A poem to end the year, for Noche Vieja…”Old Night”… #poetry, #poem

(“Changes”, acrylic on canvas,20x30cm, by FBC, Omnia Caelum Studios Valencia)

Stuck in the soles of my high heeled trainers,

as I walked up seventh avenue,

I found a little rock that reminded me of home.

In memories I travelled back to when…

I walked Manhattan, Montparnasse, and la Puerta del Sol,

strolled through Alexanderplatz, Las Ramblas and Gran Vía,

sat at la Plaza de Mayo, felt the breeze that warms Bombay

and crawled through the jungles of Guatemala,

then I let the sands from the Sahara burn my cares away…

And I stopped dreaming…

And I looked in the window of the shop that I was passing

and saw the reflection of one million souls that walked alone.

Hurrying to find warmth,

trying hard to believe,

with little more than a glance,

forcing their smiles as they grieve

for the many that we’ve left behind

who will find comfort in the shadows that surround us.

So please don’t turn on all the lights

or else the ghosts can’t find us…

Home is a thought an illusion,

the sidewalk is waving goodbye,

the little rock stuck in my trainers

has made me realise,

that nothing is less

and what little is more

it is more than is less for the better.

I’ll never find anything more worth believing in

than having the strength to ignore

all the foolish thoughts that

will drive me to want more, more and yet more.

After all we’re all children of changes…

The Old Night,

the New Dawn,

one’s right,

one’s gone…

C.2020, Francisco Bravo Cabrera, 31 DEC 2020, Valencia, Spain

Remembering days long past…

(Photo by Mayra, property of Omnia Caelum Studios Valencia)

This photo, and others that I have published in this blog from this same, or similar angle, are taken by a good friend in Miami that is a collaborator to this blog. What I find extraordinary, besides the fact that she’s a great photographer, is that this was my view for about thirty years while I lived and worked in the area. And I say the area because although it is “Greater Miami”, this bridge and causeway are the property of Miami-Dade County and it is en route to a small island called Key Biscayne. I used to drive that causeway, up and down, every day for work and I can assure you that although at the time I was part of the scenery, you could say, looking at it from that angle, which is somewhere on the bay, the scenery is spectacular.

The area in and around Miami is privileged in many ways. The weather is great. The sun shines in at least 360 days of the year. And although the mercury might rise, there are always refreshing breezes coming in from the Atlantic Ocean. Miami has a huge bay, Biscayne Bay, and creating a barrier to the ocean there are many islands, including the largest one, Miami Beach, which is a separate city. Miami Beach, or “the beach” as it is commonly referred to, is actually made up of many of these barrier islands, which are large and densely populated. The island is long, but not too wide, just about two blocks, on the east is the wild Atlantic and the greatest beaches in the east coast of the United States, in my opinion. On the west side of the “island” is the bay and a view of the Miami skyline.

(Miami Arena in the foreground and Downtown Miami, photo by unknown photographer)

Miami has a rather large population. I think it is way over six million souls. For a while in the late nineteen nighties and early two thousands, it seemed like everybody wanted to move to Florida and Miami and its environs took in a large portion of those new arrivals. Another large and very important part of the population of South Florida are Cubans and folk from Central and South America, especially Argentina and Brasil. Miami, after all, is the gateway to Hispanic America with hundreds of flights every day coming and going to all points in the Caribbean, Central and South America.

Cubans started re-settling in Miami since the early 1960’s and since then have contributed almost one hundred percent to the growth of Miami and really placed it on the world map as a bilingual and bi-cultural city. Later, in the eighties and nineties, because of the large influx of Hatians, that mostly settled in the City of North Miami, the county should be considered tri-cultural and tri-lingual. After all, diversity, immigration and assimilation are the least common denominator of what the United States is all about. Miami is a great example of a great cultural mix. You walk down the streets, on the boardwalk in Miami Beach, or through any large mall or shopping centre and you will hear so many different languages you would think you were in the middle of the world!

In any event, I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Miami. I went to High School, University, enlisted in the US Army, worked there, became a deputy sheriff for Miami-Dade County, made friends there, got married there and had children there and my experience was quite lovely. I came back to Europe…Spain…because this is my country and I missed it but I will always have a soft place in my heart for the United States, especially for Miami.

So, if you ever get a chance to visit Miami, make sure you take the Rickenbacker Causeway and enjoy the bay and the island of Key Biscayne. I know you will not regret it. And maybe you will be part of the scenery captured in one of these gorgeous photographs!

CHEERS!

POETRY FOR A TUESDAY IN VALENCIA: “Birds That Fly South” #poetry, #poem

(Photo property of FBC, Omnia Caelum Studios, Miami Beach, Florida and the Atlantic Ocean)

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Lacking seeds to munch on while the whiskey warms up,
and flying through clouds pushed by the winds of the north…

They had never seen the sea…
They had no wings.
Nothing could be
as what they seem…

Thought of as truants without a cause, a rhyme or reason,
sailing on a borrowed truck in the wrong season…

Freezing from Atlantic winds,
they touched the sand,
fancy, though only a whim,
in thoughts they swam…

Then police cars screamed and massacred their winter’s silence,
and they followed without visas, without post cards, without guidance…

Deep within their heart
a raging thought of freedom,
a light to make winds part
of plans that are misleading…

Then the whiskey became drinkable, the winter’s became green,
and they learned to pray to the Virgin of of forgotten dreams…

C.2020, Francisco Bravo Cabrera, 29 DEC 2020, Valencia, Spain

Thank you to Joaquín Sabina for inspiring me to write this poem about two love birds who took off one fine winter’s day to see the ocean…
(FBC)

