Dreaming of a Smile

(Photo by FBC, All Rights Reserved, Omnia Caelum Studios Valencia)


Old, and barely able,
he walks out to the busy corner,
where he buys his daily bread,
wondering where the hell these thoughts
come from that are dancing in his head.
He looks around and doesn’t see
the lady with the mandolin,
that plays the songs he likes to sing,
which she brought from a place he’s never seen.
And though the morning sun has filled
the day with light and warmth,
he’s cold and suffers ‘cause he can’t explain
the lonely feelings that he cannot seem to shake.
Loneliness is not a symptom,
it’s a curse that’s so hard to explain,
for no one really seems to know,
and few can understand the pain.
Everybody’s lonely mornings
are as different as are flakes of snow,
Singular and so precise,
and will never let you go.
And he knows that the future threatens
to be not so very far away,
He still forces his voice to comply,
And tells his children he’s okay:

“I’m only dreaming of a smile,
Yes, for one of those, I’d walk a million miles,
But they’re very hard to find,
And I just haven’t the time…”

He takes his loaf of bread and
walks across the park towards home,
where he sees a group of children playing in the sun.
They remind him of when he was young
and of the days when smiles were not a million miles away.
And for a second in his head he sees the images of long lost friends,
he sees himself in happy times, his true love by his side,
and holding hands they’d listen to their children sing their songs
and he could proudly say…

“I am the happiest of men,
I find golden rays of light,
even in the pouring rain.
With you I will always stay,
and you will never lose your way,
for I will always be your compass,
till we reach the end of days…”

Alone he finds his way back home
to a dark and dusty room
where ghosts do roam.
And the thoughts inside his head are shouting, reminding him,
repeating loudly:

“You’re useless now and soon you will be dead.
The life that you remember is just pictures in your head.
And everyone that you have loved
has left this Earth, they’re far above,
while in the meantime you’re still down here and still struggling
with this meaningless existence so mundane.
Can you name someone that really cares?
No! You’ve no one anywhere! Though it’s a shame.”

And he sits down on the tattered couch,
His index finger to his mouth,
He silences the voices and replies:

“I know the children rarely call,
And I’ve gotten very old,
And I no longer have a loving hand to comfort
or to hold,
and I can’t find a refuge from the cold,
my God, how can I live another day”.

C.2020, Francisco Bravo Cabrera, 07 FEB 2020, Valencia, Spain

INSTAGRAM: @Francisco_Bravo_Cabrera

JaZzArt en Valencia: http://www.ArtPal.com/rfbravo1155

Piano Jazz con mi grupo AJA: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/aja

THANKS!

20 comments

  1. Alchemical One · February 7, 2020

    Reblogged this on Alchemical One and commented:

    Old, and barely able,
    he walks out to the busy corner,
    where he buys his daily bread,
    wondering where the hell these thoughts
    come from that are dancing in his head.
    He looks around and doesn’t see
    the lady with the mandolin,
    that plays the songs he likes to sing,
    which she brought from a place he’s never seen.
    And though the morning sun has filled
    the day with light and warmth,
    he’s cold and suffers ‘cause he can’t explain
    the lonely feelings that he cannot seem to shake.
    Loneliness is not a symptom,
    it’s a curse that’s so hard to explain,
    for no one really seems to know,
    and few can understand the pain.
    Everybody’s lonely mornings
    are as different as are flakes of snow,
    Singular and so precise,
    and will never let you go.
    And he knows that the future threatens
    to be not so very far away,
    He still forces his voice to comply,
    And tells his children he’s okay:

    “I’m only dreaming of a smile,
    Yes, for one of those, I’d walk a million miles,
    But they’re very hard to find,
    And I just haven’t the time…”

    He takes his loaf of bread and
    walks across the park towards home,
    where he sees a group of children playing in the sun.
    They remind him of when he was young
    and of the days when smiles were not a million miles away.
    And for a second in his head he sees the images of long lost friends,
    he sees himself in happy times, his true love by his side,
    and holding hands they’d listen to their children sing their songs
    and he could proudly say…

