Buenos Aires Begins

Ticking things off the bucket list is one of life’s most satisfying achievements and in January 2017 I did, by travelling to a Spanish speaking country, other than Spain where I lived for twenty three years.

There were several on my list but I had a flash – Buenos Aires. It was in fact the possibly of going to work in the city that lead me, in a round about way to going to work in Spain.

The trip began with good omens when both my flights landed early. Arriving in the height of a Southern Hemisphere summer, my Scottish winter suffering self, soaked up the warmth as soon as I stepped from the terminal building, ego caressed by the tour company rep, who took me to my hotel transfer, asked me where did I learn to speak fluent Spanish.

I had a long chat with the taxi driver and I was delighted on arrival at my hotel to discover my room was ready, I could take up residence four hours before schedule, so thanks to Nick Thomson of Destinations Travel, Edinburgh  for  getting that set up. My room was not the best; looking into an inside courtyard but that meant it was quiet and dark which meant cooler and quieter than overlooking a noisy street.

Argentina is only three hours behind GMT and after unpacking I had the afternoon as well as evening on my hands. I decided on easy exploration and use the hop on hop off bus. I located the start point not far from my hotel, I was tired, and directions are different here. Coming from an old city bearings are landmarks, streets are short often descriptive. Here people speak of cuadras or blocks. Most of them seemed the same to me. Streets are very long going well into the 1000’s

I have mixed feelings about hop on hop services. They do get you around but it’s not that easy just to hop on and off, if you miss a stop then round you go again. I had no plans to get off anywhere, I didn’t feel jet lagged but I was tired, the night flight had been fifteen hours.

Buenos Aires, often known as the Paris of Latin America reminded me very much of Madrid, for me the city has a big plus, it is located on the sea. It was hot, muggy, and over 30ºC and I was happy. It is always difficult to take in the sights on day one  and travel weary but I was able to identify the places I would visit the next day using the same service. I don’t do a lot of research before my trips, I like to discover rather than plan, but one thing that did impress was Buenos Aires is currently the city in the world with the most bookshops. Lovely as sadly, they are a dying breed over here. I had passed quite a few en route.

I discovered route A morphed into route B and I decided to be brave and switched onto route C made it back onto route A to find it was on its last trip of the day and not returning to the start point near my hotel. Now feeling really tired I had to walk down Avenida 9 July which used to be the widest street in the world until the Brazilians built a wider one in their federal capital of Brasilia. The guide on the bus told me my hotel was just a few blocks down the avenida. A few blocks took me about 20 mins stopping on more than one occasion to ask, always same answer a few blocks more. My feet were throbbing in the heat but I finally located May Avenue and saw the entrance to my hotel. I was hungry so opted to visit the small bistro on the corner opposite my hotel for food.

Steak, chips, and salad for under a tenner; the beef was stunning, the mouthfeel different to what I am used to, it was an easy chew not melt in your mouth, steak does need a bit of bite, and coating your mouth with velvety flavour.

Feet rested it was across the street and two doors down to arrive back at my hotel, the air conditioning was on and I sunk into the dim room, dusty and delighted.

The next day I woke, breakfasted in the hotel which was basic but sufficient and headed off to an even nearer bus stop to catch the hop off hop on. Refreshed, confident that my Spanish was well up to the task. Places were beginning to look familiar and I alighted at my first stop Costanera Sur an ecological nature bird reserve; fascinating to observe this as part of the city. There was a long walk way where you could look into the park, the water covered in green plant life. Dotted along the route were statues of Argentina’s sporting greats, I only recognised Gabriella Sabatini the tennis player, only sport I would claim to be a fan of.

I would have loved to have stayed longer, but the demands of getting your money’s worth from the hop on hop all were calling. It was hot so found a spot in the shade till the bus returned; I had had a pleasant wander. My next hop off was at the interchange between route B and C at the MABLA Art gallery. I had a great feeling from the building when I popped in to use the ladies. I then waited till the cross over point for route C to visit the next place that had caught my eye.

Fairy Tale Fishing Club

Looking like a fairy tale castle was the Bs As Anglers clubhouse set on the magnificent River Plate. It was refreshing to be beside the sea. Not enough time to pop in for a coffee as the C route is only every half an hour and I wanted to be dropped off in Palermo Soho Bs As upmarket district.