Tuesdays Tunes: “Momma Told Me Not To Come” by Three Dog Night

45cat - Three Dog Night - Mama Told Me Not To Come / Rock And Roll Widow -  Stateside Dunhill - UK - SS 8052
(1970)

Well, ok, it was 1970 and I was just in Middle School, or maybe not yet…

But Three Dog Night was big. I was a fan since the day I first heard “One”, a great tune…

In those days we were all linked by the AM radio. I lived in Miami at the time (what can I say, my parents brought me there, it wasn’t my choice, but I love you guys over there!) and in Miami the two big stations were WFUN and WQAM and we would all be bouncing back and forth between the two stations listening to the best and to the latest from our beloved artists, including, of course, Three Dog Night…

“Momma Told Me Not To Come” was written by Randy Newman and it was included in the band’s 1970 album It Ain’t Easy. Three Dog Night is an US band y’all…

This song made it to number one in American Top 40.

Three Dog Night, 1972. Back L-R: Joe Schermie, Floyd Sneed, Michael Allsup and Jimmy Greenspoon. Front L-R: Danny Hutton, Cory Wells and Chuck Negron
(Three Dog Night’s original lineup: Three Dog Night, 1972. Back L-R: Joe Schermie, Floyd Sneed, Michael Allsup and Jimmy Greenspoon. Front L-R: Danny Hutton, Cory Wells and Chuck Negron

Three Dog Night was formed in 1967 and was the hottest band with 21 top forty hits…three number one…between 1969 and 1975…

And…

The original members were Cory Wells, Chuch Negron and Danny Hutton, the three singers, they added the musicians later and one by one. Three Dog Night is still around with two original members, Danny Hutton and Michael Allsup. One of the original members, Jimmy Greenspoon and Cory Wells both died in 2015.

I hope you enjoy this song:

CHEERS!

#poetry, #poem MONDAY EVENING POEM “INNOCENCE”

(“Los inocentes” painting by FBC, Acrylic on canvas 50x60cm, Omnia Caelum Studios Valencia)

Intolerance, absurd reactions,
Imposing on humanity your unholy actions.
A child is watching, looking, learn you!
One wants to grow, one wants to burn you!

One child shows love,
eternal blessings.
Another longs for love’s confessing.
A thousand tears didn’t fall in vain,
the mothers knew,
this bitter pain,
their eyes burned red of sad despair,
their children die,
and no one cares…

The innocents that died today,
remind us of human emotions,
of anger, hatred and intolerance,
of evil ways, dark thoughts so aberrant.

Corrupt with power,
twisted, rotten,
the powerful with wealth ill gotten,
condemn the innocents to die
and mothers cry…

C.2020, Francisco Bravo Cabrera, 28 DEC 2020, Valencia, Spain

Ten Day Photo Challenge, Day 10

(Photo by FBC, Omnia Caelum Studios Valencia)

So I conclude my challenge. Thank you so much Aiva (Our Crossings, a great travel blog that I highly endorse and suggest you visit). I so appreciate you nominating me for this challege which has been a lot of fun. According to the rules, one posts one travel related photograph every day for ten days, you do not state where it was taken and at the same time you nominate someone else to continue on with the challenge. So, I nominate Tiffany of Tiffany Arp-Daleo Art, a super abstract painter and a great friend and fellow blogger.

I now say goodbye to the challenge having met my share of travel pics. If you would like to know where I took them, please just ask me, and I will say.

Cheers!

Ten Day Photo Challenge, Day 9 (Happy Christmas!)

(Photo by FBC, Omnia Caelum Studios Valencia)

So now I am at day 9! Almost concluding this challenge that my good friend Aiva suggested and I gladly accepted…

The rules were to post one travel related photograph every day for ten consecutive days and not to say where it was taken…of course you should have taken it…and also nominate one other blogger to do the same, if they can, will and wish to, naturally. So for this ninth day I nominate a fellow blogger who always posts tremendous travel photos and I hope he accepts, if no, no problem. So my nominee is Donny of Travelling per Second, a lovely blog that I highly recommend.

HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!

CHEERS!

POETRY FOR “NOCHE BUENA”: “Blue Lights”

(Photo by FBC, Omnia Caelum Studios Valencia)

The rhythm of a thousand feet,

syncopated, gravitated, elongated and even at times refined

conclude as echoes reach the third floor,

but shadows from the street lamps

reach much further,

they penetrate the eyes of our memories and there evaporated

they become the substance of dreams…

The blue lights on the top,

reflectors all around,

within a beating heart,

a brother, sister, husband, wife,

a father, mother, friend,

who when you’re in your parties having fun

is walking in the rain,

alone and thinking of the ones he loves,

within his beat remains,

and you can drink in peace tonight

while they are in their cars

willing, able and ready

to make of this blessed holiday also a peaceful night…

(To all my brothers in uniform that must work while we all celebrate, may God bless them)

C.2020, Francisco Bravo Cabrera, 24 DEC 2020, Valencia, Spain

Ten Day Photo Challenge, Day 8

(Photo by FBC, Omnia Caelum Studios Valencia)

We are getting close to the finish and it has been fun. I truly thank Aiva, a great friend and a fellow blogger, who writes beautiful travel articles in her blog Our Crossings, which I truly suggest you visit. In any event, the challenge was to post one travel related pic every day for ten day, not say where the pic was taken, and nominate one other blogger to carry the torch on. So today, for my eighth day, I nominate my great friend Malc from the UK, who has a beautiful blog and who is a tremendously talented photographer and writer. Malc, if you choose not to or cannot take on this challenge it is quite alright, but I thought that we could all enjoy your incredible photography.

CHEERS!