Feathered

Hope is the thing with feathers 

That perches in the soul, 

And sings the tune without the words, 

And never stops at all, 

  

And sweetest in the gale is heard;         

And sore must be the storm 

That could abash the little bird 

That kept so many warm. 

  

I’ve heard it in the chillest land, 

And on the strangest sea;        

Yet, never, in extremity, 

It asked a crumb of me.

 

Hope is the thing with feathers (254)

Emily Dickinson, 1830 – 1886

 

Photo: AgitaÁgueda, Carnaval Fora de Horas

When he left

Mr. Alexandre used to work here, from 1962 until he died in 2016.

From the street, looking through the window, it doesn’t look like this place is abandoned. He might come back. Someone might come back for their bespoke suit.

If you read Portuguese, please head to Blog dos Alfaiates, Mr. Alexandre’s story is there along with other stories about other masters of elegance.

Photo: Alexandre Alfaiate, Praça Coronel Pacheco, Porto

Memory, hither come, And tune your merry notes

 

After a nervous smartphone breakdown, the cloud has been generous enough to give me back some pieces of what it seems to have been my recent life.

References

Memory, hither come by William Blake

A Dream Deferred

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore —
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over —
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

 

Langston Hughes, Dream Deferred in The Panther and the Lash May 1967

Photo: workers at cashew nut processing  unit, Goa, 2016

The shape of life

bdr

A bridge of silver wings stretches from the dead ashes of an unforgiving nightmare
to the jeweled vision of a life started anew.

Aberjhani, The Bridge of Silver Wings (2007)

 

 

I could have chosen any of the ones in Porto, but Stari Most was the topic of conversation over coffee today. Some bridges keep you together. No matter what.

Mostar, April 2017

Q & A

  
What is Worth Knowing?

That van Gogh’s ear, set free
wanted to meet the powerful nose
of Nevsky Avenue.
That Spain has decided to help
NATO. That Spring is supposed to begin
on the 21st March.
That if you put too much salt in the keema
just add a few bananas.
That although the Dutch were the first
to help the people of Nicaragua they don’t say much
about their history with Indonesia.
That van Gogh collected Japanese prints.
That the Japanese considered
the Dutch to be red-haired barbarians.
That van Gogh’s ear remains full of questions
it wants to ask the nose of Nevsky Avenue.
That the vaccinations for cholera, typhoid and yellow fever
are no good – they must be improved.
That red, green and yellow are the most
auspicious colours.
That turmeric and chilli powder are good
disinfectants. Yellow and red.
That often Spring doesn’t come
until May. But in some places
it’s there in January
That van Gogh’s ear left him because
it wanted to become a snail.
That east and west
meet only in the north and south – but never
in the east or west.
That in March 1986 Darwinism is being
reintroduced in American schools.
That there’s a difference
between pigeons and doves, although
a ring-dove is a wood-pigeon.
That the most pleasant thing is to have a fever
of at least 101 – because then the dreams aren’t
merely dreams but facts.
That during a fever the soul comes out
for fresh air, that during a fever the soul bothers to
speak to you.
That tigers are courageous and generous-hearted
and never attacked unless provoked –
but leopards,
leopards are malicious and bad-tempered.
That buffaloes too,
water-buffaloes that is, have a short temper.
That a red sky at night is a good sign for sailors,
for sailors…..what is worth knowing?
What is worth knowing?

What is Worth Knowing? (1986) 

Sujata Bhatt 

Photo by J M P , Venice (2012)