Streets of Barcelona
Jun 6 2010

Pigeons in BarcelonaI just got back from Barcelona, Spain, and I don’t recall another time in my life where I’ve had the time to sit, think, write and let the words come without having some daily routine distraction.  I was in Barcelona visiting my cousin, Ashan Pillai (a true Outlier) on my way back from a business trip to Portugal.  After getting all the gifts for my kids (couldn’t forget the Spanish team soccer/futbal outfit), I sat in a plaza near the famous Ramblas shopping area in Barcelona with a notebook, listened to the people, listened to the street noises & pigeons, and waited for the words to appear.  I had a lofty goal of writing 7 song lyrics.  I should have gone with the goal of 3 that Brett Wintermeyer, our courier at work and also band member of The Sophisticates suggested, but I have an ‘eyes bigger than stomach’ tendency.  I wrote 3 lyrics and started 2 others.  I wrote 5 poems and started 2 others.  Many more started and swirled around my head but never made it to paper or computer.  I still have no idea if my lyrics are any good as I haven’t yet put them to actual music.

The thing with poetry that I’ve discovered over the past year or so is that sometimes its meaning is different between the writer and the reader.  Who or what the poem is about becomes about the readers personal experience or interpretation of the words.  As a writer I know that I often write things that have double meanings which are both true but the degree to which one is truer can only be fully known by the writer and possibly specific readers close to the writer.

The meaning can also slightly change depending on how it’s read out loud…the rhythm of the reading can affect someone in ways unknown.  If you are a poet, this is probably not news to you. I suppose that’s the point…if it can touch someone even if it’s different than intended then it would have served its purpose.  I wonder how many poems/lyrics go unread by others because there are so many writers out there who write for themselves as they struggle with their humanity.  I suppose the really famous writers have their poems discovered after their death and people are left to interpret them best they can, but for us mostly unknown writers they probably disappear into oblivion.

I have never shared my poetry on this blog…well not the serious ones anyway but after being inspired by Shaku letting me post her Icarus In Flight poem on my blog, I thought I’d share just one.  On a side note, in addition to me knowing Shaku through a non-profit organization, she also worked for an Austin Technology Incubator (ATI) company called Webify that was bought by IBM.  It’s a small world considering I work for ATI now.

I wrote the following poem in my cousin’s neighborhood (the day before I went to the Ramblas) after hearing a song in a video my aunt was playing for me that evoked many juxtaposing emotions that compelled me to escape outside.  Fortunately, the weather is gorgeous in Barcelona this time of year.   This poem is a mixture of recent stories…a little bit of mine, a little bit of his, a little bit of people who changed our lives.  He is in the middle (or shall I say the beginning) of an experience no new father should ever have to go through.  So without further ado…

Streets of Barcelona

On the streets of Barcelona
I wander with ancient tears in my eyes
Thinking of you and nights all alone
At Last the song with many sighs

A translucent marriage to a soul
Recently departed to a sully sea foam world
Because one could not wait to grow old
Afraid to take comfort in touches never know’d

The blustery city noises and a pigeon’s soft coo
Might wash out the pain of consequence ridden choices
And obliterate irrelevant, life altering feelings taken by you
While holes you exposed must be filled with clear voices

True sadness eludes me because fear
Overrules the quixotic, addictive emotion of love
But steely sharpness of knowledge shall bring forth to bear
Wavering courage to continue onward from Above

© May 30, 2010 Aruni S. Gunasegaram

Author: | Filed under: father, marriage, parenting, poetry, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

6 Comments on “Streets of Barcelona”

  1. 1 thom singer said at 9:01 AM on June 6th, 2010:

    We were in Barcelona last summer. Wow, what a great city. It is my favorite city in Europe (okay, tied with Venice). It is an inspirational place.

  2. 2 Silona said at 9:32 AM on June 6th, 2010:

    WOW! very powerful my dear.

    from one driven sister to another.

    Perhaps since we have similar life situations – the meaning to both of us maybe more in sync.

  3. 3 Shaku said at 11:03 AM on June 6th, 2010:

    Beautiful, Aruni! Thank you for sharing.
    You are so right about what the reader takes away and the writer intends…
    Also when I look back at my earlier poems, I find new meaning.

    Keep writing!

  4. 4 jeteye said at 8:53 AM on June 7th, 2010:

    Sweet and deep, but power of dichotomy!

  5. 5 Aruni said at 5:40 PM on June 7th, 2010:

    @Thom – yes, Barcelona is very inspirational!

    @Silona – thanks. I’d love to get together and discuss our similar life situations. :-)

    @Shaku – thank you for inspiring me to share my poetry!

    @jeteye – thanks for the interesting description of sweet and deep…never would have thought of it that way.

  6. 6 entrepreMusings » Your Online Image. Your Real Life Image. said at 1:24 PM on June 27th, 2010:

    […] my profile picture to one of my daughter wearing a flamenco dress that I bought her during my recent trip to Barcelona where I got to explore a little bit of my poetic side, I began thinking about people’s online images.  I like facebook because I can see what is […]