October 30, 2019, returning from Athens to NYC. My daughter and I had traveled together for two months without having any major disagreements. There was just one night in Dubai when I was verging on being a selfish, judgmental person; I got over it. At the outset of the trip, I said I wanted only three things— to go to Prayer Mountain in Ghana, to do a day trip to Morocco, and to visit Pompeii. I am easy to please most of the time.
I take it back. There was a moment on the train from the Athens airport to our hotel in the heart of Athens when I was so nervous about getting off at the correct station that two pickpockets targeted us. My daughter felt a hand in her bag and looked the thief in the eye. He bolted without her wallet. It was an elaborate scheme where one thief held the door from opening, while the other went for the cash. My lesson— stay alert, don’t become a victim.
Now that I am remembering— the other time my daughter got mad at me was at the Catania Airport when I turned into an “ugly American” and told off a group of Italians on the tarmac bus to move closer together so everyone could get on. I was shouting in English and nobody moved an inch.
trip of a lifetime
pray for Europe Africa
and all of the world
dVerse prompt to use a poem written about myself and write a haibun based on that poem. I used my poem Language written October 7, 2019, while I was on this trip and at one point, didn’t know where I was. Now I pray that someday I can return, especially to Ghana.
For a second
what country I’m in
or if I’m even in
or the world of
on a day of shining sun
my own body of experience
regardless of home
sound of English singing
One day at a time
languages come together
through the mixing of people
combine their languages
in effortless communication
words heard and spoken
roll off their tongue
Before the revolution
inscribed on a fan
my soul yearns for happiness
Toads prompt on laotang – secret language of peasant women in Hunan province
you change a diaper to get the shit out
obviously change is good
yet why is it resisted
unless you need to change a tire
without it you cannot roll
last minute change to your airline ticket
will cost you some more dough
if you change the ingredients in a recipe
it won’t taste as good as told
you’re hot you change the temperature
when you see it coming
don’t resist your change
or think it is just for others
after buying something with a dollar
you expect to get your change
dVerse prompt on change
by Francis Ponge, translated by Jane Swanson
The oyster is the size of an average stone yet rougher in appearance and less in color, brilliantly white. It is a world tightly closed.
Yet it can be opened and it must be held in the hollow of a cloth, using a knife and slightly chipped open, you try several times. Curious fingers cut into it, breaks nails, such a crude work. The blows are marks on the door of the shell, white and round, making a kind of halos.
Inside we find a whole world to eat and to drink under a pearly sky with heavens from both above and heavens from below, while forming a pond, and a viscous green bag which ebbs and flows with smell and sight, fringed on the edges with black lace.
Sometimes a very rare formula for pearl is deep in the throat of pearliness, which we immediately adorn ourselves with.