la Côte d’Azur– & the woman  in the bus 100



fatigue falls &
the soFt rattling of a crowded bus,
winding its way along the coast–
Menton– Monaco– Nice–
we’re somewhere half way.

a woman with golden earrings //
blond, short hair
holds her shopping bag
off of our knees
“excusez moi”
“no problem”

i lean skew (like the tower of pisa)
against my husband’s chest,
yet the angle’s wrong
& my back aches– landscape covered
under tons of —

” no–dont draW me //any more”
“what? i mean—“

“i’m SiCk of being banned
in crimson&lavender// layered/ oil/thick/gloss(y)//gouache
on a million scratchy canvasses”

“oooohh, yeah, i get this

“why not paint her instead–?”
with turquoise//wave(y) fingertips she points
toward the woman with the heavy bag.
“probably no one ever did”
“i could” i say
“i will, i promise, just–
my eyes give in,
& i’m too tired to pull out my sketchbook”

raindrops sink into her azure lips,
the last bougainvillea, purple shadows
on her emerald eyelids.
“youre beautiful” i whisper “you’re beautiful”
(a bit louder)
“that’s why Matisse, Chagall, Renoir–
they all fell crazy for ya–”
“aahhh– papperlapapp–”

“we’re almost there” my husband says
“just two more stops– you’re good?”
i wipe //my eyes //yawn//
the blond lady snatches up her bag once more,

“think of what i told ya–”
she holds windy hands,
wet with now heavy rain against the bus pane
“did you talk to them as well?
i mean Henri, Pablo, Marc–?”

“i talk to everyone who listens–”

she sighs pink into the fading light,
spins once more //undresses// in her negligée
looks at me (dang, what eyes!)

then lets the night eat//
all her colors


ok i promise…last Cote d’Azur poem…smiles… its OpenLinkNight at dVerse… bring your verse and join the fun… smiles


48 responses to “la Côte d’Azur– & the woman  in the bus 100

  1. CLAUDIA!!!!

    THIS is so good, I will read again later, to savor. Oh my, delicious. Your memory of “her” remained long enough to capture everything and more, comparing to “Mona L” and other Painted Peeps. And with artists, it IS not just color, perspective, etc…it is in final analysis the essence of the subject, the story which is told without words.

    OK Enough of your art piece/sketch. I have trouble deciding which I like more, your drawing or your writing, which is “above average”, just like all the children in Lake Wobegone, MN (US). And you bring in all the finest artists…so it is discovered that you share with them, same thoughts, same philosophies, same truth in your work.

    Oh, thank you, thank you.

  2. first, i love public transportation as there are so many personalities….and you found quite an amazing one on your trip….i talk to everyone that listens…i would def be right there with her…ha…pretty cool interactions throughout…with her, with your hubs…

  3. I sometimes sit on the subway observing people trying to imagining their story. Unfortunately they are mostly grey with a dreadful story in my pen. Love the way you used color to describe her, and I will of course be inspired to do something on this… this could actually be a prompt one day.

  4. Claudia, you took the reader right onto the bus with you. I can picture the blonde woman holding her shopping bag; and you have shown her by both your words and your art. I like the idea of the night eating her colors. It really does do that, doesn’t it? What was bright in the light is much muted in the night. I am beginning to think that one day you should do a BOOK…on one page you would have your illustration; and the facing page would have the poem. You have a good start with all the paintings accompanied by poems that you have done so far.

  5. Public transport you say? Pfft takes to long at my bay. Get in the car and can be their swiftly at my bar. But plenty to see and you sure gawked with glee haha

  6. Claudia, there is something marvelously mysteriously pedestrian about your work–I mean pedestrian in an observational sense–I find it so far reemoved from anything I could imagine doing. Great read. >KB

  7. What a wonderful read. I love the perspective of the Muse. And the way you use colours to paint you images in words. Delicious read. That closing stanza – wow.

  8. I loved this. The line, “Don’t draw me anymore,” made me conjure up Matisse and his mistress and then, there he was? Don’t you love studying, sketching and writing about people in public places? And then making up their stories!

  9. This is marvelous…amazing…remarkable writing Claudia…all the clever details, not just verse but so much more. I learned something tonight….no, I learned several things! Bravo! 🙂

  10. That’s the beauty of it. I can feel it right through me.Being inspired by normal people and normal things but not to an artist who sees differently! Great write Claudia!


  11. You are so amazing, Claudia. I found the poem just riveting and am blown away by your drawing. I bet your husband is constantly surprised by you. That is what came to my mind as I read this!