I wrote this poem in response to this weeks Daily Challenge to write on the theme ‘The Devil is in the Details’
Auguszt Cukraszda could be in any European city.
Or could it?
The devil is in the details.
Crystal glass chandelier shines light high
above the customers retreating from the
grey cold wet day;
Outside the large glass windows at the front, yellow trams
cheerfully trundle through the slush.
Two grande dames enter and hang their
fur hats and coats carefully on the coat rack.
Soft, leather handbags, classy knee-length
leather boots, tastefully they move to their regular
table for strong coffee and good conversation amongst friends.
An older man is talking with intensity, passion.
to a genial, paunchy slightly younger man nodding and smiling.
Three women in the corner beside them eating cakes,
laughing and talking ~ slightly too loudly for this city
(for the general level of conversation here, they have already noted,
is quiet & hushed unlike other cities they have known)
They are not natives of this city or country – that detail is clear.
The visitors are speaking English and only one a native speaker;
the others two speak with accents that are subtly different from each other
Other customers discreetly observe this (and other details) wondering how
this mismatched trio
came to be here, at this time, at this place
The trio fall into conversation with the intense older man.
‘What do you do?’ one asks curious
‘Are you a teacher?’ says another
‘I teach others the ancient Japanese art of the Sword – Iaido.’
‘Ah, a sensei.’ they say
The other man is his student – he suits his role of assistant to the master
Discourse flows on the merits of striving to draw the perfect circle
freehand & the sensei points out how we can never achieve perfection
yet in the trying we are bettered, we learn more, we are have more compassion.
‘That is the point of iaido’
With that he excuses himself, he needs to write now.
The assistant lingers at this colourful table but the trio make plans to leave
and he reluctantly returns to his sensei
‘What synchronicity, what luck we had to fall into the perfect cafe’
They say, gathering their coats and scarves.
‘We must have very good cake Karma’ says one
laughing and laughing they fall out of the cafe.
Through the back of the cafe, the wise old cat inhabiting
the grand courtyard (it’s staircase of decayed grandeur
descending downwards gently) is roused briefly to stretch and sniff the air
as if to say
‘Cake Karma indeed’
before returning to curl up, to dream of days gone by.