(Inspired by Leonard’s Cohen’s eponymous prose piece)
Why I Love
The heat in the morning, the click of rigging and the rustle of
of sailing boats setting out for
Africa: a long old journey
The wash of the tide against the staithes
Spreading out the seaweed yet again. And again
Francine and Joe waiting in the shadows to walk into my story
Pere Goriot walking arm in arm with Jean Valjean
Alongside Jean Sablon and Simone de Beauvoir.
The padding of my sandalled feet matched by the click of jackboots
And the hollow calls of Jean Moulin
Church celebrating the sea breathes smoke and scent
Seagulls, cormorants; a man counting untypical ducks,
their ducklings ticking along behind.
Boys - a whole day to play with - swoop into the sea on a tripwire.
Pink sunset catching the tall buildings in relief
Rose red moon rises yet again over…
Moliere, Robespierre, Desmoulins, Beaudelaire, Maupassant
Inspiring revolutionaries and English poets.
Then there is
, dusty elegance in
straight lines Paris
Bateaux mouches cruise the slumberous
Markets like still-lives illustrating a world of plenty
Men in overalls drink cognac with their morning coffee,
Music and chatter leak out of riverside cafes and
songs gargled with laughter spill across the cobbles
towards paintings lined up against the stone walls of a church
A woman in a black dress pocked with fragrant lavender seeds
tips her ear to the voices of Americans who
have danced in this favoured city.