My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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tree poem for Patsy

A clumsy translation of this poem on a nearby building, done with the help of Lynn in Montpellier. (Lynn teaches translation and says poetry is especially hard. As you will see.)

cast your eye on this great tree
and through it,
maybe it’s enough.

Because even torn, soiled,
the tree of the streets,
it’s all of nature,
all the sky,
the bird there rests,
the wind moves there, the sun
speaks there of the same hope despite

if you’re lucky enough to have the tree
on your street,
your thoughts will be less arduous,
your eyes more free,
your hands more desirous
of less night.
Poem by Yves Bonnefoy, art by Pierre Alechinsky.
Paris, 5th arrondissement, at the angle of la rue Descartes.
It’s 10 a.m., and Chris will arrive here from the airport within the hour. I’ve just done mes courses – my shopping, down to the rue Mouffetard, which was just waking up, to buy the first real French gariguette strawberries – tasting them, the first of today’s orgasmic experiences, spring in my mouth – and from the bakery, croissants, pain au chocolat and a baguette, munched on the way home. I went via the tabac, where I bought the fresh new Elle that comes out on Friday.
As I walked, I compared the experience to being in New York. New York is a fabulous city, no question, but it’s relentless. There’s no let up of the energy, the solid barriers of building blocking out all sky, the furious pace of automobile and pedestrian. Here, rows of pretty six story buildings with their balconies admit lots of sky, and there’s a more moderate pace even in the heart of the city. It’s just more human here. Not as edgy, God no, not as on top of things, not as trendy, open, daring, surprising, challenging, fun, free.
But beautiful and human, with the best strawberries.



One response to “tree poem for Patsy”

  1. clothing says:

    Many thanks to the person who made this post, this was very informative for me. Please continue this awesome work. Sincerely…

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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Chris Walks
This blog evolves. It once was about travels. Now it’s a reason to be at the keyboard that I value.

Theresa Kishkan
Theresa Kishkan is a writer living on the Sechelt Peninsula on the west coast of Canada.

I walk on. With my feet, and in my mind as well.

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Wherever you’ve come from, wherever you’re going, consider this space a place for reflection and pause.


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