my body feels like the Bell Tower
in the Palazzo Pubblico
to fly through the white
Longing to reach the blue
My body a seed
planted a foot beneath the soil,
I can see a crack in the cobbled piazza stones
If I could reach my arm just a bit higher,
I might push a finger through to the air.
With a little sunlight
With a little water
With a little wonder
A branch my might sprout from my fingernail,
and call forth the other three
and bring along my thumb
And give them courage to push through the Earth
into the light
to see the white
to ponder the blue
Perhaps a shoulder might follow
Upward Upward Upward
dragging my neck and head along,
until my torso is above the earth
like a Bell Tower
My feet planted on the the ancient stones
my veins and tendons and sinews and ligaments
reaching down into the Earth like the tree I will become
A Bell Tower knows its foundation is strong
allows itself to lean a little,
as it has done since 1297
Should I stand on two feet again,
I shall try to tilt to one side
with as much grace,
and I will not fall over
Only humans mourn their imperfect state
tower stairs are humbled to withstand
the feet of young and old
their bells rung by the curious and jubilant
A Bell Tower does not feel hobbled to its place
And finds grace in immobility
It is happy to be in the presence of the Sun,
Whipped by the Winds,
the eons and wars
it does not care about its battle scars
Last night as the thunders roared
and the lightning sang
I lay awake dreaming of Siena
I wonder if the Bell Tower remembers me,
and the old Italian who followed me up the narrow stairway,
grabbing my ass as I climbed
I turned to scold him and he said,
“What do you want me to do?
It is there like the Tower itself.
You should be proud.”
Only a fool would argue with that.
July 27, 2014 at 6:44 pm
It’s no legal defense though. <--- the American perspective... ; )
July 27, 2014 at 6:47 pm
That made me laugh Mike Elgan. Somehow I have a feeling you know that Piazza…that particular Bell Tower.
I can imagine you lying amid the Campo Police and taking pictures and eating Gelato!
July 27, 2014 at 7:52 pm
Are you in Europe Giselle Minoli ? If you are let me know if you will be near Zürich.
July 27, 2014 at 8:38 pm
Very well composed photo!
July 27, 2014 at 8:48 pm
I wish Miguel Rodriguez. I took this photo eight years ago. When next I go…I will let you know!
July 27, 2014 at 8:50 pm
Thank you Mark Thomas…although a little odd, No? Lying on the piazza as I was!!!!
July 27, 2014 at 10:59 pm
Giselle Minoli It’s like you were there. Yes, we’ve spent many hours there gazing at the tower and the surrounding buildings and eating gelato and taking pictures. In fact, less than a year ago.
July 27, 2014 at 11:07 pm
Giselle Minoli And here’s some evidence:
July 27, 2014 at 11:27 pm
Sigh Ev Eric…penso che si! Scrivo con il mio iPad, che non vuole communicare in Italiano. Scussami…e un disastro…Ma piaccere di sentirti ancora Ev Eric. Tutto e bene??? Spero che si!
July 28, 2014 at 12:40 am
Giselle Minoli Can you tell more about this? You wrote it? When?
July 28, 2014 at 12:41 am
See, Kyle Kimberlin! Poetry on Google+! (Just trying to troll you into posting some of yours…)
July 28, 2014 at 12:44 am
Mike Elgan I wrote it…today…it’s been brewing in my mind for a few days. Sometimes I like to try to write something with as little editing as possible. Sort of stream of consciousness…I like to see what can happen. I usually want to do it without a photograph. I can’t remember where I recently read something about how difficult it has become for people to read things in social media that aren’t accompanied by a photograph. But in this case I’ve been haunted recently by my memory of this picture…and how I felt at the time. And when such a haunting repeats itself I try to write about it poetically sometimes. I would never claim to be a poet. It is an art I don’t practice nearly enough to make that claim. But that doesn’t mean I can’t play with the form, right?
July 28, 2014 at 1:15 am
Giselle Minoli Well I think it’s wonderful and would love for you to do more.
July 28, 2014 at 1:46 am
Mike Elgan thank you for that. I have been wanting to do more. One of my favorite real poets is Frank Bidart, whom I heard read last month at the Poets & Writers Live Conference in NYC. There is something about expressing oneself in that manner that is very freeing…like traveling…like taking pictures. The unknown of it and the awareness that everyone will interpret it in their own way is appealing.
And Hello Kyle Kimberlin. Join me, won’t you? Maybe we’ll start a movement.
I’ve always felt the freedom to be myself here. For that I’m grateful….
July 28, 2014 at 3:35 am
July 28, 2014 at 8:09 am
July 28, 2014 at 1:46 pm
Matthew Graybosch it’s such a good question. I suppose that I feel that way because I don’t practice it enough. Leave it to you to call me out on it. I’ll ponder it and try to come up with a better answer for you…or scratch that one and start all over again. How’s that?
July 28, 2014 at 4:52 pm
Matthew Graybosch did you read all that hoopla in the Times about certain poets being outraged that any self published poet should not be a poet laureate? Apparently there was a time when the Poet Laureate of the US was a respected position. But now towns have poet laureates….and apparently too many people are publishing their own poetry and well…there you have it…
For what it’s worth I would never in a million years put myself in the category of a person who has written poetry their entire life. I aspire to learn.
July 28, 2014 at 5:05 pm
There are those who say the same of literary fiction Matthew Graybosch…
July 31, 2014 at 6:43 am
August 11, 2014 at 5:44 am
Sheri ONeill… 😉