Bordeaux s’éveille…doucement

For a couple of years, as a student then finding my first job in the wine trade, I suffered London leaping into life, the mornings that hit the ground running and left me exhausted before I’d done anything. Paris, where I lived for the fourteen years after that was calm and civilised in comparison. Looking back, from my present home in Bordeaux, Paris looks pretty frantic.

Bordeaux wakes, gets to work grumbling if it’s going to, then settles back into a leisurely promenade through the morning.
Monday mornings in perticular are like that. And Wednesdays when the children don’t have school. The serious workers get the painful process over with by nineish. After that the traffic is light and slow even on the main thoroughfares, and joggers are about the fastest moving objects on the streets. Inevitably things move quicker at going home time, especially on Friday evenings when populations migrate—students going home, the fortunate off for the weekend or to the beach. But the mornings are calm and peaceful.

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Garçons de café set up the first tables on their terraces then settle down at one of them for a well-earned pause and coffee. There is an air of the holidays, nobody seems to be in a hurry, for a chic city centre the dress code is flip-flops and bermudas.
This monday morning I think how different is this Bordeaux from the grim, industrious city of François Mauriac. His Bordeaux was a dark place of secret fortunes, and a local wine aristocracy hiding their unsavoury secrets behind the dour faces of their city mansions. It had a reputation for snobbery, unwelcoming and austere.

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How different it seems today! Bordeaux glistens. The dark stone has been cleaned until it shines a pale gold. With the waterfront cleared of warehouses and docks, the beautiful Garonne cuts a slow, glittering half moon curve as it curls past the gracious riverfront before turning towards the ocean.

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The wide riverside parks full of flowers catch the morning sun. Even the trams throw back the blazing sunlight as they glide past, silent except for the clanging of their bells.
Bordeaux ambles now, almost like the stereotype of an easy-going southern city, and I slip easily into its stride.

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Heartache

In the early morning
I walk through yellow light
And mists of green and pearly blue
That chase away the night.
I listen to the peace that falls
In the fluttering of wings
And the song of life and love and death
When the blackbird sings.
I will let it enter to fill the empty space
Where love and life have turned to death
And heartache has your face.
I will keep the blackbird’s song
When I turn to walk away
And the beauty I saw in the morning light
When I still thought you would stay.

Blackbird,_Bystrc_14

He scatters the petals of her heart

The sound of the morning, the song of the thrush
And the wind in the poppies that cover the lea.
The breeze sings its songs of the surf on the strand
And the tang on the tongue is the salt from the sea.

In the quiet of morning it called you away
Though you said that your dream would not keep up apart.
The wind from the ocean is cold as my bed
And howls in the hollow where you plucked my heart.

The colours of morning the greens and the gold
The white of the blossom that hung on the tree
And the blood red of petals, scattered and spoiled
By the salt-tangy breeze that blows in from the sea.

©Avi1111 dr. avishai teicher
©Avi1111 dr. avishai teicher

Waking

Sleep brings dark oblivion
The curtain falls on cares too hard to bear.
But morning always comes too soon
scattering the shadows in the east,
and ripples break the still night pools
with glittering spears of unwelcome light.
Though the pain returns,
The dull ache in the heart,
The blush of pink deepens on the rose
And dew hangs trembling on the leaf.
The sun will rise behind the bank of cloud
And the blackbird’s song is just as sweet.

1024px-Fugle,_ørnsø_065

I take my sorrows to the river

I take my sorrows to the river
That curls and glides and ambles by
To bathe them in the golden light
That streams and pours from a placid sky.
The sullen ache that tints with grey
The garish kingcups with golden leaves
And turns to lead the dancing lights
The silver thread that the water weaves.
Bearing its burden of broken dreams
River runs heedlessly on to the sea
With never a thought for broken hearts
For the transient sorrows of you or me.
Bathed in dew the earth unfolds
Ravelling up the shades of night
And swirling the morning’s silver skirts
Sewn with longings of golden light.
It takes my hand, the new day dawning
And shows me the place where I belong
Where sorrows dissolve like river mist
Into the beauty of the blackbird’s song.

Blackbird_Grönvold