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Basel

by Tony Whitaker

Narrow cobblestone strasse
conveying me to a destination
places to see or eat in history

Famous, these Swiss, in the middle ages
sought by all countries for their mercenary might
now just smiles on friendly faces

Passing pedestrians window shopping
buildings, once homes or general stores,
now see more than you’re looking for

Trams and busses whisk one away
to any corner in the city to play or pray
no need for cars, no rage today

Movenpick’s at Marktplatz
sitting outside, all come to chat
as we sip wine, eating Rösti

Watching people walking by
lovers embrace, mothers give chase
giving a heart to another

I came to live and work in fear
giving hope to my wife’s career
fear in fleeing an American nest

But this at once was a magic place
where time stands still at sunset’s trace
stores close early, no one works on Sunday!

A new rhythm seeped in, this weathered skin
where once was chaos comes peace within,
now silence, fills where once was din

Once rare, back there,
each day I look forward to living here
‘Do I wish to die here or there?’

In this beating heart of Basel

06/20/2008

Author's Note: I love this city in central Europe.

Posted on 06/20/2008
Copyright © 2021 Tony Whitaker

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Quentin S Clingerman on 07/15/08 at 06:03 PM

You've enthusiastically written of what has to be a marvelous place to live in Switzerland. I was not in Basel but several cities in Switzerland. Loved the country!

Posted by Leonard M Hawkes on 03/04/09 at 05:10 AM

This captures the scene well--I too love Switzerland.

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