In the 239-bus

a ride for holding on

by the seat of one’s pants.

The smell of cabbage soup

kiosk type wrapped food

of rancid body odours.

Hopping along in a rhythmic

Hancock-bounce over grey

cobblestones of a Viennese

road design tradition.

At Holy City’s stop the wale of

the sickened bus spews out

its entire content.

People rush like a shoal of fish

gape-mouthed into the open

past casual news stands

the familiar homeless paper


The sound of knocking shoes

murmuring conversation

singing of a female refugee

echoes through the access

tunnel connecting to the trains.

Catching the next U4 train to

the city’s core many will rush

Time: Two minutes to take-off.

At last jockeying past the slow

walkers has ended

finding a red seat in traveling

direction of this train

noting down poetic ideas into

the red moleskine notebook.

For a Saturday lunchtime enough

passengers travel

while the poet misses his usual

yoghurt treat from Nica

more so to study new angles

for her portrait

she’d asked for cautiously.

Today’s a solo visit at boesner’s

artist requisite supermarket

where one finds everything

needed to express one’s own art

but let the postman deliver the

yearly comprehensive catalogue

as Mona has encouraged the

artist who lives close to the poet’s


A fortnight ago she left the party

too early and the artist found

himself as a lost soul drowning

in the red cabernet-sea of loneliness

where he’d lost his conscious to

reality and painted with his soul.

He fell from the heavens of solitude

like a stone –

That’s how Icarus must have felt –

Falling onto a sea made of

tempered glass.




A Cataract Op

Impossible to spend a quiet morn’

At the shared bedsitter

Of a poet and his fashionista pal

Partnered for a stormy 49 years

The ups and downs of eventful


There’s tragedy in B’s life

There’s constant drama in ways

Of staying together:

Economies and friendship are

Steering in an overdrive

A marriage that never had been

Called as one – she stated

And her spouse the artist had

To cope with promising her Mom

Never to leave this marriage.


The escape to the bus offers relief

And the tram ride to the AKH –

Vienna’s general hospital –

Is on good time.

The so called ‘Öffis’ are efficient.


The AKH – a city within a city

With many groups of out-patients

Visitors and white coated doctors

And nurses

Mill along Hospital Street

To the lift banks for the designated


The eye-clinic for out-patients

Marked blue

Is located on level eight.


It’s 10:00 and reception confirms

One’s arrival.

The waiting game has started.

At 11:00 one accepts an hour’s time

Spent sitting on plastic shell chairs

Reading the papers.

At 12:00 one becomes restless having

Read even details of the news and

One’s spouse adds more weight to

A stressful wait

Amazed that one is not yet ready

And operated.

Just as one intends to visit the

Nearest toilet

But is afraid to miss the call-up

A blue dressed nurse appears

And calls out one’s name.


She agrees that one has a quick

Pee and as soon as one is back

To the outpatient’s department

To undress and slip into a wide

Hospital shirt fitting xxx-large

People – some present.


Seated in the preparation area

One is well cared for by a nurse

Who is composed



Administering eye drops

A few times.

Time goes on. The clock shows

13:00. Relaxation time’s

All important.


A few minutes later a tall man

All geared up for the op-room

Guides one to the nearby

Operating room.

Hello there – Prof. S. greets

And soon one is adjusted on

The sophisticated green clad

Table and hooked on for

Measuring blood pressure.


On comes the             cover over the

Head and a clamp for the eye

And in short time the bright

Light one has to look into

Is fluctuating and variations

Of a game as in a looking glass


A waterfall cooling and washing

Invites to dive into a pond.


Prof. S. works efficiently and

With a long experience to his

Expertise and one feels in safe


Amazed how quickly the

Operation had been finished

One is speedily taken back

To the recovery room

Where a few patients already

Rest and relax with a drink.


Sitting back on a linen clad chair

The friendly polish nurse attends

With eye drops

Serves a sandwich and a cappuccino

One dozes off having a release

From the long wait and the feeling

That the procedure had been a

Good success.


The patient next to me lauds the

Hospital and the surgeon

He is served a sandwich and also

A cappuccino.

We talk about our experiences

And his enthusiasm makes the

Nurses smile.


Finally a post-operative check-up

By the professore

All’s in good order and time to

Change and go home.

It’s 15:00. The long wait is already

Overwritten by the good feeling

Of having survived the day

Albeit with a bandaged eye one

Has to move carefully.






