9. Of gouda cheese and raw herring! French fries, ‘with or without?’ Of wind mills and clogs. Amsterdam was an experience.

    Wonderful interview Claudia! Where hope determines the path that keeps the picture alive. Great write!

    Hank

  10. I love the last stanza “write diaries of Hope AgAinst hope,
    verse that beats reality
    because there’s someone who refuses
    to give up,
    cause soil’s still soft,
    and i believe–
    there must be wings
    somewhere– ….just beautiful……and the whole poem is lovely as ever…much enjoyed, thanks 🙂

  11. This is so full of the magic of Amsterdam. I was there many years ago and visited Anne Franks’s house. Love how you weave the concept of hope throughout this poem. You paint the city well.

  12. Great interview, Claudia 🙂 This poem is great.. love these lines….there’s no poetry in dreams,
    that lie crippled in the alleys
    with cracked lips, twisted limbs on
    greyish concrete, whisper–
    Save–PLEASE– Save//Our//Souls…..Just GREAT!

  13. So beautiful Claudia. I especially like verses 2 and 4. Hope is on wings somewhere. I’ll go check out your interview. Congrats!

  14. hope is one of my favorite subjects… love your take on it, i believe we cannot live without hope… as a species, it keeps us going. your words always have wings.
    off to read your interview!

  15. Lord, Claudia–you just got back from a trip, and the wanderlust is already hitting–i can feel it. I love theVan Gogh & Ann Frank references–I read her Diary when I was about the same age she was when she wrote it–it made me live that horrible time in a way no documentary ever could. And Van Gogh–I think he would like hearing this poem.

  16. Not only does this reflect the life and diary of Anne Frank, but reflects a sentiment of humanity and the preciousness of life itself….I kind of slumped after I read this (in a good way)- and I got the famous Winston Churchill words going through my head- ‘Never Ever Ever Give Up’ – this is beautiful poetry

  17. Claudia, I love the intro and how you weaved your planning of a trip to all the important places in Amsterdam to see the reality of the souls in need there. I love this line: “because there’s someone who refuses to give up,” We need more people like that, and maybe the way we get them is to encourage them to not give up. Peace, Linda

  18. “almond blooms & sunflowers” … Beautiful.

    “there’s no poetry in dreams” … I find the opposite to be true; the best words come to me when I’m asleep.

    “there’s someone who refuses to give up, cause soil’s still soft” … This makes me smile.

  19. I mean, the imagery is always great, the flows always there but it’s the little things.

    The alternations in text size, the punctuation. Things like that. They add up to an amazing and powerful poem.

    Great, great write.

  20. Very strong Claudia. last 3 stanzas are incredibly here, only the desperate let it die..awesome line. Thanks

  21. What a great stanza, “there’s no poetry in dreams, / that lie crippled in the alleys / with cracked lips, twisted limbs.” Your imagination really takes you into the essence of different cities.

  22. Claudia, I also enjoyed the interview I read earlier. Wonderful!

    And yes, there are wings EVERYWHERE. They belong to angels, who frequently disguise themselves as Peeps!

    Amsterdam would be my next choice for visit.
    Blessings!

  23. lovely interview Claudia! and especially enjoyed “like Anne Frank,
    write diaries of Hope AgAinst hope,
    verse that beats reality
    because there’s someone who refuses
    to give up,” I always leave your blog with a smile!

  24. “there’s no poetry in dreams,
    that lie crippled in the alleys
    with cracked lips, twisted limbs on
    greyish concrete, whisper–”

    Whoa, excellent pen Claudia, but damn those lines just — hurt. Luckily the Anne Frank lines following it took away the sting.

  25. love this winged verse, Claudia. i just read the Diary of Anne Frank and can relate to the concluding stanza as well. as always, i feel a breath of fresh air reading you. thanks for the experience of your poetry.

  26. Wonderful interview, Claudia, and a beautiful poem. Makes me want to rush out and buy a ticket to Amsterdam. (Maybe I’d see you there, through the crowd in the café, or at the Anne Frank Museum.) There is hope, and I love the ending of this poem, swooping up again, after a brief swoop down, but you “write diaries of Hope AgAinst hope” and keep the hope alive.

  27. There’s angst ad frustration but some hope too. Love the idea of not giving up cause soil’s still soft…hope does not get much better than that. As long as the soil’s soft, having wings to take off is just a breeze away. Brilliant imagery, Claudia.

  28. Your city-logues should have accompanying posters, cuz that’s what I see when I read your poems of city impressions..This one on Amsterdam as well. I like much the notion of hope Anne Frank gives and your reminder of that. Another wonderful poem, Claudia, filled with evocative words and images. Thank you for this!

  29. “because there’s someone who refuses
    to give up,
    cause soil’s still soft,
    and i believe–
    there must be wings
    somewhere–”

    beautiful Claudia…will have to check out your interview now:-)

  30. This truly wrenched my heart! I am astounded by the beauty in this piece…elegantly portrayed and makes the reader so wish to hold onto hope…however easily it is lost in the scheme of ever evolving wishes and life…this is class!

    “No one–

    finds it strange–
    we learned by now
    how precious hope is, just the desperate
    let it die &

    there’s no poetry in dreams,
    that lie crippled in the alleys
    with cracked lips, twisted limbs on
    greyish concrete, whisper–
    Save–PLEASE– Save//Our//Souls,”

    This part emotionally grasped me and gave me shivers…fantastic! xoxo

  31. “Only the desperate let it die” is a great line. The entire piece is well thought out and keeps the reader wanting more. Wonderful, Claudia! Now I’m clicking over to read your interview.

