Here and Now

The concert grand stands indifferently
in a palatial room built to house it;
Hardly anyone spends time here,
admiring frescoes and French lace,
worn Italian club chairs gather
in around no one, empty opulence
marking privilege of the lost
and missing inhabitants;

Halfway around the world,
a bustling marketplace explodes
with the din and stench
of the streets, sweat mingling
with rotting vegetable matter
and the smell of human desperation;
gnarled hands of laborers place goods
in the manicured hands of tourists,
a toothless smile exchanging empty symbols
for a better life, benediction
of the Foreigner whose life is inconceivable
as a spaceship from Mars;

Who can fathom choices, freedom the elusive
butterfly in a garden which must be tended
by honest sweat and toil which,
in the opulence of the parlor, slips quietly
into shadow like the ghostly curtain remnants
hanging limply on patterned walls.


Kilkenny Castle, photo ~ bj

24 thoughts on “Here and Now

    1. Good points, Val. For we can only truly exist in the now. The here and now at the time this post was written was in Hawaii with a group of multicultural women. One Tongan, two Chinese Hawaiians, two Anglos. I still write with these women, have done so for many years.

      Sometimes, because we write Renshi style, it is difficult to know where one ends and the other begins. And because I have traveled and witnessed what I write about, it tended to pull all of that experience into this poem. Also because there really is not linear time except that we agree that it is so, the here and now transcends the constraints of time and perceived space. In the end, we are all one. And one day I hope to see more equality in our world. 🙏💕

      Liked by 2 people

    1. You know, Kerfe, That occurred to me as well as I was writing the piece. As it was with a group of women, I didn’t have time to really expand on it much. I shared it here as I wrote it. And one has to wonder, indeed, where chance and choice meet at the crossroads of life. It seems to work better for some than for others.

      Thanks for your comments. 🙏❤️


  1. I love the juxtaposition in the first and second stanzas, Bela. Where one place is quiet, another is bustling. Where one place is forgotten, another place is alive and perhaps thriving with life or desperation as you alluded to. Like one of the commenters, I also like how you used ‘Who can fathom choices, freedom the elusive butterfly in a garden which must be tended’. Much to think about these days where life is a struggle for many for different reasons. It sounds like you are doing well and that is great. Stay sane and safe 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, my friend. I think life has long been a struggle for too many people in this world. A redistribution of resources really is in order. I think we will see some things we never thought we’d see in our lifetimes. Chris heard me txt speaking and said, ‘We already have! So it stands to reason …’ Yes. And more coming.

      Doing well, thank you! Hoping the same for you. 💜💕❤️


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