Friday, August 15, 2008

Rome Part 1









Just outside Milano, we encountered this elevated super highway to Rome. It was literally up in the clouds. Visibility was only up to a few feet in front of us. It might have been a grand view to the left of us or the right of us, but we could never tell thanks to the heavy cloud cover that had descended all the way to the highway. And the Italian car drivers were racing past despite the poor visibility in their Ferraris and Maseratis. It was a surreal experience and Krishnan, who was driving, managed to stay out of trouble by trailing the car in front of us. We reached Rome really late, ate out and check in to our hotel.

Early next morning (and if you have been paying attention, early = 10 AM) we caught the train directly to the heart of the city, and took a bus from near Vatican all the way up to the Colosseum. En route the walls of the Vatican came on our left and we went across the Tiber river. On the other side of the Tiber river the streets were cobbled and the buildings appeared antiquated and beautiful. When we arrived at the Colosseum, it was hard to believe we were actually standing before it. It's one of those things you have seen so many times on TV, in magazines and papers, that standing in front of that imposing structure felt like reliving old memories. We stood in a long queue and did the regular touristy trip of the Colosseum. Then we promenaded through the majestic Roman Forum (Forum Magnum), that looms behind the Colosseum with ruins from two thousand years ago. The arch of Constantine greets us at the entrance to the Roman Forum. We were perfectly silent throughout - I wanted to absorb it all so I would be able to talk about it to my grandchildren in full graphic detail.

The Walls

Scratch their backs with fingernails,
And the walls will shake gently from
Side to side. Breathe unevenly,
Giggle, curve their back to your touch,
Wiggle and even turn around
To face you with a lopsided smile.

They have long midriffs,
And protracted wing spans,
Like flamingo birds gliding,
In the sky. They flock together
And hold hands, till their palms
Become sticky and fingers grow
Numb. They like the warmth
Of proximity.

They have long flexible ears,
That twitch at your words,
And twist around your fingers,
At night their faces turn towards you,
And they curl in bed,
To notice everything you do or say.

7 comments:

Priyankari said...

Great pics and a nice travelogue!

The style of presentation of the poem seems quite a new type...

angel, jr. said...

Rome is certainly a place I would love to visit. Thanks for sharing the pictures.

Loonie said...

Hey! In India? For how many days? Where are you?

Wriju said...

Priyankari:
Yeah am bored and trying out new stuff ;)

Angel:
Yep I would highly recommend

Loonie:
Yeah, in Kolkata. Till mid November

Oreen said...

your poem draws pretty deep analogies... and for a moment, when you spoke of the wingspan, i tilted my head as if to keep the flamingo in the frame by getting the wings to fit in diagonally.

why do i feel my vision is to be measured like a TV screen?

Priyankari said...

When's the next post coming? :)

Camphor said...

Wasn't it just fabulous?

I love Rome!