Thursday, July 1

A stroll in Madrid

Under a sycamore tree
a garland of six teenage girls
slung around a sidewalk bench
are practicing skittish dance steps.
They peer over,
ponder and ignore me
as I wander by
on my tightening drumhead.

Suddenly …

There is someone wildly happy in me.
Don’t know who he might be, he left no name.
It’s not me shaking the lovesome tree,
but I am so full and glad of him just the same.
© Lorenzo — Alchemist’s Pillow


  1. lorenzo i like that a lot! i especially love the phrase a garland of six teenage girls slung around a sidewalk bench. i've got one at home and i love that about her and her friends. the thorough oblivion. the complete immersion in the space they've created. nice!! steven

  2. Hi, Steven: glad you liked it. Yes, I have two teenage daughters and you describe them well, that ability to create and immerse themselves in their own space.

    I know you begin your big 1000km bike ride, tommorrow. As chance, would have it, your comment just came in as I was headed out the door to get a bike ride in before the sun goes down. Smooth riding to you my friend.

  3. Well I can't help but smile (wildly) after reading, the last stanza especially.

    Even though you painted a scene of a village rite of maidenhood, I don't think that unknown man in you is a jester. Maybe the shaken tree is a Bodhi-tree . . . ? I like the mystery you've left, unresolved.

    Very well done.

    I also smile because we have one teenage flower staying with us for a few days, my 16-year-old great-niece.

  4. smiles. there is something about the young and watching them frolick and play that stirs the joy inside me. nice write lorenzo...

  5. i so enjoy the imagery you portray here, coupled with the warmth you've weaved in, from your stroll. watching those younger than ourselves enjoy simple pleasures in life, sometimes brings our older spirit alive.

    very nice.
    warm smiles,

  6. Yes Lorenzo this just made me smile and nudged me back to youthful days and summer evenings in parks :)

  7. Aaaaah - made my heart leap a little in recognition. The one who knows does not speak, and has no need to say his name. Isn't it wonder-full that it takes just a glimpse of pure joy to evoke his presence?

    As I typed the above words, my eyes settled on your Emerson quote which dovetails so nicely with all the feelings and thoughts your poem brought forth for me.

  8. A lovely little poem, Lorenzo, one that evokes memories of special moments in my life that materialized unexpectedly, bringing me a sense that all was well with the world at that particular time and place. One tries to understand what was happening in those moments, assuming that such understanding will help us to replicate the fleeting bliss we experienced. It's always a futile effort, however, because real joy has no recognizable architecture. The most that one can say is what T.S. Eliot said in "Ash Wednesday." "Because I know that time is always time and place is always place, and what is actual is actual only for one time and only for one place, I rejoice in things as they are . . ."

  9. A lovely poem, every poem of yours is insightful, a gem.

    Enjoyed the upswing of sudden wild happiness, the sense and feel of youth, their vitality, hurling themselves towards love and life. (It can be energizing!)

    We felt that in witnessing our 21 yr old niece get married a few months back, and now, next week, another marriage, a step-brother (age 23) and his young love.

  10. As always, you have a wonderful way with words, Lorenzo--this is excellent. May he stay around a long time...

  11. Youth will do that to us. Life in motion!

  12. I adore the notion of a garland of girls. Glad he came to pay you an unexpected visit. He's a she, when she visits me!

  13. Liquid immersion -- the edges of our minds boundaries drop as we recognize the inner child as one.

    Lovely Lorenzo -- the inner child lives on...


  14. I love it! I was just answering your comment and telling you how much I look forward to seeing Spain through your eyes. I enjoy what you teach me about the culture and history, but I also love reading portraits like this of the everyday life.

    And it is a portrait. A beautiful one. I'm around teens a lot, and you have captured their essence. I can see the garland and hear the giggling. They are all beautiful, yes, even the awkward ones. You tell an entire story in thirteen lines, and I love your well chosen words like "skittish, practicing, peer and ignore." Those four words say so much about the life of teen girls and the world that is their own.

    I also love the narrator in this poem and the rediscovery of youthful joy in that moment. The narrator presents it to the reader but is not intrusive into the scene. That is awesome.

    Wonderful poem, Lorenzo. You have made me feel the same joy today, and for that, I thank you!

  15. in light of the previous post, this was all the more hopeful and important.
    I wish you more of the same.

  16. Very, very nice, Lorenzo. Your poem gave me a swift burst of joy this morning when I read it. The concise, word portrait of the girls - you get it just right. Immediately alive and recognisable. Like the last 4 lines especially.

  17. Thanks, everyone. It is really pleasing to hear that this little poem-moment brought smiles to lips and hearts, a sense of recognition of the mysterious sources of joy in our lives. I have tried to respond individually to all those for whom I have emails.

    Julie: For some reason, I cannot reply to your comments by email, but please know that I really do appreciate your interest and warm enthusiasm. I am glad the joy of the moment made it out your way.

    Deb and Solitary Walker: For some reason, your kind comments have not made it onto the blog. Don't know why. As I get a g-mail message with every comment, I was able to see them and will look into why they are not apeparing. Always nice to hear from you.

  18. Wonderful poem. It made me smile (wildly) too. Was reminded a bit of Proust--thanks to your header--and young Marcel watching the girls at Combray...
    Came here via a comment of yours at Ruth's, but it seems we read many of the same people. I like your blog.

  19. That's brilliant... You've so simply and beautifully brought out an emotion which we feel many a time (that cheery-out-of-nowhere kinda thing)! LOVELY..


"Let us be silent, that we may hear the whispers of the gods" — Ralph Waldo Emerson
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