Portraits of France… (Catching Butterflies)
Les papillons dans l‘air,
One by one we catch them,
These pieces of une vie étrangère,
We trap them with our lens,
With our memories,
With our pens.
The delicious scent wafting from la boulangerie,
The best jambon beurre à Paris ?
Le serveur qui dit, “Vous avez choisi?”
When we sit hand in hand
Quietly watching the sun set over la Seine,
How can we begin to understand
The cadence of the days,
That je ne sais quoi,
Which makes a country into a musical phrase,
Singing its histoire in the streets,
With the voice of the Métro singer, the flutist,
The cathedral bells and the wind across the sea.
The sun illuminates an arena
Where men have made sport of violence for centuries,
And braces itself for La Féria du Riz.
A feline curls itself onto a stone wall
Sleepily regarding the passers-by,
Resembling its ancestor who inspired the artists of old.
That certain time of day when Tout le monde,
Over their espressos with the tiny spoons,
Takes time to talk of des choses simples et profondes.
We try to bring these butterflies home,
Put them in a shadowbox, pinned through the thorax.
Quelle horreur when we find that despite that, they’ve flown…