In Palermo Soho, I had time here for a quick refreshment, wandered round found a lovely little square with a beautiful handbag shop that was closed and wouldn’t open till 5 pm. I couldn’t risk it and hoped to make it back at my own pace. It was time to get back onto route B so I could return to being route A. I had only managed to visit three places though had identified several more places to add to my list. This is what frustrated me about hop on op off you never manage to do as much as you think you can. However, I had acquired a sense of the city, and I was loving its vibes, and feel. The weekend was to be spent on one of my passions, discovering, cooking, and sampling local food.


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A Breathless Journey (Bilingual)

Straight jacketed onto the roundabout of hell,
propelled and pushed by prejudice and poison.
No space to think, no time to breathe,
dizzy with doubts dulled by despair.
The jacket gets tighter and tighter
The roundabout goes faster and faster,
crushing, controlling, contorting,
a breathless journey of endless pain.

Trapped in a tornado of treachery,
spinning suffocating
out of control, out of mind.
No stimulus, no sensation,
the tornado spins faster and faster,
the treachery goes deeper and deeper,
crushing, controlling, contorting,
a tender hook journey of endless strain.

Crippled by the millstone of constant compromise,
self blaming, self doubting,
too dry to feel drained,
too unhappy to feel sad.
The millstone keeps grinding,
the compromises never solving,
crushing, controlling, contorting,
a dismal journey of endless night. 

Uncatchable glimmers of hope,
flashing, flying by
past potential, fading future, simmering thorny seeds
sowed in the haven of lifelong ambition.
The glimmers bring light,
the hope bears fruit,
looking, leaving, listening,
A breathless journey of endless pain. 

The penetrating lever of poison
halted, held.
Different light, different angle,
new vision, new solution,
The lever stops pushing,
the poison stops penetrating,
liberating, leaving, letting go
the breathless journey of endless pain.

Round and round

Atado al tio vivo del infierno en camisa de fuerza,
propulsado y empujado por prejuicios y veneno.
No espacio para pensar ni momento para respirar,
mareado con dudas, dormido por desesperación.
La camisa cada vez prieta y más ajustada
el tio vivo va más rápidom rapidísimo
aplastatando, controlando, torceindo
un viaje sin aliento de un dolor interminable. 

Atrapado en un tornado de traición,
Girando, sofocante,
Fuera de control, vacia la mente.
No estímulo, ninguna sensación.
El tornado gira más rápido, rápidisimo
el traición va más profunda, profundísima
aplastatando, controlando, torceindo,
un viaje de gancho de cepa interminable de licitación. 

Machacado por la muela del compromiso constante,
Se culpa a sí mismo, se duda a si mismo.
Demasiado seco para sentirse, agotado
Demasiado infeliz para sentirse triste.
La piedra del molino sigue machacando
Los compromisos no sirve nunca para nada
aplastatando, controland,o torceindo,
un viaje sombrío de noche interminable.

Inalcanzables destellos de laesperanza,
parpadeando volando por
pasado potencial, perdido el futuro, guisando semillas espinosas,
sembrado en el refugio de la ambición permanente.
El destello trae luz.
La esperanza da fruto.
Buscando, escuchando, dejando,
Uu viaje sin aliento del dolor interminable. 

La palanca penetrante de veneno
detenida, parada.
Luz diferente, ángulo diferente.
Nueva solución, nueva visión.
La palanca deja de empujar.
El veneno deja de penetrar 
liberando, dejando, escapando,
el viaje sin aliento de dolor interminable.

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Liberation ( Bilingual)

Dim distant dawns,
pleasure yet pains.
Marred muddled memories,
a late player in
a dangerous destructive game.
A sacrificial lamb with
sins shames pushed over,
pushed off, pushed in.

Twisted, tainted, thoughts drilled into the mind.
Sensitive, guilt laden confrontation.
A new weapon to punish and cripple.
Misfitting transferring problems,
draining distorting battles.
Sieges and storms, stress and strains.
Same twisting mill, slow seeping killing.

Life long loyalties exhorted demanded.
Claustrophobic, crippling, manipulation.
A vicious circle situation.
No base, no bridge
no help no haven.
The olive branches always broken.

Loyalties exhorted, demanded.
Clouded. confused. crippling
Manipulation. A circle of
claustrophobic creation.

