Poor Aussie Boy

Summer Venicea
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 never 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 scandal
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
Linda 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
by Linda 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 lavatory
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
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
and 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 am
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 gelato
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 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
of state religion?
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
In peace and freedom
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 égalité 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 Malbun?)
Fitting right in
like a natural born Italian
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
and 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 Firenze


Finally found it. The Legendary ‘Via Asola’!


As photographed from the back


Colosseum in Green

“What time is the Main Event?”

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.


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

72 thoughts on “Poor Aussie Boy”

  1. There’s an error in the line citing the motto of the French Republic. C’est pas Equalité mais Égalité. But the poem is really nice and very summer themed.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. This is phenomenal, the poem, the pics, Italy. I was just saying how much I miss Italy.
    I started writing poems recently and they are very, very long. I thought I had a lot to say but then thought: who on earth is gonna read this?! I do know now. I LOVE your poetic marathons.
    Now, tell me you love Polanski and Hemingway. (Not that I don’t think highly of you already.)

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, Bojano.
      And yes,
      I love Roman P.’s movies.
      As for the Hemingway
      … what can I say !?
      Things have changed
      since Ernest roamed
      the European stage.
      Some things for worst
      Some for the better
      The fascizts have gone
      but what is happening
      with the weather?
      We visited France & Spain.
      One day, Europa willing,
      we’ll get to see Serbia.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. David, thank you, I feel as if I’ve been on a whirlwind of an epic vacation! Your humor is brilliant, making the truths go down a little easier with a buzz from the espresso and a spoonful of gelato. Incredible poem and terrific photos! Hercules never looked so good strangling the canary until now, and nice to see the pigeon found a wonderful perch! You have such a way with animals, perhaps your alter ego is, Dr. Dolittle. ~ Mia

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you very much, Mia.
      Glad you enjoyed the trip.
      I certainly loved the experience,
      and can’t wait to do it again.
      Of course no pigeons were
      harmed in the process.
      The only damage was done
      to my wallet when buying a
      coffee in the St.Marco precinct.
      Travel Warning: take a vacuum
      flask and a cut lunch.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Brilliantly written poem about your Italian Midsummer holiday, David.

    The beatification of Jean Claude Van Damme
    as he receives a papal blessing
    no need for any confessing
    Damme is the name for a martial arts actor
    In eternity damn plays no factor
    for as Pope Francis has informed there is no Hell
    Indulgences medieval coins pissed down a well
    Don’t forget the canonization of Roman Polanski
    who likes his maiden head young and pretty

    Francis may say out loud, What the Hell
    as in handcuffs is led away George Cardinal Pell
    he couldn’t keep his hands off the young boys
    as he asked them to play with his toys
    Pell should have stuck to beastial BDSM
    pissing PETA off instead of being on his way to the pen
    crying Tie me kangaroo down sport
    I’m sucking it up like a glass of port
    Hope those ropes aren’t too tight, mate
    as I’ll be rockin’ this ship of state
    and you’ll come a’ Waltzing Matilda with me.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes Chris, U.S. justice would
      love to canonize Polanski personally.
      The jury from a kangaroo court
      is out for a bout
      of Spanish Inquisition.
      The Universal Soldier,
      Saint Jean-Claude the Blessed
      is out for some Blood Sport,
      as Cardinal Anarchy declares,
      … “Let the games begin!”

      Liked by 2 people

      1. And Rosemary’s Baby is about to take his place on the world stage
        as Trump fires off another tweet in choler and rage
        Where are the Fearless Vampire Killers of yesterday?
        Like poor poor Sharon Tate, they’ve gone away
        Tess of the D’ubervilles was young and sweet
        and kept director Polanski in constant heat
        one might think he was quite foolhardy
        no doubting Thomas who missed post-Resurrection party.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Like Mia Farrow in a rage
        Charlie Manson takes to the stage.
        “But your Honour, Pope Francis
        granted me a small indulgence!?”
        As the Jimi Hendrix Experience
        plays ‘Purple Haze’.

