Archives for posts with tag: Paris

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The Brooch
by Lynn White

We sat on the dirty stairs
holding hands and looking sad.
His name was Ralf
and tomorrow at
“la bonne heure”
he was
leaving Paris,
going home to Geneva.
He gave me a brooch made of metal,
two hands breaking a rifle in two.
I pinned it on my jacket,
the black leather one
that was stolen
some years
later.
I bought a new jacket,
also black leather,
also stolen
later.
I could have bought a new brooch,
identical to the one I had lost.
But I never did.
I couldn’t replace the connection lost.
Lost
when I lost
the brooch

PHOTO: The author, second from left in Paris, about 1965.

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NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: 
It’s strange something so trivial can be remembered so many years later. All it took was the prompt for me to visualize us sitting on the stairs looking glum! Oddly enough this is all I remember of our brief friendship. Perhaps without the gift of the brooch and it’s subsequent loss, I would remember nothing at all!

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: Not my brooch, just an identical one from the Internet.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lynn White lives in north Wales. Her work is influenced by issues of social justice and events, places, and people she has known or imagined. She is especially interested in exploring the boundaries of dream, fantasy, and reality. Her poem “A Rose For Gaza” was shortlisted for the Theatre Cloud “War Poetry for Today” competition 2014. This and many other poems have been published in recent anthologies, including the Alice in Wonderland Anthology (Silver Birch Press), The Border Crossed Us (Vagabond Press), Selfhood (Trancendence Zero) — and journals such as Apogee, Firewords Quarterly, Guide To Kulchur, Indie Soleil, Midnight Circus, and Snapdragon as well as many other online and print publications. Visit her on facebook and at lynnwhitepoetry.blogspot.com.

moonlight
Moonlight in Vermont
by Rose Mary Boehm

Vermont took on a special shine
on the small dance floor
just off the famous Boul’ Mich.
Your feet were as large
as your frame and your height,
and my face rested on your
starched shirt front. I was afraid
I’d smudge my foundation (tone Biscuit)
and you’d be appalled. But then
you’d just stolen two crystal droplets
from the hotel’s chandelier
and threaded those old wires
through the holes in my earlobes
with some pomp. I didn’t expect
a starched dress shirt from
someone called Bill.

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AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: The time is 1959, the place is Paris, innocence is written with a capital “I.” Being “in love” is the best thing in the world, and Paris the only place where it can happen with the right amount of glamour and romance.

ROSE MARY BOEHM

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A German-born UK national, Rose Mary Boehm, lives and works in Lima, Peru. Author of two novels and a poetry collection (TANGENTS) published in 2011 in the in UK, well over 100 of her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in a good two dozen US poetry reviews as well as in some print anthologies and Diane Lockward’s The Crafty Poet. She won third place in the 2009 Margaret Reid Poetry Contest for Traditional Verse (US), was semi-finalist in the Naugatuck poetry contest 2012/13 and has been a finalist in several Goodreads contests, winning it in October 2014.

EDITOR’S NOTE: “Moonlight in Vermont” was written by John Blackburn and Karl Suessdorf in 1944. The lyrics are unusual in that they do not rhyme. The lyrics are also unconventional because each verse (not counting the bridge) is a haiku. Listen to the original recording by Margaret Whiting on youtube.

Paris 1966
Perfectly Imperfect
by Lynn White

It started when we stood hopefully
with our thumbs outstretched
by an English roadside,
heading towards Italy and Yugoslavia
without maps or money,
or sense of direction.

And we made it to Italy.
and swam off the rocks,
with a man we’d met in a cafe,
because he said we could.
And we swam and swam until two policemen came,
(one very stern and one very twinkly),
and said we couldn’t.
Nor could we leave the rocks without clothes on,
or with clothes clinging to our still wet bodies,
or lie on the rocks until we were dry,
in case we disconcerted the traffic or populace.
This being the main street in Trieste.

And we made it to Pec and lived
in a house ‘typique du Turque’
with a water pump in the garden
and a toilet, also ‘Typique du Turque’,
which made us very ill indeed.
But the parties were good and
the conversations interesting,
even though no one spoke English.
And we learned to speak some Albanian,
which was always handy.
And we survived to sit thirstily by a hot,
dusty roadside and fantasise
about the ice cold mountain water
streaming through the streets of Pec,
and even about the water pump in the garden.

And we made it back home.
We had got lost a lot,
but hadn’t got raped or murdered.
So far as we can remember.

What perfection.

PHOTO: The author (left) on L’Avenue des Champs-Élysées, Paris (1966) during one of her many European sojourns.

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NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This poem is an edited excerpt from a longer work. In the days when it was possible to leave one job at the beginning of summer and walk into another at the end, I made many similar trips, but this was the longest, most exotic and most exciting! Perfect in it’s ups and downs!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lynn White lives in north Wales. Her work is influenced by issues of social justice and events, places, and people she has known or imagined. She is especially interested in exploring the boundaries of dream, fantasy, and reality. Her poem “A Rose For Gaza” was shortlisted for the Theatre Cloud “War Poetry for Today” competition in October 2014 and is published in Poetry For Change anthology by Vending Machine Press. Poems have also recently been included in Harbinger Asylum’s Literary Journal and A Moment To Live By anthology, Stacey Savage’s We Are Poetry: An Anthology of Love Poems, the Weasel Press anthology Degenerates, Voices For Peace, Tangent Literary Journal, Amomancies, Dawntreader, and various other on line and print journals and anthologies.

