Agoraphobic's (After Season) Dreamflights
A dream I’ve long held came through, when I went to Paris on the Reve Airway.
And after a morning in the Louvre I took tea, at a little cafe on the Champs Elysées
Where under a wind shook table-top parasol I daydreamed of Parisian Spring
Whilst admiring the cafe’s vintage gramophone, and listening to Piaf sing.
And when the rains came down, as they invariably do this time of year
And waiters cleared vacated tables and piled up chairs, pair by pair
And umbrellas shot up in a kaleidoscopic swirl
And French boy laughed at French girl
Whose brolly blew inside-out
And their feet splashed all about,
I took mine in a Toile de Jouy covered bed;
With Edith Piaf’s Autumn Leaves rustling on my hotel balcony, and in my head.
And awoke: Not before the open French door,
Old lace and falling leaves, rippling to the floor
But here in my terraced Tyneside flat, not unhappy to be back amid the Newcastle thrall.
That I got to go to Paris, after all.
And if torrential rains precluded climbing up the Eiffel Tower
Well who knows? As I while away hour after hour
Rummaging through piles of old records, for
A Piaf or Charles Aznavour:
(Finding only a, Minnelli)
Next trip may be to the Big Apple to
Take in a Cabaret, or two.
To sail right up the Hudson River;
Blow kisses at the Statue of Liberty in wind-chill to make me shiver;
Do the Empire State Building climb, then take in an Opera House ballet;
Buy up 5th Avenue and hire the Trump fellow’s valet.
A milkshake and dog at a roadside diner;
A man at a griddle whistlin’ ‘ Oh Carolina’;
A busker with a banjo, singing
‘Mr Bo Jangles’
As raindrops on the steamy windows make neon-spangles..
Outside, on Broadway.
Then I’d lay my weary head at a cut-price motel;
A mugger takin’ my ride to my Manhattan-skyline hotel;
And close my eyes on a pillow stained, port-wine
To open them in my own bed and, Newcastle city’s skyline.
And, not so contentedly and in measured circumspect
I’d look at the bare-boned trees outside my window, and sighingly reflect:
That I still hadn’t done my heart’s-desired thing
And climbed the Eiffel Tower in a, Parisian spring.
Yet who knows?
As I re-rummage for a Piaf or Chevalier, to play
An IN-SEASON trip must surely come round, someday.
And Piaf’s ‘La Vie En Rose’ finally found, I pull books from my seldom-used bench;
Marvelling at Cézanne and Millet paintings, and nonplussing at glossaries in French.
And dusting off Colette and Proust, De Maupassant and Prévert
And, my essential-reading French Dictionary for my non-fluent French to refer:
I place them on my pillow for the evening’s read, just in case
Dreamflights take me tonight, to another place..
Golden-rain blossoms on the bough, hung low
Across stalls selling books, faux Matisse's and Moreau;
Sparrows on tulip filled window-boxes, bursting to sing!
When I finally make it back to Paris, in the spring.