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Some Things Seen on a Summer Vacation

Apr. 18, 2010
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The first thing seen

The second thing

Another one
Something in the distance
hard to figure out

Coming closer

Tiled roofs
stone walls

Road signs that don’t make sense           

Traffic clogging
the traffic circle
for no apparent reason
and then disappearing
no one knows why

The car up ahead
going just fast enough
you stay always behind it
until you find
you’ve somehow passed it
and when you glance back
through your rearview mirror
there’s no sign of it anywhere

A cloud of bicyclists
like a swarm of mosquitoes

A bicycle ferried
on top of a car

Motorcycles in a squall
you can almost smell
(and secretly envy)
of sweat, grease, leather

The cows just ambling
down the middle of the road
like cows just ambling
down the middle of the road

A boy and his dog

A lone dog running
tongue hanging out

Two old ladies
in flowered dresses
sitting on a log
at the side of the highway
far from anywhere
with no car nearby

That other
familiar mystery:
a car
in good condition
parked by the road
and no one visible
inside it or near it
and no place around
where anyone might be
The regularity
of a row of trees
each tree in its order
a metronome tick
in time with your car

An avalanche of apples
from the orchard on the hill

Gas pumps at attention

Parking meters
in a line
ready to march

Houses with eyes
staring like windows
from their upper floors

A lighthouse weeping light  

Seated magicians
jugglers at rest
acrobats snoozing
fortune-tellers snoring
a black cat curled purring
inside a crystal ball

An old bridge crossing
from one end
of history to another

A reunion of the ages
starting to assemble
at the door of a restaurant
famed for duck dinners

Another restaurant
in the next town
famed for duck dinners

A signboard advertising
either duck dinners
or the grandest of miracles
in a language not your own

A cathedral slowly strolling
toward the sidewalk caf
in the little square where
the fountains play

An angel on the highway
poised above the center line
feet never quite
touching the ground
robes fluttering in the wind

An angel melting
into a river
becoming the shimmer
of light on water

And here in the shadow
of a mighty rock
a clear spring flowing
from the heart of everything
and everyone gathering
to drink and be refreshed

Something around the corner

Something more
something rather like this
or not like this at all

Jack Anderson, a native of Milwaukee and a longtime resident of Manhattan, is a poet and dance writer whose tenth book of poetry, "Getting Lost in  a City Like This," has recently been published by Hanging Loose Press. His dance writing can be found in print at the "Dancing Times" (London) and the New York Times and online at New York Theatre Wire (www.nytheatre-wire.com).


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