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Date: 4

Panorama of Italy

If I were an artist with nothing to do
I'd paint a picture, a composite view
Of historic Italy, in which I'd show
Visions of contrast - the high and the low.

There'd be a towering mountain, a deep blue sea,
Filthy brats yelling "Carmella" at me.
High plumed horses, colorful carts,
Two toned tresses on hustling tarts.
I'd show Napoleonic cops, the carbiniers,
Dejected old women with too much to carry,
A dignified gent with a Balboa beard,
Bare bottomed bambinos, both ends smeared.

Castle, palace, opera house too,
Hotels on mountains - - marvelous view.
Homes made of weeds, brick and mud.
People covered with scabs, scurvy and crud.
Chapels and churches, great to behold,
Each king's ransom in glittering gold.

Poverty, want, man craving for food,
Picking through garbage, practically nude,
Stately cathedrals with high toned bells.
Riceroro shelters with horrible smells
Moulding catacombs, a place for the dead.
Noisy civilians clamouring for bread.
Palatial villas with palm trees tall,
Stinking hovels, mere holes in a wall.

Tree fringed lawns, swept by a breeze,
Goats wading in filth up to their knees.
Revealing statues - all detail complete,
A sensual lass with sores on her feet.
Big breasted damsels, but never a bra,
Bumping against you, there should be a law.

The family wash a tattle tale gray,
Hung from the balcony, blocking the way.

Native coffee - Gosh - what a mixture!
Tiled bathrooms with one extra fixture.
Families dine from one common bowl,
Next to a fish store, a horrible hole.

Italian zoot-suiter, flashily dressed,
Bare footed beggars looking depressed.
Mud smeared children, clustering about,
Filling like pigs from a community spout.

A dutiful mother with a look of despair,
Picking lice from her small daughters hair.
Capital craftsmen displaying their art,
Decrepit old shacks, falling apart.

Intricate needle work out on display,
Surrounded by filth, rot and decay.
Elegant caskets, carved out by hand,
Odorous factories, where leather is tanned
A shoemakers shop, a blackmarket store,
Crawling with vermin, no screen on the door.

I've tried to describe the things that I've seen
Panorama of Italy, the brown and the green
I've neglected the war, scars visible yet,
But those are the things we want to forget.
I'm glad I came, but damned anxious to go,
Give it back to the natuves, I'm ready to blow

Original Scans

Original Scans