Bland On Bland – Around

RRRBBQDay2014_046The theme for this week’s JVG Radio Method poem is “ Around “.

Good afternoon Jon and welcome to The Barga Jazz Club where, as you can no doubt hear, the Aristademos are warming up for an evening of classic Italian swing.

The weather has been very unseasonal here in the north of Italy – heavy rains and electrical storms causing localised flooding meaning I’m unable to get back to my digs at the moment.

Fortunately, and very kindly, the club has offered me the use of their broom cupboard to record in, so and I will now climb in and shut the door and hope the batteries in my torch last long enough to deliver this week’s offering.

To play this poem directly in your browser – just click the “play” button below:


A small table in the centre of a piazza: four men, all, at a guess, aged in their eighties, sit drinking coffee, engaged in animated, good natured debate.

Around them, tourists buzz insatiably, clinging to cameras and mobile phones clamped to selfie sticks, documenting everything; distressed doors, broken window shutters, cracked tiles, cats, pigeons, lizards, pillars, steps, plaques, gelato signs, fading frescoes, peeling paint, even rusting drain pipes.

Stretching out from from the piazza, like spokes on a wheel, steep, narrow lanes twist upwards and sideways, while cobbled, tiered alleyways plunge sharply down, meandering to their end at the walls of the old town, resembling an Escher print brought to life.

A slightly perplexed group of Australian tourists, struggling to make sense of this architectural maze, approach the table of octogenarians, inquiring in totally unintelligible Italian as to the recommended route to best see the town.

Smiling as one, each of the four old men point in a different direction, wish the travelers a good afternoon and return to their caffeine and banter.

Confused, the visitors pair off to explore the twisting passageways and stone steps, slowly dribbling back into the piazza, one by one, an hour later, none returning via the path they took on their outward journey.

One of the old men turns to the intrepid explorers and beams “As you now know, the town is round. Every path becomes every other path – there is only one – wherever you want to go you are already here”

The eldest of the men, grins warmly at the tourists, shrugs his shoulders and rasps in broken English “Welcome to the Hotel of California”

© Copyright 2016 Ian Bland

Also have a listen to the songs on “Angel In Reverse

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