It would be great

If the drama of life

Would stop at the stage

Of a mature life

When one feels that enough

Is enough.


But the dramatic play

Follows one lifelong.

It’s damned annoying

When a bickering spouse

Shoots poisoned arrows

Into a beautiful morn’.


A positive attitude is the

Best antidote

Like a determined will

Overcomes strenuous

Writing efforts

On a shaky 239-bus ride

To the City of Saints.

Creativity surmounts

The drama of talent.







Eros and the Poet

During another restless night

The topless Muse from

Porto Rafti-beach

Stirred his desires

Caressed his body

For a sweet and quaint

Birthday joy.

Late morning he still desired

His chosen Muse

A second time.


Morning sun’s warmth

Flooded the Red Tower room

The poet had a critical look

At his nude

Depicted in his notebook.

How come he could not find

His way back to his spouse

Who shied him away

Misunderstanding his state of

Joie du vivre – jokes and

More clowning?


Like two opposing cultures

The long time married couple

Clashes again and again

As if fate had some different

Plan cut-out for the two

Hot heads

Immersed in art and fashion

Poet against fashionista.




Mental Boot

Sunday’s shouting match

Of a warring couple

Poet and fashionista

The swollen Weidling brook

Took toward the Danube.

Usually –

Threats fell like heavy rain

And soaked the poet’s garb

Ridiculed by the fashionista


Who thought life might

Turn-out more amenable

To her at an advanced age

Than to her artistic spouse.

The more she hammers him

With pedantic matters

The more she loses him

But he knows she’ll never

Leave him

Having saved her life

All he would care for

Is for more respect.

In Vienna the poet is given

A wide bed at the Red Tower

Licking his wounds from

A domestic fight

Getting him back to life.

Her spiked mental boot

Hurts more than

Physical pain

He follows up with an

Expression in his art.





So far a quiet morn’

She’s awake early on

But respects the poet’s sleep.

Hopefully she’ll avoid getting

Angry at the poet’s replies

If she queries words and themes

She’s interested in.

Her way of life is set out:

She watches documentaries

And biographies

The poet has not much interest

In her selection and this

At times annoys her.

You should live with me

She states

As if the poet’s sudden phase

Of creativity would bother her

As if she’d like to involve him

Into discussions

When she wishes to score.

The poet ignores heated

Impromptu vents of

Giving way to anger

She’s pent-up.

He rather listens to Bill Evans’

Piano as stimulating background

While he composes another

Journal entry.





Stopover: City of Saints

The station at the City of Saints

An intermediate stop

A watering hole for travelers

Refreshing spot for sushi lovers

Beer drinkers

Burger eaters.


Or just for taking a seat at a bench

Waiting for a bus connection

If one missed a better planning

For subway arrivals

Watching the girls in tights

Passing by

People from all over this globe

Who feel at home here

Looked after by the state for

Finding a foothold

Except for expats

Who suffered badly when they


Not favoured any longer

But also taken for a ride

Except in time when they

Began drawing on social


Especially at medical services.


Viki says it’s a helluva good

Country to live in

And Mrs IRA lauds the Viennese


Derived from mountain springs.


The poet loves the museums

Auras of quaint elegance

In habits and of classical buildings

But he feels a lack of preparedness

By the cultural institutions

To promote artists

Aside the mainstream dictations

Of the ruling class.





Long Walks for Social Help

There’s the smell of diesel

From cars zipping past and

Shower us with plumes

Of badly controlled exhaust



There are people sitting

On a wooden bench

One eating a health bar nearby

Another munching a sausage roll

Food smells mixing with the

Polluted air.


The bus announces its arrival

With a distinct engine sound

And the way it reduces speed

To stop in front of the passengers.

Nervous traffic passes it.


Smells of gasoline and sweat

Oozes from the pale red coloured

Vinyl of the upholstered plastic


The artist takes all in and hobs

From the end station to the

Offices of social care

Sparsely furnished.


The woman who helps acts

Suspicious of one’s intentions.

Finally after throwing words

Back and forth

Both parties listen and agree

Another document is needed

For completion of the submission

For a monthly support of energy


As reported by a local county



The artist at war with provincial minds

That rule over the fund’s distribution.


Relax in the close-by amenable

Coffee house.

There’ll be a long way to success

With officialdom

But also a nervy wait for a bus

Taking one home.


The artist closes his eyes

Imagines a beach with soft sand

And warm pebbles

A Med’s turquoise sea

Lapping gently at his feet.