Poor Aussie Boy

Summer Venice … a hothouse
frozen in time,
then suspended
in a saltwater museum.
The despised tourists,
on the dock,
by the boatload,
Then they queue
for religious relics,
and pay 5 euros
just to see them.
Once they would’ve all
been led for free
and fed into the Colosseum.
Like foreigners
who walk around
saying … “Gidday!”
Barbarians well known
to pisciare in the bidet.

Old Churches
on every corner.
Yet, at times it seems,
God is a million miles away.
Or is He always near
in thought, in deed,
in spirit … and all
those things we don’t say?

From Roma to Venezia
the baristas know
how to crema!
Here an espresso shot
would knock your socks off!
Like a hot chilli pizza
on the set of Epic Theatre.
For a night out
on the terra-cotta
“Senoré, could you lend
me a toga, per favore?”
The locals keep directing me
to the Via Asola?
I Non Capisco!

In full flight mode… Air Italia.
How will a poor boy
from Australia handle
all this rich continental?
Where the girls
are tall & skinny
like a long cone of waffle,
topped con duo
scoops of gelati.
The boys also
are all too pretty.
I must remember
to keep an eye on Lindy.
And me,
just a poor Aussie boy, who
can’t afford the scandals.
The original Roaming Numeral
So I went to the Basilica
and lit some candles .
Then got me a pair of
genuine leather roman sandals.

Polanski now on the run
with Doris Day, Cliff Richards
and Ernest Hemingway.
All going
on a summer holiday.
Roamin’ the Comune di Prato
… right next to Florence.
Lindy Amore and I
in a Fellini trance.
Did Firenze put the ‘roman’
into a Bellini romance?
As for Polanski,
on the highway,
simultaneously learning
the hard way
how to jet ski
and pole dance.
Now being closely watched
over … by Lindy de Venus.

Here the Pubs are open air.
Spilling out
from the street bars,
vino and birra ,
here and there.
Except on Domenica (chiuso).
Everyone is Frutti Tutti!
There’s Opera in the air
(e la tabacchi fumare)
… music everywhere.
Doing business
in the bathroom
to the sounds of Puccini.

The clang of church bells
that rang before
the New Worlds invaded.
It’s so pleasant here
I know not
why they bothered?
The caffes in the the street.
People smokin’
the summer heat.
“Ciao Bella”, as they meet
… with a kiss on each cheek.
Passions and fashions.
The shop window reflections
… to give oneself a tweak.

It’s midmorning.
Bellissima, Bellissimo,
and Bellissimi!
For a poor Aussie boy
is this a slow torture?
Too much bellissima?
with a clash of club culture
rocking the Via del Casbah.

Two coins in the fountain.
Pigeons flocking.
Children splashing.
The young are parading.
The old are complaining.
The men talking & drinking.
The women shopping
and talking
Phone in one hand,
the other gesticulating.

A stranger fellow traveller
comes over,
talking over easy,
yet the whisper of danger.
“Going to do the Vatican?”
“You bet I am!
I gotta see the beatification
of Jean-Claude Van Damme.”
He then be enquiring
at what hotel am I staying?
Swift in the replying,
“Yes, I come from
the land of plenty”
… my accent is saying,
“from the land down under!
Watch out mate,
It’s we who plunder!”

Is patriotism
the lost refuge
of the non P.C. rascal,
searching for the
whispered “Via Asola”?
Perhaps I should ask
Marie Le Pen
and her basket full
of adorables?

In the piazza
there’s a wedding.
The church bells ringing.
I must be acclimatarsi-ing.
Perhaps even hallucinating?
The cherub
atop of the fountain,
he’s spitting, and pissing!
I’m starting to curse
in perfect Italian.
I can order a cappuccino,
with broken latino syllables,
and a cheery, “Buon Arvo!”

“Buon Pomeriggio
… tu barbarico!”
Yes, I’m an Aussie true and blue
through and through.
And I couldn’t give
a flying kangaroo.
I now know
that the Mafiosos
are actually the goodfellows.
The Polizia,
the real criminals.
I can even tell the time
by the clock tower,
despite all
the roman numerals.
Not bad
for a poor Aussie boy
in roman sandals?

Gold & glass … Stone & brass.
Mosaics pimping up
the Churchs and Basilicas.
The tesserae of holy graffiti.
Walking the Via Santa Lindi
Enough saints here to sink a
ship full of pistachio gelati.
Yet I can’t go past the
Palazzo of sacred spaghetti.
Not to mention
the Hotti~Biscotti,
the Pasticceria,
or the Gelateria.
Nor the Ristorante Deliziosa,
where once stood
the Temple of Diana.

On Sunday the Duomo‘s doors
are flung open, and
the confessionals begin.
From within, a whispering
behind the curtain,
“Whilst committing
this mortal sin, tell me son,
what were you wearing?”
Comes the repentant reply,
“A borrowed toga,
all stained with gelati.”

The War Memorials here
list the names
of fallen Crusaders
from the Middle Ages.
The more things change
the more they stay the same.
When did faith become some
almighty power game?
From the pagan
to Carl Sagan,
sages throughout the ages.
What’s been lost
in the middle
to be found in the pages,
as ‘In the Beginning …’

The gambler, the backpacker
and the stranger traveller
. . . all walking La Rambla.
From the desecrated streets
of Barcelona and Nice,
to the Bataclan in Paris,
flags are flying,
yet again, at half mast.
Through a crack in the wall
of disbelief … a bell rings.
Down below,
behind a bolted door,
an old hand
is pulling the strings.
Seething in a hatred
for all of Humanity.
Liberté, Equalité, Fraternité
… and the song upon wings
that only True Lovers sing.

The Priests, and the Nuns,
they may have some.
Do the many have more ,
or less, or none?
Yet dressed
with a pretty euro penny.
The shops all shut
to beat the heat
of the midday sun.
(That reminds me,
how are things
in sunny Melbun?)
Fitting right in
like a natural born Italian,
“Buonasera”,in the cool
of the evening.
Dining on a big bag
of cherries
and sipping a Lambrusco
with Linda.
Did I mention,
here it’s midsummer?
At night the beautiful people
go down Via Santa Trinita.
The Fashionistas,
the Hedonistas!
I’m heading there right now
Factomundo ~ In Prato,
with La Mia bellezza.
Grazie a Dio. La Dolce Vita!

As for the locals,
they seem to have
this serene sense of order.
A reverence
for intelligent design,
with a creative flare.
once lived here.
A collective culture,
not forgetting their past,
yet embracing for the future.

Then why, I wonder,
since the big brexit hit,
the Euro has still
more driving power
than the poor Aussie Dollar?
I don’t wish
to trump on about it, but
I suspect the exchange rate
gave this poor Aussie boy,
a golden shower!

… by david redpath © 2017


Hercules strangling the canary

… and riding the turtle

from Prato to Firenze20160714_175828~2-01-01-01-01-919138884..jpg
Finally found it. The Legendary ‘Via Asola’!
As photographed from the back … at night.screenshot_2017-11-20-15-12-30-01-01-01-1434345252.jpeg
Colosseum in Green

First glimpse of Venice, yet

they can’t keep the tourists out!

Venice has the pidgeons

eating out of it’s hands.
Sunday best for St.Marco’s Square

and the Vatican.img-0029-02-01-1813544517.jpeg
Saved myself 5 Euros

by capturing an offering

Florence Cathedral in camouflage

463 sheer vertical steps

to take this elevated snap

Photos: david & linda redpath

2 thoughts on “Poor Aussie Boy”

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