No support, no sympathy.
Yet hoping for what should have been,
But what could never be.
Wanting desiring to
change, to create, but needed to

Old ghosts, old conflicts,
reappearing, too much too soon.
Too similar, a misery mirror of ancient wounds.
Equations never equal,
rules ranging ever changing.
Continual mental whiplash
scarring self, soul and sensitivity.

Fighting hard, fighting free
It took its time but it
Was plain to see
The choice was simple
The decision clear
Forward to the future
With faith, only in me.

Amaneceres distantes lejanos.
Placer aún dolor.
Recuerdos confusos de dolor,
Un jugador final en
Un juego destructivo, peligroso.
Un cordero de sacrificio con
Pecados, verguenza empujó
empujado fuera de nuevo.

Pensamientos cuestionables, torcidos, perforaron en la mente.
Enfrentamiento de culpabilidad cargada se sensiblilidad.
Una nueva arma para castigar y paralizar
La transferencia de problemas sin encajar
Batallas agotan y  distorsionan
Asedios y tormentas, estrés y cepas.
La torsióndel  molino lento matando.

Claustrofobia manipulación invalidantes.
Una situación de círculo vicioso.
Sin lugar sin puente
No ayudan a ningún refugio
Las ramas de olivo siempre rotas.

Lealtades exhortados exigió
Empañó paralizando, confundido,
Manipulación.  Un círculo de
creación y de  claustrofobia.
No admite ninguna simpatía.
Todavía esperando lo que debería haber sido
Pero lo que nunca podría ser.
Queriendo deseos de
cambiar a crear pero fue necesario

Viejos conflictos, viejos fantasmas
Reaparezca, demasiado, demasiado pronto
Demasiado similar, un espejo de miseria de las heridas antiguas.
Nunca las ecuaciones son iguales
Reglas que van cambiando cada vez,
el latigazo mental sigue repite
Cicatrización de ser, de alma y  de la sensibilidad.

Combates duros, luchando libre
Tomó su tiempo pero
fue a la vista,
la elección fue simple
la decisión clara
Avanzar hacia el futuro
Con fe, sólo en mí.



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First of May Square / Plaza Primero de Mayo (bilingual)

Bustling, busy, beautiful, Buenos Aires.
A tourist trip drops into the square,
The Pink House of power,
walls tainted in blood, from beginning.
A soothsayer’s prediction of future crimes?
Los desaparecidos, los desaparecidos.

Bustling, busy, beautifu,l Buenos Aires.
A tourist wanders around the square.
Every corner, every side
Bricks and mortar, symbiotic symbols of
power and state.
Los desaparecidos, los desaparecidos.

Bustling busy beautiful Buenos Aires.
A tourist scans the flagstones in the square
The white scarf painted on stone.
Simple symbol of struggle,
Love, courage, and dedication
The mothers of the missing.
Los desaparacidos. los desaparacidos.

Bustling busy beautiful Buenos Aires.
A tourist leaves the square,
moments merge, memories mingle.
Torture, terror, removed from sight.
Phoenix like rising from the ashes
a movement born, a movement embraces
Mothers fight day and night,
to honour the missing children
Los desaparecidos, los desaparecidos.

Buenos Aires from River Plate

Alegre, movida, hermosa Buenos Aires.
Un viaje turístico llega a la plaza,
La casa rosada del poder,
las paredes manchadas de sangre, desde el principio.
La predicción del vidente de futuros delitos?
Los desaparecidos, los desaparecidos.

Alegre, movida, hermosa Buenos Aires.
Un turista deambula por la plaza,
de cada esquina, de cada lado
Ladrillos y mortero, símbolos simbióticos
del poder y la fuerza.
Los desaparecidos, los desaparecidos.

Alegre, movida, hermosa Buenos Aires.
Un turista analiza las losas en la plaza,
Un pañuelo blanco pintado en el suelo.
Símbolo sencillo de la lucha,
amor, coraje y dedicación.
Las madres de los desaparecidos.
Los desaparecidos, los desaparecidos.

