i couldn’t fit him into a cinquain//apologies to tony

the old part of zürich is a nest of alleys,
galleries, little shops&houses
that breathe history

a cold wind sneaking from the lake
the indian guy stops next to me
“you’re blessed” he says

“with a long life”
“oh really” &i turn around
into a foreign galaxy,
“you’re worried though” he nods his head
in half-moon shape
i smile
“who doesn’t?”

the old, spanish speaking woman
sent me this way,
her swiss german a bright symphony
of what is possible
if you add chile, costa rica or–

&on the way back to the bus
i stop by a paint shop
lean into a shelf with colors, wrapped
against the cold
in nickel azo yellow

&think about that baramuda filet,
sizzle-rapping in a pan
in a fast food chain at zürich central,
how words spilled from his lips
i tried but– couldn’t sign-read

the bare longing for a shore
was overwhelming
carved//into his eyes
“i hear you” i say
“even though i don’t&–”

type a poem in my phone
that doesn’t even sCratcH

the moment’s surface


it’s OpenLinkNight at dVerse today… write a poem &join us… doors open at 3pm EST

48 responses to “i couldn’t fit him into a cinquain//apologies to tony

  1. I enjoyed reading snippets of life here, Claudia. Nice to hear….from anyone…that one is blessed with a long life. One hopes that ‘knowing’ this will help make it so. Smiles. I do think people who lived near a shore in their early life will continue to learn for ‘a shore’ throughout their life if they move away. And sometimes when we listen to someone we try to understand, but there is no way we can because…….

  2. We can pretend to understand to make them feel good, but sometimes we just don’t. Easier to agree though and run away writing a poem as away we roam.

  3. dont we all want a shore…somewhere/womeone where we can wash up and feel safe….smiles…i love the little details on the people…how you handle that spanish woman and how it affects life with just a bit of chile…ha…i love it…i would take a full life over a long life anyday too….

    happy saturday c….

  4. I have been to Switzerland a lot but never to Zurich. Your poem makes me think I’d love its alleys, galleries and paint shops. Interesting mention of ‘nickel azo yellow’ as I have been reading a lot about palettes while wanting to update mine a little bit.

  5. Oh I think this poem did more than scratch the moments surface.. I love those little nested alleys looking through little shops.. The Old Town in Stockholm is like this.. but you just have to avoid the streets where all the tourists are lead.. How nice those little pieces of wisdom you are given.. Hope all the colors came out perfect 🙂

  6. I don’t think we can even capture the moments in our words ~ Love this part:

    a bright symphony
    of what is possible
    if you add chile, costa rica or–

    Happy weekend ~

  7. just in the moment ..the truth….and be ready to roll with life…following indian guy , spanish woman….or even imaginative friend…lol…..~ me been in Zurich for only hour, in airport…..smiles

  8. i love this, claudia! you and brian both have such an eye for detail of the world around you ~ most of us are just passing through, too intent on where we’re going to notice where we are.

    i have a quote up on the sidebar of my blog that reminds me so much of you:

    ” i wish to live a life that causes my soul to dance inside my body.” i always think of you as living life to the fullest. {smile}

    i hope all is well with you and your family.

  9. Whether we capture moments with a camera, painting, or poem, it only becomes the microcosm, the odd moment that was part of something more; like a handful of sand to describe a beach in Crete. Like Grace & Brian, the lines that banged on me were /her swiss german a bright symphony/of what is possible/if you add chile, costa-rica or–/.

  10. What a wonderful samba of a poem. I read it to myself first and then aloud and then aloud to my husband. I was shaking my hips and rolling my shoulders and he said, this poem is dance. I wish we had it on cd. I’d love to have the painting of this poem on my wall…..in my mind I can just see it…

  11. You scratch the surface like a pen and ink drawing… Indelible words and smiles all wrapped up in a treat for the senses. A bright symphony of what is possible… Indeed.

  12. I always wonder why it is that a stranger may “read” us; see things in our expression or demeanor that we can’t even see in ourselves. I imagine such a moment could be difficult to fit into a snippet of poetry, yet I can visualize through your words as though I was there.

  13. I wonder how often we ever scratch the surface? At least you record the layer under it here, including how hard it is to take in good predictions. But that is God, all raound us in other peeople, in the food and in you too.

  14. Sometimes words simply cannot describe what we experience….. beauty, love, hatred, death….. somethings are so overwhelmingly powerful that only tears can define them. I got that from your poem….

  15. This poem scratched and scratched deeper than just the surface Claudia. I love how you bring these moments to life in such an intrinsic manner.

  16. This feels like a roaming stream of conscious as your senses take in the sights as your soul takes a different journey. I feel each moment in this amazing trip brought to much life by your words.

  17. Hi Claudia, a stimulating read as ever. I like the scratch the surface idea you close with a lot – I may have a play with that myself… Thanks Scott

  18. Sometimes words can’t even scratch the surface …. I type poems into my phone or record ideas because if I don’t the words disappear. Lately I feel like my head is on overload trying to juggle life, business and my son getting married the end of February.

  19. ah.. the rich nature of a cosmopolitan life you do touch with heArt here Claudia.. i would love to visit Europe to see my ancestor lands.. of Ireland.. Germany.. England.. France and Spain.. and your poetry always inspires that intent even more.. as it seems a lovely place all the places you paint in your words here..:)

  20. It is such a rich palette of characters you have given us here. Of course, I am biased in favour of the Spanish-speaking woman! 🙂 I bet you knew that. 🙂

    Greetings from London.

  21. I love the “leaning into a shelf with colors”..and love the “foreign galaxy”…and what you saw “carved in the man’s eyes” ! It’s wonderful, c. Bravo for the capacity you have to share the brief, never to be lived again, moments in time.

  22. “a poem …
    that doesn’t even sCratcH

    the moment’s surface”

    yes, i sensed that in reading…. beautiful poem even if not form-perfect 😉
    love the title