Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Of Swans on a Canal in Brugge

It was in Brugge,
this Venice of the North
as some call it,
that we kissed,
thinking of that other Venice,
the real one.

We were leaning over the
little bridge
on Leeuwstraat,
imagining
how sweet life would be,
seen from a tiny garden.


Then,
hand in hand,
we watched the young swans
lazily go by,
and for a long while
we wondered
why two of them were
swimming with just one leg,
and what a coincidence
it would be
for both of them
to have lost their right leg.
(Little we knew
at the time
that swans often
do that.)

My hair brushed your face
while the dog smiled at us
from his window –
master of his perfect
Flemish landscape.


Summer was young as we,
no ripeness of age or autumn
in the air,
no thoughts of death
as we have now,
just a ripple
on the water
here and there,
just the crisp wind
from the North Sea,
the warmth of our hands,
and the young swans
on a canal, in Brugge.

20 comments:

Catvibe said...

What a wonderful romantic journey! I could feel myself floating along so quietly with your words. And I love the way the pictures came just as they should from the trail your poem illuminated. Just lovely. Beautiful shots. Brugges! Now I long to go...

Michelle Johnson said...

What a beautiful place, Brugge. It looks so peaceful and your words guide us along for the journey. Hope all is well.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Oh, Vesper - how perfectly your words flow like the water of the canal - each line elegant and sophisticated, rippling with romance. The pictures are simply breathtaking. *sigh*

Really fine.

the walking man said...

If I were a romantic I would read this to the old lady with a wink and a smile towards our age. As it is though I will wink and smile to the passing season and know that with it my age goes too. Spring comes soon enough and with it the new youth of next year.

Karen said...

I love the reminiscent, sweetly nostalgic tone of this. Having come through youth and its simple misconceptions (the swans swimming is a great representation of this), you recognize what you had and where you are. I think the saddest thing is that we don't know what we have until we don't have it anymore.

Beautiful pictures - make me want to put Brughe on the list.

Dave King said...

Lovely post. Depth, humour and great visuals - what more can one ask for?

Charles Gramlich said...

Lovely pics and words. I've wanted to go to Brugge ever since seeing a movie that was set there, "In Brugge."

strugglingwriter said...

Beautiful writing. Also, can I live in one of those places from the pictures please?

Aniket said...

I never realized when I reached the end as I kept reading. It was melodious.

You are just stabbing my heart with those pictures. When, oh when will I get out of this big city life!

Geraldine said...

What beautiful, evocative words Vesper. I am drinking in every line, savoring each thought...wonderful!

jason evans said...

A wonderful memory to freeze in time.

laughingwolf said...

beauty, on so many levels, v :)

Miladysa said...

Wonderful imagery and soulful words Vesper!

Excellent :)

Akasha Savage said...

What beautiful pictures. Me and my husband went on our motorbike to Cambridge recently, while we were there we went for a boatride along the river. Our photos look very similar to yours. It was wonderful.

Rick said...

What more is left to say after what K Lawsen wrote? A lovely, romantic piece.

Jon M said...

Very romantic and the pictures are brilliant!

L.A. Mitchell said...

I could fall in love there :)

What a sweet journey...thanks for sharing it, Vesper.

Vesper said...

Cat, your lovely comment makes me float on a breeze of joy… Thank you! :-)

Michelle, thank you! Yes, the canals were unexpectedly deserted and peaceful, so close to a very crowded city centre.

Kaye, I’m beaming… The poem has the effect you describe on me – that others could feel the same is high praise. Thank you, dear Kaye!

Mark, although you say you’re not a romantic, this comment makes me suspect that deep down you are one… Thank you, my friend!

Oh, Karen, your comment reminded me (in the best of ways) of the literary analyses I so much used to love in high-school. You’re absolutely right. Thank you!

Dave, thank you – for your praise and for visiting my blog. :-)

Thank you, Charles! After you mentioned it, I read about the movie on imdb. I think I’d like to see it – I’m sure I’ll like it! They use the French name of the city, Bruges.

Thank you, Paul! Yes, pretty places, aren’t they? :-)

Aniket, you are so nice… Thank you!

Thank you so much, Geraldine! Much appreciated…

That is the wonderful power of the written word, Jason

Thank you, LW. I’m glad you liked it. :-)

Miladysa, thank you so much! :-)

Akasha, thank you. I love places next to water. Water is endlessly fascinating for me…

Rick, thank you kindly, my friend… :-)

Jon, thank you! So nice to “see” you here! :-)

Oh, L.A., what sweet words… I thank your romantic soul… :-)

BernardL said...

A wonderful combination of words and pictures.

Vesper said...

Thank you, Bernard! I'm glad you liked this. :-)