  32. Oh, sorry, it’s “just the desperate let it die” which totally changes the thought. Glad I went back and re-read. Misquoting a writer is terrible, IMO! So sorry.

  33. “not sure how familiar you are with Anne Frank, she was a german, jewish girl who wrote a diary during WWII while hiding for two years in a house in Amsterdam– 15 years old, she died in a concentration camp…”
    Hi! Claudia…
    Oh! yes, I’m familiar with Anne Frank, but I’m yet, to read her diary and watch this film “The Diary Of Anne Frank” based on her [very] tragic life… too!

    “cornfields, almond blooms &
    sunflowers, ripe with seeds
    like in a van Gogh painting…”

    “Amsterdam has also the biggest van Gogh collection in the world in their van Gogh museum…. so yep..about to plan a trip…”

    Claudia, that’s great news…I too!
    can’t wait to see what magical words will appear on my computer screen as you begin your journey.
    By the way, so many wonderful stanzas in your poem today…Therefore, I had to select the one that “jumped-out” at me as an artist…Tks, for sharing!

    Cont…
    deedee 🙂

  34. Hi! again, Claudia…
    Once again, I want to thank-you, for stopping by WitD and for granting me an interview…too!

    I also want to take the time to thank your readers, who read your/our interview and those readers who stopped by to leave you [very] thoughtful and [very] kind comments…too!

    deedee 😉

  35. there’s no poetry in dreams,
    that lie crippled in the alleys
    with cracked lips, twisted limbs on
    greyish concrete, whisper–

    this is just a great metaphor…
    and it’s always good to know there are still people writing diaries of hope and not giving up no matter what… and yes, i couldn’t imagine living without a belief that somewhere there are wings

  36. Loved the ending here –

    “verse that beats reality
    because there’s someone who refuses
    to give up,
    cause soil’s still soft,
    and i believe–
    there must be wings
    somewhere–”

    inspiring, and encouraging. Well written.

  37. Claudia!! Love this:

    “because there’s someone who refuses
    to give up,
    cause soil’s still soft,
    and i believe–
    there must be wings
    somewhere–”

    Such a great poem, as always!!

  38. This poem helped reminisce upon a time I visited San Francisco. “there’s no poetry in dreams, that lie crippled in the alleys with cracked lips”…I came across countless homeless persons as I walked the streets of China Town, the Wharf…I was a child, barely in understanding of the ‘why’s’, yet empowered with the intuition their place, their walk, their existence was difficult. They were everywhere. “twisted limbs on greyish concrete, whisper–
    Save–PLEASE– Save//Our//Souls”. I came across a man sitting upon the sidewalk. He had a black kitten. I approached the man and my parents shuffled, became nervous.

    “What is the name of your cat?” I asked the homeless old man. I bent down and stroked the calm and complacent black cat, licking its chops from a recent meal.

    He smiled. “Velvet. She’s just a kitten. Teething right now.” He mentioned how she was eating soft food and having a hard time of it. Even as a child I knew it must have been difficult to acquire the care for the cat. I handed the man my allowance money I earned for the trip. It floored my parents, but I knew, hoped, it would help little Velvet and her caretaker through such difficult roads.

    Thank you for sharing your poem of hope.

  39. That was a wonderful poem, and I really enjoyed reading the interview; thanks for linking to it here. I, too, believe in the preciousness of hope… and I believe that the wings of hope that you might hear beating somewhere, are there, beating in your own heart.

  40. It is a beautiful piece of poetry. The last stanza is amazing and I read a couple of times over and sense those words echoing in my mind.

    “i believe–
    there must be wings
    somewhere–”

  41. Hope against hope.
    This is terrific.
    I love the ending.
    Hope is very precious indeed, while all other things die it can feed on the most surprising things and prosper.

  42. This is really tight and powerful in how it gets to the heart of so much that keeps us from serking what awaits us if only we opened ourselves up to hope. Hope can be hard with so much pain and disappointment that makes up our days, but using Anne Frank as an example brings up how much perspective we need in our lives to understand where our pain rests in the immensity of the cosmos. And using Van Gogh as background makes the fullness of the poem’s landscape so much deeper and meaningful, given rhe rawness of reality that explodes so ruthlessly on his canvases. These lines really evoke something primitive and are startling in their wyrdness:

    maybe we’re too tired or too scared
    to even talk about ‘em but then
    scratch ash with a swiss army knife
    off floors and tables–

    What a powerful, strange, visceral arrangement of ideas and words. Amazing!

  43. This poem has wings, Claudia. Absolutely gorgeous.
    And yes, I grew up on stories about Anne Frank. One of the greatest tragedies of WWII in my young life. Just one young girl, only 15, but look how her life and words vibrate in us today!

    You poem has the wings of an eagle. You bring hope alive.

    Lady Nyo

  44. Wonderful, rich, lyrical elements in your poem. We will always have Anne Frank and van Gogh, and sunflowers. I cannot give up hope.

  45. Your poem resonates with insight, hope, and courage too. It is something that writing lives beyond a life, that hope inspires, that love lifts the spirit, and that your words themselves have wings and fly. This is inspired!

  46. This is what I like so much about your poetry, Claudia – your worldly stories and rich imagery. Love the message of hope, and these last three lines are just carry the message home:

    “and i believe–
    there must be wings
    somewhere–”