Saturday, January 26, 2013

WHERE CHURCH-BELLS CHIME ALL DAY















Remember the bus careening
Down the mountainside right
On the edge of the curved road
Skirting both cars and donkeys
So close the straw trembled
Visibly, on the donkeys' backs
Scattering pedestrians indiscriminately
Casually also; no-one
Seemed to hurry much at all

I think we knew if we ever started screaming
We would never stop; our throats would be raw
In no time, so instead we distracted ourselves
Counting the number of times we heard church-bells chiming
just during that one ride—there seems to be no rhyme nor reason
to the chiming times anywhere in Italia except maybe Roma—
We also tried to estimate how terrified we were on a scale of one to ten;
we said jokingly, but we were both clearly frightened

Some locals were making fun of us
Remember? They were seated behind
And to the right so I pulled out a mirror
So we could watch them without
Turning around - the one guy
With the tattered Italia soccer shirt
Caught me looking and stuck out his tongue
I pretended not to see, looked out the window
Stared for a long time at the vast coastline
Almost entirely obscured in the mist

20 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness Sharon! This is a rare deeply exquisite gem among the velvet bag of gems that is your body of work. It is getting to be time to gather them all up and publish. Brilliant piece of writing deserving a much wider audience... :) WOW! Bravo! all that and more!

    ReplyDelete
  2. You took us on that journey with you!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I felt the fear, heard the bells, and even felt your embarrassment! Brilliant writing.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I was holding my breath just reading about your ride!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Aces. And I like the title even more after reading the poem.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This reminds me of being in Mexico... I had the same kind of experience.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Storytelling brilliance, Sharon!

    ReplyDelete
  8. The details in this are just incredible, Sharon. I am on that wild ride with you. Just wonderful.
    de

    ReplyDelete
  9. This is great, Sharon. You took me back to Puerta Vallarta, where we had a mad taxi driver. The roads weren't near so treacherous as yours. I love this piece. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Reminds me of some journeys I have been on down here. Well told story, Sharon.

    Pamela

    ReplyDelete
  11. I love the Ingraham travelog! A well written piece; beautiful in its imagery!

    ReplyDelete
  12. The ending is my favorite part:

    "With the tattered Italia soccer shirt
    Caught me looking and stuck out his tongue
    I pretended not to see, looked out the window
    Stared for a long time at the vast coastline
    Almost entirely obscured in the mist"

    ReplyDelete
  13. That is beautifully done Sharon! I love the sound of "Remember?", I try to do it too because it gets me emotionally every time. This is one of my favorite whirls this week.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Loved it! A real adventure story (What is it with those Mexican bus drivers? I can add a me- too. If I ever went to Italy, I'd use a train)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Sharon, this was luscious. Makes me want to see Italy, even with that guy sticking his tongue out! I was holding my breath for the entire poem, scared as you were. This poem is alive! Amy
    http://sharplittlepencil.com/2013/01/27/extra-extra-editorial-comment-by-moi/

    ReplyDelete
  16. Love it, Sharon. Made me think of a similar trip up to Mt. Washington, where nothing was visible at the top, due to fog.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Nicely whirled Sharon. Oh my goodness, thank god for the lighter moments in the middle of such unease. I can so relate. :)

    ReplyDelete