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Ten Days in Paris
by Susan Mahan

I fell in love with a frenchman.

We dined in a bistro
…at separate tables.
Pink lighting glowed softly
on white linen,
and I savored him between morsels
of warm goat cheese.
He was handsome and cordial,
soft-spoken and kind.
He sat with a woman,
but I was sure
they were business associates;
he did not tutoie*her.

His gaze held hers
as they talked of their jobs,
their interests,
their families.
His eyes were expressive
and the color of the Seine on a cloudy day.
His eyebrows moved in concert
with her every remark.

I wanted his rapt attention
and longed to bring him back to my flat.

© Susan Mahan, June 2000

*the verb tutoyer means to address familiarly (tu)

PHOTOGRAPH: “Sidewalk Cafe, Boulevard Diderot, Paris” by Henri Cartier-Bresson (1969).

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NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR:
My husband died in 1997. I had been married 26 years and had never really been alone in all that time. Two years after he died, I decided to travel alone to Paris. I thought I needed to prove somethingto myself. I brought a journal along to write my impressions of the trip. “Ten Days in Paris”was one of the poems that emerged. When I think of the initial fear I had on that trip — not being ableto read maps that well, only knowing a little French, being entirely alone in a foreign country,how can I submit a poem on “My Perfect Vacation,”you may be asking? It turned out that my time spent in Paris gave me great confidence in myself. I’ve traveled back two more timesby myself since the first trip.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Susan Mahan has been writing poetry since her husband died in 1997. She is a frequent reader at poetry venues and has written four chapbooks. She served as an editor of The South Boston Literary Gazette from 2002-2012. She has been published in a number of journals and anthologies, including Silver Birch Press.

AUTHOR PHOTO: Susan Mahan outside The Musée d’Orsay, Paris.

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Très cool! The esteemed 13e Note Éditions in Paris recently released (in French) LADYLAND, a 496-page anthology of writing by American women, including frequent contributors to Silver Birch Press anthologies — Rene Diedrich, Linda KIng, Tamara Madison, and Joan Jobe Smith. Learn more at 13enote.com. Find the book at Amazon.fr.

Congrats to all the women who contributed to the collection: Lisa Carver, Antonia Crane, Rene Diedrich, Gina Frangello, Kat George, Veronica Ghostwriter, Fiona Helmsley, Dana Johnson, Linda King, Chris Kraus, Lydia Lunch, Tamara Madison, Cris Mazza, Hulga McSwine, Reverend Jen Miller, Cookie Mueller, Sigrid Nunez, BC Petrakos, Joan Jobe Smith, Mende Smith, Sin Soracco, Michelle Tea, Nichelle Tramble, Sabine Walser, Ann Wood.

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Flavours of May
by Brinda Buljore

blending textures of
seasoning sunshine
together with winter hues
 
tall filaments become
seeds of luck and
petals of fate
 
kneading the dough
of fright and faith
into malleable stars
 
substance thin
like muslin yet
resistant as silk
 
May morning brings
stamina and vigour
rolling down the stairs
 
bridging the taste
within the flavours of life
to the pestle of destiny

ABOUT THE POET/PHOTOGRAPHER: Brinda Buljore is a writer and artist who lives in Paris.

PHOTO: “Muguet, French Moments” by Brinda Buljore, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

NOTE: King Charles IX of France received lily of the valley (muguet) flowers as a lucky charm on May 1, 1561. He liked the gift and decided to present the flowers — known for their delightful scent — to the ladies of his court each year on May 1. Around 1900, men started to bring their sweethearts bouquets of lily of the valley flowers as a symbol of springtime. On April 23, 1919, the eight-hour working day was officially introduced in France, and May 1 became a public holiday. May Day was not observed during World War II, but again became a public holiday in 1947. May 1 officially became known as La Fête du Travail (Labor Day) on April 29, 1948. In France, May 1st remains an occasion to present lily of the valley flowers to loved ones.

Recorded August 16, 1956. Ella sings and Satchmo sings and plays.

Lady Day sings the classic “April in Paris,” composed in 1932 by Vernon Duke with lyrics by E. Y. Harburg for the Broadway musical Walk A Little Faster. The recording appears on Billie Holiday‘s album All or Nothing at All, recorded in 1956 and 1957 and released by Verve Records in 1958.

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Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader—not the fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon.” E.L. DOCTOROW

Photo: “Rain Forest in Paris” by Eole Wind

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CHRISTMAS AT THE ROOF OF THE WORLD (Excerpt)
by Ernest Hemingway

  …Paris with the snow falling. Paris with the big charcoal braziers outside the cafes, glowing red. At the cafe tables, men huddled, their coat collars turned up, while they finger glasses of grog Americain and the newsboys shout the evening papers.
     The buses rumble like green juggernauts through the snow that sifts down in the dusk. White house walls rise through the dusky snow. Snow is never more beautiful than in the city. It is wonderful in Paris to stand on a bridge across the Seine looking up through the softly curtaining snow past the grey bulk of the Louvre, up the river spanned by many bridges and bordered by the grey houses of old Paris to where Notre Dame squats in the dusk.
     It is very beautiful in Paris…at Christmas time.

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Note: Ernest Hemingway wrote “Christmas at the Roof of the World” in 1923, when he was living in Paris and working as a correspondent for the Toronto Star. Find the story in BY-LINE ERNEST HEMINGWAY: Selected Articles and Dispatches of Four Decades, available at Amazon.com.