Tuesday, March 24, 2009

such a perfect day

so here i am again. revisiting madame geneva's backyard. the parks and the avenue de la paix.

i entered swiss on saturday from strasbourg france through land frontiers near basel. across the river rhein, welcomed with a smile by the majestic mountains and rolling hills of the cantons. seven years ago this place was a meeting point between twenty five young souls who came from different countries. we stayed then for about three weeks at madame remy's bed and breakfast.
never thought at all that i would one day make my way here.

almost seven years later, now, the broken chair monument's still there in front of the united nations headquarter. the old city, the bridges and the fountain remain the same, except now the water is much colder. the river rhone that goes to france, the trams, the swiss clocks that decorate the city... all are like they used to be.

i wished i could see freddie mercury's real "made in heaven" statue in montreux, overlooking the lake at sunset from the lake geneva shoreline. i don't think i have time to come there this time. i also tried to absorb the feel of the "smoke on the water" song of the deep purple, in which they said that they came out to montreux on the lake geneva shoreline to make records with a mobile.

but anyway, yesterday was particularly a perfect day for me. one of the best weekends i've ever had. i sat on a bench looking at the lake leman as blue as the sky. no clouds either in the sky or in my head, just swans swimming and spray from the giant fountain.

lou reed's "perfect day" was a right soundtrack that describe my weekend, "when problems were left alone and we're just weekenders on our own..." hohoo..

... i really thanked God alhamdulillah for that wonderful sunday...

Sunday, March 22, 2009

madame geneva's

i’m a maker of ballads right pretty
i write them right here in the street
you can buy them all over the city
yours for a penny a sheet

i’m a word pecker out of the printers
out of the dens of Gin Lane
i’ll write up a scene on a counter
- confessions and sins in the main, boys
confessions and sins in the main

then you’ll find me in Madame Geneva’s
keeping the demons at bay
there’s nothing like gin for drowning them in
but they’ll always be back on a hanging day, on a hanging day

they come rattling over the cobbles
they sit on their coffins of black
some are struck dumb, some gabble
top-heavy on brandy or sack
the pews are all full of fine fellows
and the hawker has set up her shop
as they’re turning them off at the gallows
she’ll be selling right under the drop, boys
selling right under the drop

then you’ll find me in Madame Geneva’s
keeping the demons at bay
there’s nothing like gin for drowning them in
but they’ll always be back on a hanging day, on a hanging day...

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

the letters that lenny sent

and there he goes, singing a song about the letters that he's sent...

"she never liked to get
the letters that he sent.

but now she's got the gist
of what his letters meant.

she's reading them again,
the ones she didn't burn.

she pressed them to her lips,
his pages of concern.

he said there'd been a flood.
he said there's nothing left.

he hoped that she would come.
he gave her his address.

her story was so long,
the plot was so intense,

it took her years to cross
the lines of self-defense.

the wounded forms appear:
the loss, the full extent;

and simple kindness there,
the solitude of strength.

she walks into his room,
she stands there at his desk.

begin her letter to
the one who's coming next..."