in the pub the other day//with Aragorn & a good friend

from my sketchbook

from my sketchbook


winter’s tucked, warm&safe
behind a row of iron chairs
(with crimson cushions),
stains of home-made apple juice
on tessellated squares, in the corner
knights and buskers,
tie-dyed by soft candlelight,

we talk of journeying through europe
with just one dress,
a small handbag
& what fits into the pockets of a jeans
“not for me” she shakes her head

“i’d love to try–”

we carry life in giant boxes
& at some point realize things like
“no one ever read a bedtime story to me”
(which is far from random,
even more when you feel sick), so

tears ran down my cheeks,
amidst a bed of frazzled blankets
hubs pressed
both hands on my back,
the coughing ceased
& i lay wrapped, a child inside a basket
on the Nile

as the waiter gets our drinks
i take my sketchbook,
snapshot what i see
with few quick strokes

from the corner of a dream,
someone watches me,
bathes & duct-tapes the sky
on unsymmetric lines,

“i wanna travel light, you know–”

the knights & buskers,
beer foam in their beards like bird’s nests
play a game of chess on wind-swept fields,
i double-check my sword,

“here’s a door”
i nod “let’s go”

& in the sound
of cLinGing glasses

sense a breeze, a wild horse
reared up on its hindfeet
as the master starts

to read


for OLN @dVersePoets… see you at 3pm EST..


61 responses to “in the pub the other day//with Aragorn & a good friend

  1. … no one ever read a bed time story to me neither … so I read endlessly to my own kids … and sang to them too … hippie/ flower power songs … RIP, Pete,eh?

  2. Traveling light is the best way to travel….at a certain point one realizes that it is a good thing to shed those heavy boxes. There is enough room in the pockets of one’s jeans. Happy Tuesday, Claudia.

  3. Claudia, so many lines I love in this. Having someone read you stories is no random thing. I had a boyfriend who read to me when I was sick and it definitely made me feel better:-) I always have loved reading to my kids. Traveling light is the way to go and tessallated squares just makes me smile

  4. the no one ever reading you a bed time story is def a sad point…and does matter…would love to take that trip across europe minimalist style….like the bit of fantasy you have wrapped this in as well…

    long morning…computer issues…i may be around later or i might just take a couple days…

  5. Travel light … Yes I do that every summer… 15 kg including food for week.. Tent and sleeping bag.. Wonder how small amount I could survive on with just a small bag in summer traveling trough Europe.. You make me wish for that. Wish indeed. Bedtime stories are a bliss.. I remember learning them by heart, so my mother thought I could read when I was 5..,

  6. Oh lovely! Reminds me in the travel part of the song by Mary Chapin Carpenter “What if we went, to Italy, a suitcase of books, just you and me.”
    I love your sketching, and I am amazed at all you packed into this piece. So vivid, so personal. You seem to have that ability to really see people and make us see them. Just love it.
    Tina @ Life is Good
    A to Z Team @ Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2014
    @TinaLifeisGood, #atozchallenge

  7. How I would love to travel light across cities and towns ~ i specially like the imagery of this:

    bathes & duct-tapes the sky
    on unsymmetric lines

    Happy Tuesday ~

  8. I used to say, like the Sherpas, never possess more than you can carry on your back. (That is back when I kept moving between countries). Alas, now, I have far too much ‘stuff’ to travel light, except sometimes when I travel by myself…

  9. ‘from the corner of a dream,
    someone watches me,’ and

    ‘the knights & buskers,
    beer foam in their beards like bird’s nests
    play a game of chess on wind-swept fields,
    i double-check my sword,’ ~ just stories inside the story.

    Reading at bedtime, travel light….~ it seems I left behind…I’d really wanted to return it….~

  10. I read this a few times, there’s a lot here, and each time I come away with a surreal feeling, like in and out of a dream state. Feeling sick will bring about that sensation sometimes, and random things can be very acute, and seemingly urgent, even. The ongoing conversation about traveling light, something I can hugely relate to 🙂 but the line that speaks most to me is, “here’s a door” / i nod “let’s go”

  11. You had me mesmerized with beautiful line all through the poem. I love it and I love your art. I hope you don’t get tired of me saying it but it speaks to me. 🙂

  12. Come to think of it, no one ever read to me as a child either, but I made up for it reading to my three daughters, who all read to their children, who expect, as grandchildren to be read to when they come to our grandparent’s lair. I read once where in Japan, parents begin talking to, and reading to, their infants before the birth, and the data seems to indicate that children who were read to in the womb emerge with a higher IQ.

