Friday, January 7, 2011


On Via Regina,
In Griante Como, I knew I
Was very far away from
My own home and
All places familiar,
All things remembered
And then easily forgotten.

This street with this view was
Created by some artist with sentimental
Sentiments and great attention to
Detail from his own mind's eye: the buildings
With arched entrances, the restaurants where
Diners eat outside under white umbrellas or
Under the clear blue sky next to the perfectly
Sweet green round trees near the boats
On the lake coming and going,
Going and coming.

The remote and fancy street looks out
Upon a gorgeous lake with mountains
High above in the distance on the other side
On all sides.

On the other side, there's a soft
Mist above those mountains with a
Tiny village sculpted right into the
Mountain above the view of the lake
Behind the red flowers, red flowers
On this side.

This place, where children grew up
And in later years returned to
The same place with the same view
Of the mountain under the mist
And the tiny village sculpted right
Into the mountain.

This might be a good place to stop
A fine place indeed, to stop.
Because after all, all journeys end
And where do I go from here?
Where can I go from here?

© 2011 Marjorie Levine


On Main Street,
In Chatham, there's a lighthouse
Between the red, white, and blue flag
And a white house with a red roof
All at the end of the street.

There are cars looking to park and
Men pushing baby carriages
And women with shopping bags
And everybody is going one way:
To the ocean, to the blue ocean.

There's a lantern there to light
The way back at night to other
Places: to other places near to here
So that the walkers can go
Back the other way to reach home.
And the way is lighted so the drivers
Who have come from far away from here
Never quite reach the end of the street
At the end of the day.

© 2011 Marjorie Levine


On McDonald Road,
In Lovington, on the dusty
Road under the blue sky
There is an old wooden
House that is deserted.
There's nothing left of the roof,
Or the porch, or the doors.

I traveled down that lonesome road
And saw another house, also deserted.
And then another, set far back and
Looking all broken and empty, too.

I suppose at some time people
Played here, and danced here
Maybe they even sang here
In these now empty rooms.

But, they are all gone now
And nothing is left to hear.
Not the songs they sang or
Even the sound of the wind
That once was, once was
Right there and heard
On days long gone.

© 2011 Marjorie Levine


On Second Avenue,
In New York City, I had dined on
Sweet baklava at Gulluoglu
Every week for years
Feeling this way... or that way.

On one cold January melancholy day,
Under threatening skies, I wore my balaclava.

And in the distance, I imagined or imagined not
That I heard Chopin's Nocturne Op. 55 No. 1.

© 2011 Marjorie Levine


On 2,
In Lucerne, there are old and newer
Things and all sort of things to remind
You of recent things.

A blue trolley, a grand stone hotel, a
Yellow casino across from a gray church
Where young men parked bicycles to go
To pray in the picture postcard.

There's a palace, and who lives there?
Then brand new buildings that are tiered
Like wedding cakes brimming with green
Shrubbery and a short little building with
Posters of Superman.

The bike rider passes the orange truck
And then the park, always a park so the living
Can remember these streets, these days,
And then keep going and move on.

© 2011 Marjorie Levine


On West 11th Street,
In Cleveland, I saw "The
Christmas Story" house.

The street is sort of nice
And leafy now, under a crisp
Blue sky peppered with
Billowy white clouds
Owning the scenes.

There's a sign that shows the way:
To the white picket fence,
That very homey touch,
And the leg lamp in the
Large and inviting bottom window,
Nice white curtains in the second
Floor windows, where you can see
The reflection of the blue sky
And white clouds:
I know I am there.

On this street, in front of this
House, every day is Christmas:
With one pure gasp you can still
Feel the sharp bone chilling cold,
And see the fresh pristine snow
Covering the ground.

And the day is yours,

© 2011 Marjorie Levine


On West 10th Street,
In Kansas City, there is a
Library that looks like

The front looks like
Big books all
Next to each other
All tall and proud.

Catch-22, Oh Pioneers!,
And Fahrenheit 451
To the left, and
Lord of the Rings, Truman,
And To Kill a Mockingbird
To the right.

Take a walk through
The middle doors,
Right through the middle
And go inside, go all the way in
Walk right inside the books to the
Places the stories can take you.

© 2011 Marjorie Levine


On County Highway 585,
In Newark, there's a seven story
That looks just like a basket.

I didn't want to be outside the
I wanted to be inside.

I wanted to be inside that basket.
And when I was inside,
I wanted to join hands with
Everybody else who was inside
And sing a song.

Some places are just like that.
They inspire singing;
I left this
This road
With a basketful of smiles.

© 2011 Marjorie Levine


On Maiselova,
In Prague, so many people
Come to visit the long gone
And dead at the Jewish
Cemetery near
Staronova Synagogue.

These are the dead from
The ages: they were born,
They lived, they loved,
And what's left here now
Is the dust to dust.
Visitors walk slowly as if a
Mere whisper might wake
These dead.

All the many people tiptoe
Quietly around and around
The wall around the old cemetery.
They walk around to get to the
Other side where there are boats
On the still water and newer things.
And they speak, or speak not,
Of times long ago.

The clock in the high distance
Reminds that time always passes,
It passes and passes and passes
In time with the heartbeats,
And there is always a solid wall to
Separate the living
From the dead.

© 2011 Marjorie Levine


On Lisick,
In Prague, there is a store with a wonderful wall
Decorated with a picture of a tree at the end of a road.
And sitting under the tree are pictures of dogs, birds, and a tiger:
Pictures to show the way when yellow sunlight hits the wall
And the glareless lines are not blurred.

Across from that store is a vacant lot, filled with
Colorful piles of stuff, there from perhaps forever.

I traveled down that road past a bright yellow house
With flower pots on ledges outside the bottom floor windows,
There to show a different way: the way home.
I traveled down that road past a short brown house
With only one floor and pale shutters and yellow flowers in the
Garden to show the way to a different home: this home.
And I traveled down the road past an orange house
With a tree near the gate to obscure the view of: this house.

All houses and homes on the same street and all standing so
Quiet and still and sharing the same sense of quiet in different
Houses and homes.

If a visitor were to sigh while passing through this street
The sound would shatter this street's tranquility:
Fracture the sense of beauty that lives on this street.

© 2011 Marjorie Levine


On Vlissingsestraat
In Eck en Wiel, at the end of the street
There is a signpost with four different
Directions to point the way to quiet
Houses still standing alongside beautiful
Canals that take wanderers to places with
Other beautiful canals.

Go to the little graveyard, where people
Rest under the blue and green.
A place this beautiful might perhaps
Exist only in the imagination, in places
Where the weary and forlorn might go to find
Peace when breathless dreams fall away.

Keep going to arrive at a place to rest
And a place to go once around, go
Around and around and around and never
Leave because all here want to stay longer
Because this is a place so beautiful, so
Perfectly decorated with delicate and perfect
Brushstrokes, that nobody ever leaves.

© 2011 Marjorie Levine


On D79,
In Vicel-Nanteuil, I stopped to
Gaze for quite some time.
At this place, I longed
To stay longer.

I was outside on this road
But, I wanted to be inside:
Inside these quaint old stone
And very magical cottages.

Here, where there is a thick
Air of stillness and serenity
Across from a sparse forest.

These houses stay strong
They don’t give up
They remain stubborn and
They don’t change.

And there is nothing, nothing at all
In this beauty around anywhere
To remind anybody of
A passing of time.

© 2011 Marjorie Levine