Real Good for Free on a Stockholm Subway
Remembering Joni in Paris
The gypsy with the cheese-fat grin,
crushed takeaway cup hidden
in his pocket, struck up
a jig with a BYO* violin.
We smiled eco-friendly smiles
the Nordic way, not too much,
felt relieved at the next stop
when we could escape,
hadn’t time to scrabble
in wallets to spare him a coin,
though we clapped in what
must have been appreciation.
So, when I heard a clarinet
in a jazzy riff
(Dad playing Summertime
in the Llandoger Trow),
I saw the man with the pirate patch
squatting in rags on a city path,
and when I put ten kroner in his plastic bag,
he winked with his one good eye.
*BYO: Australian custom. Bring your own as in alcohol or drinks.
Originally from Bristol, UK, Julie Maclean is now based in Australia. She is the author of ‘Kiss of the Viking’ (Poetry Salzburg, 2014), ‘When I saw Jimi’ (Indigo Dreams Publishing, UK, 2013) and e-chapbook ‘You Love You Leave’ (Kind of a Hurricane Press, US, 2014). Her poetry and short fiction features in international journals like Poetry and The Best Australian Poetry (UQP). Blogging at www.juliemacleanwriter.com.
Darren C. Demaree is the author of three poetry collections, As We Refer to Our Bodies (2013, 8th House), Temporary Champions (2014, Main Street Rag), and Not For Art For Prayer (2015, 8th House). He is the recipient of three Pushcart Prize nominations and a Best of the Net nomination. He is also a founding editor of Ovenbird Poetry and AltOhio. He is currently living in Columbus, Ohio with his wife and children.