Author: Paul House

Poetry: Poem for Anna

Across all the miles that separate us,

More than twenty years away from your home,

You tell me of an unloved city,

The honeysuckle and the baffled men

Who look at you like tourists.


You should be here where the sky is postcard blue,

Where the morning is a soft withdrawal of the night

And not another day you just have to live through.

For a whole day I've sat here waiting for you.

I saw the gypsy come early with his flowers and go.

I saw the Nuns, like dominoes, wooden and stiff,

Toiling up the hill as the church bell lisped.

I saw the lunchtime shoppers, arms full of fruit,

And tasted the sweetness of cherries on my tongue.

I sat on waiting in the siesta sodden sun,

The slow hours of the afternoon, lazy voices speaking,

In the square, a beggar bent over a sandwich,

Looking at it the way some of us look at books.

In the evening a straggling queue began to form

Outside the bright, peeling posters of the theatre,

And I imagined you there, excited and eager to go.

A bootblack walked across to me as the evening fell,

His fingers bent and the colour of raw walnuts.

He stretched like an athlete preparing for a race

And told me had news from a faraway place.

He didn't, of course, so I just bought him a beer

And let him talk with his drunk tongue stubbing the words.

At midnight we were swept back out into the street

And we hugged and said goodbye like old friends. 


I wrote this, Anna, because it's good to think that maybe

In another life we might have passed by here together.



Sample Chapters

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Poem for Anna •  Mandelstam and Mayakovsky •  The Lighted Window  •  Alone with the Years •  The Poet Tires •  Something there is •  La Madrugada •  Postcard of a Golden Retriever •  Shellfish •  Miguel Hernandez •  At the Edge of the Ebro •  Gone •  Playing Cards •  That's Where I Belong •  An Abstract Perfection •  Pearls in a Glass •  Poem for Susie •  Mornings in Malasaña •  Leo •  A Garbled Message •  Gnome •  Old Friends •  More About Penguins •  Ghosts •  Poem for Nelly •  Good Friday in Salamanca •  T.L.P. •  What It Is About •  The Blind Man And His Guide •  The Smell Of Winter •  For No Other Reason •  Poem for Linda