Alegre, movida, hermosa Buenos Aires.
Un turista sale de la plaza,
momentos mezclan, los recuerdos reúnen .
La tortura, el terror, quitados de la vista.
Como el ave Fénix resurgiendo de las cenizas
nace un movimiento, un movimiento que abarca a
las madres, quienes luchan día y noche
para honrar a los hijos desaparecidos.
los desaparecidos de los desaparecidos

Reading Plaza de Mayo 26/8/17

Posted in Argentina, memories, Politics, Travel, Travel Poetry | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Power of Poison (bilingual)

The drops of Venom formed
rivers of terraced wounds.
Wounds relentlessly, mercilessly,
whiplashed, time and time again.

The hierarchy of attitudes obscured
a yardstick of valueless rituals.
Rituals of no appreciation, no respect
thrust time and time again.

The illusions of compromise rubbed
salt into grated sores.
Sores ragged and raw,
Festering time and time again.

The price of promise, polished
commitments of pristine ice.
Ice splintering into water
Vaporising time and time again.

The birthright of dread released
a habit in a rigid tunnel.
A tunnel of no light no hope,
dimming time and time again.

The weapons of fear impregnated
a wall of poisoned silence.
Silences of brain beating.
manipulating, time and time again.

The chains of control gripped.
anchors in a stagnant sea.
A sea of monotony and misery.
tides returning time and time again.

The fight for freedom weakened,
hunting, grasping, for antidotes.
Antidotes powerless potions
failing time and time again.

The pain of progress eroded,
cluttered, confused sand.
Sand of turbulence and turmoil,
clouding time and time again.

The cage of loneliness forged,
wings fettered by isolation,
Isolation disturbing, defeating,
haunting, time and time again.

The fragility of a half way house battered
a storm of contained feeling.
Feelings rising, warning,
Reminding, time and time again.

The power of paradox penetrates
the encrusted shell of pain.
Pain of cathartic regeneration
The phoenix rises time and time again.

Shades of light and dark

Las gotas de venena formaron
Ríos de las heridas terrazas .
heridas sin tregua, sin piedad
Latigados una y otra vez.

El jerarquía de las actitudes oscurecidas
un criterio de rituales sin valor
rituales sin aprecio sin respeto
empuje una y otra vez

Las ilusiones del compromiso frotando
Sal en llagas ralladas
Llagas rasgadas crudas
Pudriendo una y otra vez.

El precio de la promesa pulida
Compromisos de hielo prístino
Hielo fragmentado en el agua
Vaporizando una y otra vez.

El derecho de nacer el temor liberada
Un hábito en un túnel rígido
Un túnel sin esperanza sin luz
Atenuando una y otra vez.

Los armas de miedo impregnados
Un muro de silencio envenenado
Silencios que golpean el cerebro
Manipulando una y otra vez.

Las cadenas de control apoderaron de
Anclas en un mar estancado
Un mar de la monotonía y la miseria
Mareas regresan una y otra vez.

La lucha por la libertad debilitada
Cazando agarrarando para antedotes
Antedotas pociones impotentes
Fracasando una y otra vez.

El dolor de los progreso erosioado
La arena confusa confundida
arena de turbulencia y agitación
Nublando una y otra vez.

El jaula de soledad forjado
alas limitado por aislamiento
aislamiento inquietante derrotando
atormenta una y otra vez.

La fragilidad de la mitad de camino casa malos tratos
Una tormenta de sentimiento contenido
Sentimientos suben avisan advietien
Recordando a una y otra vez.

El poder de la paradoja penetra
La costra empregnada del dolor
Un dolor de regeneración catártico
el Fénix se levanta una y otra vez.

Posted in Creativity, memories, Poetry, Rioja | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Silk Sensations (Bilingual)

Eyes courting, catching, coveting,
Probing, piercing,
a tender treasured rose.
Singing, twinkling, tingling, emotions.
Like dancing bouncing brimming champagne.
Fragile, firm, formed.
Inviting, alluring, implying,
like the glittering glowing glaze on fine formed porcelain.
Soothed, satisfied, shimmering,
as if smooth subtle sensual silk.
Warmed by mulled ruby wine,
shimmering. dancing. alluring.
Flirting, feeling, flying free wings
of a tender vulnerable beautiful butterfly
captured in the net of
caressing, caring, calm.

in the net of caring calm

Ojos incitantes, apoderándose,coeicando
Penetrante ,punzante
Una rosa delicada y apreciada
cantando emocionés que parpadean y
que hacen sentir hoimigüeo por todo el cuerpo.
Como champagne rebosante que baila
Fragil formada perfectamente.
Invitando, seductivo, atreyente,
como esmalte relucido y brillante
de porcelana finisimo.
Suave sutil sensual sutil seda.
Satifecha que reluce
calentado por vino tinto suave
Alas relucientes y seductivas que
flirten, sienten y vuelven a su aire
de una mariposa hermosa
fragil y vunerable
Cojidos en la maya del calma
de mimos y acaricias.