    “I am the happiest of men,
    I find golden rays of light,
    even in the pouring rain.
    With you I will always stay,
    and you will never lose your way,
    for I will always be your compass,
    till we reach the end of days…”

    Alone he finds his way back home
    to a dark and dusty room
    where ghosts do roam.
    And the thoughts inside his head are shouting, reminding him,
    repeating loudly:

    “You’re useless now and soon you will be dead.
    The life that you remember is just pictures in your head.
    And everyone that you have loved
    has left this Earth, they’re far above,
    while in the meantime you’re still down here and still struggling
    with this meaningless existence so mundane.
    Can you name someone that really cares?
    No! You’ve no one anywhere! Though it’s a shame.”

    And he sits down on the tattered couch,
    His index finger to his mouth,
    He silences the voices and replies:

    “I know the children rarely call,
    And I’ve gotten very old,
    And I no longer have a loving hand to comfort
    or to hold,
    and I can’t find a refuge from the cold,
    my God, how can I live another day”.

    C.2020, Francisco Bravo Cabrera, 07 FEB 2020, Valencia, Spain

    INSTAGRAM: @Francisco_Bravo_Cabrera

    JaZzArt en Valencia: http://www.ArtPal.com/rfbravo1155

  2. Very brilliant poetry!

  3. short-prose-fiction · February 8, 2020

    My dearest Francisco, brilliant, touching. We all meet that man every day. Some of us understand his pain, dreams, hopes. Some of us do not. I am afraid to dissect this poem because I do not want to destroy its magic. There are things that are so perfect that there is nothing to say in front of them; things that are priceless.
    Thank you for sharing,
    Gabriela

    • Francisco Bravo Cabrera · February 8, 2020

      Lamentably we all fear becoming this man, I’ve met him many times and always feel for his existence. I thank you profoundly for your words. As you know, I greatly value your opinion and the knowledge that comes from your wonderful heart. My dear friend have a lovely Saturday and weekend and I look forward to reading more of your work soon! Un saludo y un gran abrazo valenciano,
      F.

  4. Sharon · February 8, 2020

    You really do write some wonderful poetry.

  5. charlypriest · February 8, 2020

    Priceless, I could visualize the old man and his situation and then in between not to overload the reader you get in there some rhymes that adds to the flow of the poem.
    I liked very much the sentences in quotes at the end, not overloading of description but just enough a well written to let us see the old man. The describing of he not seeing the woman with the mandolin, taking a loaf of bread and then walking back home, seeing those kids that reminds him of his good old days….perfect. They say in writing to “show not tell”, I think you mastered that first basic yet important principle quite well to say the least.

    • Francisco Bravo Cabrera · February 8, 2020

      Good morning Charly, and thank you so much! I have been trying precisely to get that balance that you have described. Colega I truly appreciate your words and your visit. I am learning much with good friends like you on this blog. Thank you,
      Un saludo y un abrazo valenciano,
      Francisco

      • charlypriest · February 8, 2020

        Ha sido una lectura muy buena para despertarme por la mañana, un fuerte abrazo madrileño.
        Carlos

  6. markbierman · February 8, 2020

    Well done!

  7. Daedalus Lex · February 8, 2020

    Just for the record, my favorite lines are “Everybody’s lonely mornings / are as different as are flakes of snow” 🙂

    • Francisco Bravo Cabrera · February 8, 2020

      Hello Lex and I am so glad that you liked the poem and that line in particular took a lot of re-writing…Thank you!
      Greetings from Spain and all the best,
      Francisc

  8. Felipe Adan Lerma · February 8, 2020

    Just the fact he can raise the question of “how” is, I think, hopeful ❤️

    The fact he remembers, “I am the happiest of men,
    I find golden rays of light,
    even in the pouring rain.
    With you I will always stay,
    and you will never lose your way,
    for I will always be your compass,
    till we reach the end of days…” – says to me he can find the way, if he chooses 💕

    Wonderfully evokes imagery & sense of both inner and exterior space, Francisco! 😊

    • Francisco Bravo Cabrera · February 8, 2020

      Thank you Felipe…I think you are right, good analysis and I greatly appreciate it.
      All the best and have a great weekend!
      Francisco

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