Saturday, June 5, 2010

5/22/2010 – Day Five of England Tour: So this is where the Wife of Bath hails from.

Never tell me Justin Bieber

Can carry a tune in a bucket—

Have him come to Bath

And see what he’s up against—

Hear the street performers soar

With voices like eagles,

Not the waddling pigeons

That flutter and beg for bread.

Dinner theater has never been better—

Pasta in an umbrella’s shade

With free concerts in the square,

Magicians and dancers and standing ovations—

Is that a homeless man?

He must have paid for lessons

At some point in his life,

For he is skilled at the recorder

And worth more than the coins

Tossed in his case like the wishing well

At the Roman City of Bath.

Bath’s Roman City

Has its share of performers—

A woman approaches me

In ancient robes and tall hair,

Black and curled, like mine—

“Your hair is lovely,” she says to me,

“Does your slave girl do it for you?

Hours she spent perfecting my locks—

A worthy servant, she is.”

Little does she know

I am my own slave girl

At the mercy of hair so dense

The only style permitted

Under its tyrannical regime

Is short and curly.

Just as Stonehenge is for the birds—

The crows, specifically

—The sacred pool of Bath,

Once thought to have healing powers,

Belongs to the ducks,

And the pigeons that bathe in its shallow ends.

Bath’s Roman City,

How you tempt me with your gift shop

And its lethal-looking souvenirs:

A wooden sword replica—

Try getting that through airport security!
I guess a dagger will have to do—

Smaller, less threatening, obviously a toy—

Though it’s poor compensation

For a sword enthusiast such as myself.

A mug may be an all-too common souvenir,

Sold at every gift shop under the sun,

But this one looks like pottery clay spun at the wheel,

With a replica relic in place of a logo—

Proof of where I’ve been

And fitting to a fancy spot of tea.

Italian for lunch, Italian for dinner—

Hopefully repetition will not breed contempt.

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