Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Biarritz Bay

There we were
just the two of us
Me and my
French professor
Herrison LaRoche
one old fool and
one young fool
both of us
hopeless romantics
in Biarritz
sitting on a bench
along the promenade
a cool ocean breeze
blowing in off the water
pen and paper in hand
scratching out some verse
the apprentice and
the master
discussing each
and every precious
line of each and every
precious poem
my first attempts at
writing verse
in French
the language of
my reveries
and of
my dreams

I barely remember them now
those first poems in French
except that they were all mostly
about little children at play
in their playgrounds
at the shore
under the prideful and
supervision of their
loving and doting parents

Herrison remarked on this
choice of subject matter
Encore les enfants
he noted
Toujours les enfants
Rien que les enfants
Ca ce voit comme
Vous aimez beaucoup
les petites
les innocents

Oui cest vrai
Mon cher prof
I am touched by
their innocence
I am touched
by their seeming
by their utter joy
in the most simple
of discoveries
a butterfly here
a crawling bug there
the sheer joy
of having made a
 new found friend

I also wrote about
their fathers and brothers
the fishermen
their boats and
their fishing lines
clearly visible
from the shore
as they plied the
placid waters
off of Biarritz
earning their livings
by plying their
simple and ancient trade
in their simple boats with
their brightly colored hulls and
pristine white sails
as they drifted
with the currents
parting the blue
crystal clear waters
where their fathers
and their grandfathers
before them
had made their livings
in the same exact way
while their children
could be seen
on the not so distant shore
enjoying their games and play
in their playgrounds
by the bay

Until by the late afternoon
arriving with the setting sun
the men returned to port
stinking of fresh caught fish
bringing the catch of the day
to the instant markets
that would spring up
along the quays
fresh fish!
fresh fish
for dinner today!

Today I have become
the old fool
and it has become
my turn
to show the
new young poets
how to find
their way
just as
Herrison had shown me
back in a more
innocent time
on a warm summer’s day
sitting on a bench
along the promenade
in Biarritz Bay

Philadelphia, Pa. 2012

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