  13. Claudia, love your art and poetry! I marvel at the way you paint a story with your words — wonderful! –3 cheers!

  14. When the world around us melts away and suddenly we are surrounded by knights and horses, that is what it means to read and be read to.

    Thank you so much

  15. This poem is right up there with your best…and your sketch, my god, when I first looked at it I thought it was done by one of the French impressionists. Sell it and get rich!!!

  16. I embrace the sentiment of traveling light…often I’m confounded by this world of too much stuffs.

    I love this line especially:

    “play a game of chess on wind-swept fields,”

    It really draws the image plainly in my mind.

    Well done, Claudia! 🙂

  17. mother sang to me instead of read..
    And she said i her beautiful
    voice..pierced my head…

    One mans’ another
    man’s scream..
    or child i guess….

  18. I wanna travel light, you know? That resonates and not just literally. I really like this poem.. the melancholy, the yearning, the solution of it. Beautiful, Claudia.

  19. One of your best. I felt sad and related to no one reading a story and inspired by the door, the warm, the red cushions and the clink of glasses. The painting is wonderful too. I imagine you reading this at this very cafe/pub.

  20. The line about no one reading a story was very sad to me. I think it does matter when one takes the time to do that for another. You have such beautiful lines in this poem. They make one think and ponder and then read again 🙂 And your sketchbook is a thing of beauty…thank you for sharing the pictures!

  21. You are a multi-talented woman Claudia. You’ve always written beautifully and I’m so glad to see your paintings, I love the colors. Guess I’ve said it already on FB, but I wanted to say it again. ❤

  22. I immersed myself in this, Claudia, and counted my blessing that in my early years we lived with my grandparents and my grandmother read to me morning, noon and night. It is to her I attribute my love of words. Love this poem…such vivid details.

  23. “i wanna travel light, you know–” This line really stands the journey of life I wish to travel light..I don’t want the weight of all the baggage to slow me down. You have a unique style that makes reading interesting.

  24. lovely write… ah, reminds me of how my friend and I like to explore by foot & take whatever we an fit into our backpacks (just in enough so we don’t break our backs carrying them around.) haha

  25. I’ve travelled Europe twice. Both times as light as one can get, especially in the money department. Made me sad about the bedtime story. I never had one read to me, so my daughter and grandkids have been treated to at least a million. I like this poem Claudia, made me feel like I was at the pub, talking about all things with friends.

  26. Reading stories to the youngsters can be most rewarding to both. Satisfaction to the elder and additional knowledge for the young ones. Nicely Claudia!


  27. This is a favorite, Claudia 🙂
    I love the tessellated squares and the stanza about someone watching from the corner of a dream. Amazing!!

  28. “…we talk of journeying through europe
    with just one dress,
    a small handbag
    & what fits into the pockets of a jeans
    “not for me” she shakes her head

    “i’d love to try–”

    Claudia, Anna just said that her daughter, age 30, is planning just such a trip through Indonesia (one dress, and stuffed pockets!) at the end of her teaching contract in Seoul, RK. And I thought, “This is ME, all over again!”

    I have found that everyone does not DO these things–like, on a whim! But then you…YOU wrote, “i’d love to try–”
    AWESOME, Claudia!

  29. stains of home-made apple juice
    on tessellated squares, in the corner
    knights and buskers,
    tie-dyed by soft candlelight

    excellent word-painting as always. love this piece. 🙂

  30. Travelling through Europe that way – could well be done – after all it’s a hop step and a jump from one country to another, unlike over here from state to state… sadly. Your imagination is limitless Claudia. Excellent.

  31. I am way too much of a control freak to travel light. I have to be prepared for every situation, but that does sound like a very romantic way to journey across Europe.

  32. One of my Swiss friends once said to me that she thought I was a person who would sneak out the window at night and race wild horses in the moonlight. I so enjoyed reading this.

  33. What a wonderful ride you took us to – traveling light on the wings of a book. Also, I like the line “no one read bedtime stories to me”. How little hurts can stay with us for long.