        Liked by 2 people

      1. God willing, evacuation
        Before deadly eruption.
        A level 7 is due
        In our lifetimes too
        I don’t know how we’re going to cope
        When the Big Bros crush all hope.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Perhaps Naples should
        stop building houses, and
        hospitals, on the slopes
        of an eruption soon to happen?
        ‘Soon’, geologically could
        be a millennium away. But
        that’s the problem, no one knows.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. They say in our lifetimes
        Which might just be hype
        Headlines today just tripe
        Economic powerhouses
        Must be fed
        Real estate moguls
        Fear seeing the red
        Chestertonian economics
        Perhaps works best
        But it’s too late now
        To put it to the test

        Liked by 1 person

      4. The catastrophic is always
        good for big business
        … Even insurance.
        The land lords rejoice.
        The homeless of no choice.
        The oppressed with no voice.
        The stock market knows
        no repentance.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Fear porn is the new norm
        Insider traders in an elite dorm
        Watching floating currency fluctuate
        On the vagaries of punting bankers
        Thriving on loans backed by nothing
        And bailouts from the public coffers.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Revoking the gold standard
        Was surely one herald
        Of this Topsy turvy system
        Our engines now work on fumes
        Common folk: heir today, gone tomorrow
        Conditioned to consume, Pavlovian sorrow
        Ridiculing the unworldy as unworthy failures
        Trickle down economics, backed by balloon currency
        Common folk try to climb up the slippery ladder
        While the 1% use their climb to get even higher.
        Systems collapse is inevitable
        It happened 3000 years ago
        Will happen again
        Egypt and Assyria survived then
        And from that chaos: the birth of the phonetic alphabet
        What will be born from this Collapse of civilizations, I wonder
        And which nations will survive the onslaught?

        Liked by 1 person

      7. The winter of a
        One World Empire
        … is coming.
        Planet Earth
        will be shaking
        the surplus of humanity.
        Food security
        just a fading memory
        as medical technology
        shared only
        with those with the money
        in a cashless kleptocracy.
        soon to be compulsory.

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Cycles of history portend
        A different interpretation
        To the augaries
        Cycles of Nature intend
        A self rectification
        To civilization’s tomfoolery.
        Logic dictates dystopia
        Man’s supremacy
        My instinct belies reason
        Logic is fallible. Witness
        This year’s FIFA selection
        From Sodom to the Exodus
        Repeating pattern once again.
        Superpowers temporal
        Crumble to the cycles of Time
        My study of history
        Tends to make me think
        That patterns repeat!

        Liked by 1 person

      9. Nay! Cro, Bel and Fra
        Mediocre this year

        Four horsemen too dire
        Perhaps we’ll learn
        Before jumping into that fire
        Adapt and change to accord with Nature
        But, I fear it will be a bloody suture.

        Liked by 1 person

      10. True that! Us, Powerless word squires
        too feeble to change this perilous path
        Let’s watch nature take its course
        And observe what this age will sire

        Liked by 1 person

      11. Kingdoms come and go
        Man’s sprit is resilient
        We’ll survive Time’s flow( God willing)
        And evolve further sentience
        I suppose that as writers we must dwell on these questions
        Of mortality, morality, Nature and society
        But in the end, we are powerless to the moods of the cosmic wind
        All we can do is keep a stiff upper lip and march on one day at a time
        Until one day our faces break into a smile
        Of infinite joy.

        Liked by 1 person

      12. Mass consumption
        Virtual minimalism
        The future unfolding
        from Stadium Babylon . . .
        Yet action is always
        the preferred option
        as the light of freedom
        is snuffed out.
        Through trial and tribulation
        the stage is set.
        Prepare for a celestial shout
        of the Spirit Revolution
        The Key of Truth
        in Love’s Ignition
        Forever and always
        a faithful solution.

        Liked by 1 person

      13. Your rousing battle cry
        makes me want to fly
        To your raised standard.
        Give to Caesar… I wanted to say
        But your words are like a rallying vanguard
        That makes me shout “Hurray!”
        Indeed, Love conquers all…
        Even perhaps the Koch brothers?

        Liked by 1 person

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