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The Awakening (bilingual)

Awakened at last,
As if a potent pitcher splashed sensation,
Showering rays of realisation,
Penetrating the constructed numbness.
Waves of euphoria, waves of ecstasy,
Willingly received, enjoyed
Over and over, again and again.

The return of laughter, the renewal of fun.
Unable to define, to develop, to declare.
Greater need to make stronger, thicker, harder, the shield,
Like a brittle bruised shell.
No pleasure, no pain, no feeling,
Only the gentle beating of
The arrow deep in the heart
Reminds, encourages, hopes.

The only pleasure, the only feeling, the only ecstasy,
Enjoyed in the intimacy of loneliness.
The storm before the calm,
The fragility of the situation.
subtlety, almost like subterfuge
Belief in instincts, trust in intuition
The only lights at the end of the torture tunnel.

Suddenly breathlessly,
Instincts intuition confirmed,
But instincts intuition not followed.
The return of the torture.
The mental whip of should have
Day after day drowning draining,
The adored sensations. Pushing
To win, fighting to stay.

A glimmer returns, a tryst made,
Old fears, old wounds. blocking the way,
The messages, the meanings not fully captured.
The challenge, the dilemma, not fully perceived.
Sightings, hints, signals not followed by choice.
No games, no tricks, too dangerous, too damaging.
Lack of response sowing new seeds of
Pain, doubt, confusion, germinating in simmering silence.

Last lingering liability almost over
The debilitating destructive dreary wait,
For the final closure. Bolting the door to cross another
Future flowing free, happier lighter horizons
Bold belief in intuition feeling faith in instincts

Clearly telling, solidly stating
Patience nor pushing the solution
But the tools of talent the skills of creation
Intelligently fused to forge
The desired destination.

Floral Rays



El despertar por fin
como si fuese un cántaro que roció sensación.
Regando rayos de consciencia,
Penetrando el embotamiento cimentado.
Olas de euforia, olas de extasía
Recibidas, disfrutadas, con buena gana, de mucho gusto,
Vez tras vez tras vez.

El retorno de las risas, la renovación de la diversión,
Sin poder definir, desarrollar, declarar.
Más necesidad para reforzar más grueso más duro la coraza.
Como una concha quebradiza y magullada.
No placer, no dolor, sin sentir.
Solo el latido tierno de
La flecha profunda en el corazón,
Recuerda, anima, aguarda.

El único placer, la única sensación, la única extasía.
Disfrutada en la intimidad de la soledad.
La tormenta antes de la calma,
La fragilidad de la situación.
La sutileza casi como el subterfugio,
La creencia en los instintos, la fe en la intuición,
Las únicas luces al final del túnel de la tortura.

De repente sin aliento,
Instintos intuición confirmandos.
Pero instintos intuición no seguidos,
El retorno de la tortura,
El látigo mental del debería.
Día tras día ahogándose, agotándose.
Las sensaciones adoradas. Empujando
Para ganar, luchando para quedarse.

Un destello dulce, una cita hecha,
Miedos viejos, heridas viejas bloquean el camino.
Los mensajes, los significados, no captados por entero.
El reto el dilema no percatado por completo.
Vistas pistas señales no seguidos por voluntad propia.
No juegos no trucos demasiadod peligrosos demasiada dañina.
Carencia de reacción sembrando nuevas semillas
De dolor, de duda, confusión geminado
en las ascuas del silencio.

La ultima carga demoledora casi acabada
La espera aburrida y destructiva y debilitando
Para el cierre final. Encerrando la puerta para cruzar otra.
El futuro libre fluyente, horizontes más felices más ligeros.
La creencia atrevida in la intuición, sentir la fe en los instintos

Contando con claridad declarando firme.
Paciencia no empujar la solución.
Pero las herramientas de talento los ingenios de la creación.
Una fusión de inteligencia para formar
el destino tan deseado.








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