Towards Better Democracy

Good words, well written, better the world. Good literature betters the world immeasurably.

Today I am with Dorothy


Today I am with Dorothy
She is sat next to me
Here in Mercantile
Can a coffee place be bad
That sells a coffee called
Intelligentsia?

Streaming out emails and
They are streaming in. So
Wonderful to have support
For the things in life that you
Don’t know and can’t get from
The Internet. That plebian
Enterprise.

After a long cool Spring, longer than
Any I remember, the heat of this
Infernal city has begun to arrive
Ran up to ninety and then down
To eighty with the sun going down
Yesterday. No mosquitoes yet
Dog’s best
friend.

We drive to Walgreen’s, Dorothy and I
She’s chumming me. This Walgreens
Doesn’t have Boots yet; the British
Chemist. I am chatting away and
Almost miss the turn. Dorothy guides me
Funny how we don’t concentrate as well
When someone is in the car with us
And we are chatting  away.

Do you remember that Snoopy cartoon
Where Peanuts is drinking a lemonade through
A bent straw? There is some kind of fly
Buzzing around. And Peanuts is blathering
Away fit to bust and Snoopy is following the
Flight with a wary eye. The little winged
Creature buzzes into the drink. Snoopy watches
Attentively as to what will happen next
The hero sips the drink, unaware
Animated as ever. Snoopy’s
tongue projects
In disgust.

Mercantile is playing the usual robotic
Music. Incessant machine music
Capable of penetrating concrete
Bunkers, deep underground
But all places do this; play imbecilic
Music. I guess we can blame Eno
For it; Music for Airports
Though his is nice.

If needed, confirmation as to how
This coffee bar is, which I didn’t,
Full of intellectuals

There is a fellow sat next to me
Monday, reading Roland Barthes
What more can you ask than
That?

We had a brainstorming session,
Kit, Frederick and I last night; yes
This is the right place for that
I write and translate poetry from
Here, though this is not a poem
It is good for that.

The atmosphere is
Calm, solid, restful. No office or
Business types with their hyper talk
Just students studying, and neighbours
Visiting with each other
It is good for that.

Hew, one of them, a neighbour, not
A student; tells me he paints oils
He is maybe 77. I haven’t asked
He shows me one on his iPhone, and tells me
Pointing to a world map on the
Wall, “Larger than that.” The map
Is maybe ten feet by six or more
What does one say to that?

He paints scenes of nature and says
He has been to Paris recently and wants
To paint a side walk cafe. He shows me a
Photograph of one. A departure from his
Usual style. I met Steven here with a
Real story to tell. Maybe I shall save and tell you
Another time.

And Ivor, from Iceland, who couldn’t wait to
Get out. Of the US of A. He’s in Warsaw now
And Kit is here too, writing a paper. One of the
Frequently cited kind. There is a Washeria next
Door, where people arrive carrying baskets of
Soiled clothes as huge as bears. Why is that so
Many of us wait until we reach the last pair of socks
Before we wash.

And outside the sun shines. The flowers are coming
Out and the Oak Trees, in this city of Ten Thousand
Oaks, perennial, are as dark and foreboding as ever
As impenetrable and enigmatic as ever. There is a Food
Truck in the car park. Hate these things. But others love
Them; swallowing tacos whole. Aren’t they dreadfully
Unhygienic?

But, no, the guy behind the counter, nice man,
Has changed the drum machine and we now have
Something soothing now. Not that anyone notices
They all wear earbud earphones, oblivious to their
Surrounds. One surprise here. Women don’t stare
Incessantly at their cellphones but actually
Converse. Talk to each other.

What more can one ask … the soft surrounding
Murmur and undulations of conversation. Contentment
Taking the time to do it, to talk quietly away from life’s
rush. I woke this
morning to the sound of rain. Here
in this city, you do
not have showers. Not even downpours
But deluges
. We had one on Monday last. 24 inches in the north
Of the city, the New York Times said. Drug the German
Alarm clock to my nose, not knowing where I was
4.30 am and turned and in an instant was deep
In sleep.

And today I am with Dorothy

Malcolm D B Munro
Wednesday 27 April, 2016

 

 

Filed under: poetry

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