Category Archives: Rome

Holy City – a poem

Rome.
The home
of saints
and pilgrims
shuffling in
their calfskin leather sandals
and russet robes
of righteousness.

While, down below,
barbarians still swarm
around your walls,
hoping for indulgences
and begging bread,
with trinkets lying
in the dirt
where all of us
can see their shame.

But still you let
the gilded chains
gleam bright around
your own fat neck.
You wear
your sordid affluence
with all the pride
a bloated whore
could ever hope to find.

And so I weep the Tiber
‘til the water runs
around your feet
yet you remain
unmoved.
All along, I knew
that my few tears
could never bring you
to your knees
and so it proved.

Copyright David Bastiani 2015


Metro – a poem

The doors slide
together again
in collusion
against the world
and seal us tightly
from the city
which spins forever
like a cloud
above our heads.
At the far end of the carriage
a shabby old accordion
chokes on stagnant air.

A dark-eyed musician
nurses gently back to life
the box
that holds each fragment
of his dreams.
His toes tap
to the beat of the B line
while grubby fingers
slide their way
across the keys.

The girl listens
a thousand times but still
she hears no sorrow
in the notes.
She is too young
to see behind
her mother’s smile
and so her tiny feet
join in the dance.

At Cavour
she holds out
a battered cardboard coffee cup
and smiles with
her father’s eyes
until a woman
loosens her grip
on a leather purse
and drops a coin
into the cup.

Copyright David Bastiani 2015