A delightful pointless journey took me into the province some 3o miles away mainly to listen to a friend of mine performing her soulful songs during a community event. Did you ever notice how you are going through changing landscapes and social geography even over that short distance?

But this trip involved much more even. About 6 or 7 different busses, plus many more that did not turn up at all. Sitting in the sun at the bus stop with some locals waiting for hours, one lady going off to have a baby champ to pass the time, an early morning breakfast in a chain coffee shop before the rest of the town’s pensioners showed up on mobility scooters, getting up at 6 to perform my stretches in a hostel, on my own. A brief chat with a male pensioner who said there would soon be a general strike because everyone was fed up, a lady who knew her way around but didn’t quite know where she was going. Tell me about it. Lot’s of sun and, again, waiting for buses. Losing my footing and being helped up by 2.**

Oh, and in the end, I even got to perform briefly myself.*

Just being me

from somewhere strange,

takes a big poet to the stage


*Imtiaz Dharker who was awarded and accepted a Queen’s medal –

In Wales, wanting to be Italian

(from Over the Moon, by Imtiaz Dharker)

Is there a name for that thing
you do when you are young?
There must be a word for it in some language,
probably German, or if not just
asking to be made up, something like
Fremdlandischgehörenlust or perhaps

What is it called, living in Glasgow,
dying to be French, dying to shrug and pout
and make yourself understood
without saying a word?

Have you ever felt like that, being
in Bombay, wanting to declare,
like Freddy Mercury, that you are
from somewhere like Zanzibar?

What is it called? Being sixteen
in Wales, longing to be Italian,
to be able to say aloud,
without embarrassment, Bella! Bella!
lounge by a Vespa with a cigarette
hanging out of your mouth, and wear
impossibly pointed shoes?

** having found to be prone to mis-step when overtired, I carry with me Arnica, as homeopathic remedy, for bruising and, taken immediately internally, it stops completely any swelling or even feeling bruised or getting black and blue.

~ by Barbara S on August 27, 2022.

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