half found

pale lilac coming into flower

First of all a picture of a spray of lilac. Because it’s April and it’s about time there were lilacs.

And now some talk of poetry. Because it’s April and even if I’m not managing a poem a day, I am trying to focus a bit more than I sometimes do.

I posted a ‘found poem’ in Spanish a few days ago (yesterday’s poem) along with an unsatisfactory translation into English. In fact the bus station notice about ‘security recommendations’ that the text was taken from used to be much longer and much more detailed. It had caught my attention in the past and I found an old copy of the complete version in my notebook.

This time I have taken more liberties with the ‘translation’, although none of the ideas in the poem are entirely mine: they all come from the Spanish original.

Bus station security recommendations

For your own safety, read these guidelines carefully:

Keep a constant watch on your luggage. Never
leave it alone. Keep small objects in your hand.
If someone asks you a question, do not answer:
they want to distract you. If someone drops a coin
or other object at your feet, do not pick it up:
it is intended to distract you. If they tell you
that you have a stain or a tear on your clothes,
ignore them: delinquents use these techniques
to distract you. When you put your luggage
into the bus, or retrieve your luggage from the bus,
do not let go of your handbag, your briefcase,
your backpack or your carry-on bag. Try and avoid
unnecesary crowds as they make it easy
for delinquents to distract you.

I feel that there should be an epilogue here that tells how I – or the narrator – had my purse snatched while I was diligently reading the security recommendations. Fortunately, that would be pure invention.

Author: don't confuse the narrator

Exploring the boundary between writer and narrator through first person poetry, prose and opinion

2 thoughts on “half found”

  1. A friend’s car has “DO NOT LET THIS MESSAGE DISTRACT YOU” pop up on the radio screen when he starts it up. I’ve always put it in the same category as the motorway signs saying “Tired?” or the anti-smoking adverts – guaranteed to bring that hidden thought right to the front.
    Perhaps there could be a security sign like the graffiti near my house which just says “I smile, You smile, We all smile.”

    Must get a photo of it one of these times.


    1. There’s a (distracting) Spanish highway sign that says tramo de concentración de accidentes and marks stretches of road that are known accident black spots.

      I reckon it should say falta de concentración => accidente – lack of concentration leads to accidents.


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