I had some short stories, poems and photographs to share ... and so here I am

A Pause For A Poem


the Saint Antoine market

in between elegant madams
lofty Xaviers and Sophies
a first kiss is remembered
tears tumble on mandarins

this brisk line of folly
becoming his daily ritual
a crowded, wistful canvas
royal hue, timbre, aromas

the Saint Antoine market
the place they’d first met
an ending never imagined
food and wine for eternity

bonjour, a vendor shouts
blue cheese for your love
the woman no one can see
whose pale hand he chases

brioche for one is bought
the old man turns for home
his lover is left to stroll
the playful market zephyr

© Copyright, 2007. Seamus Kearney.


Anonymous said...

I've only visited France once, four years ago, and your photos reminded me of the amazing market days in Aix-en-Provence where my senses were overwhelmed by the rich scents and colours. My favourites? Bowls of brightly coloured spices I'd never even heard of, fabulous fabrics, and on the flower stall, great bunches of lilac! Here in England, I would have to steal lilac from my neighbour's tree at dead of night, it's not to be bought.

I know you're a cat person, Shameless, but what is it with French women and little dogs?

S. Kearney said...

I remember my first French market experience as well, in Paris, years ago. I was so mesmerised by everything!

Luckily, this feeling has not dwindled. I love the pace, the standing, the kinds of things I describe in the poem. I just wish there were less people - the photos are quiet because they show the post festive season lull!

And French women and dogs? Don't even get me started!

Anonymous said...


You're starting to make me want to add France to my itinerary the next time I travel abroad. I liked the little storefront produce bins they had near my hotel in London, but I can't think of a time when I've seen anything so nice as what you've shown us here.

And your poem is nice, too. "Tears tumble on the mandarins." Lovely.

Anonymous said...

Stunning poem, loved it - particularly the line "a crowded, wistful canvas" - beautiful. And those photos... aah, to be in France again, sigh. I do just so love those fresh produce markets - why would anyone ever want to go to a supermarket. In fact, can't we just ban supermarkets and only have fresh produce markets.

S. Kearney said...


I should demand some payment from the French tourism board! And these aren't even the best photos of the market ... when it's back in full swing, it is something else again.

I'm glad you liked the poem as well. Funny you liked the tears on the mandarins line; it was one that I hesitated over, but ended up liking. Especially when I saw the rows and rows of mandarins and imagined this elderly man having no control over his tears for his late wife.

S. Kearney said...


Thanks for your kind words.
It's true that I feel spoilt having this just downstairs. I must admit that I'm not generally the one who goes there on a regular basis - I'm not a good early morning person - but it's great for buying fresh, local, organic stuff.

This is the France that I love and I really hope people fight to keep these things going in the face of the big corporations.

Anonymous said...

in between elegant madams
lofty Xaviers and Sophies
a first kiss is remembered
tears tumble on mandarins

(This is my favourite verse. It makes the poem instantly alive. Iridescent!)

Sorry I didn't telephone before coming. :-) Nice place.
So where do you keep your music notes?
And how about some Christmas tea? :-)

Anonymous said...

A kiwi in France writing poetry ... that sounds like a best-seller! ;)

S. Kearney said...

It's a real pleasure to have you visit. The Christmas tea is all set and the music videos/photos are set to play. Can we exchange links to make sure we make this a regular thing? The more the merrier!

Thanks for your nice comment about the poem. I love the idea that people find strength by regularly visiting the places where they shared happy memories with lost family or partners.

P.S A dear New Zealand friend told me today that she was a bit sidetracked by the zephyr bit ... the Ford Zephyr car used to be a favourite in NZ! A car driving madly through a market? She didn't realise that zephyr has another meaning!

Chief Biscuit,
Welcome back. You will relate to the Zephyr, I imagine. Ever had one in the family? We can only dream about the best-seller. 2007?

S. Kearney said...

P.S I'm thinking about making this poem into a musical poem, with original piano music, and a video-walk through the market. I just need to get my technical brain out!

Anonymous said...

Hi Shameless,

Your piano's divine & the tea tastes perfect! :-)

Shameless, I linked you about 2 days ago.

btw, wanted to share this with you. Atyllah & I both know an artist/poet Anna Hood who lives in Canada. She writes powerful poetry in a subtle style & its easy to feel as if you're listening to Joan Baez at Woodstock.
She writes the kind of poetry where images flee past you like a movie reel , depending on how slow or fast you choose to wind it up.

I thought how different it was from yours. The both of yours - 2 contrasting distinctive styles - in the sense that when I read your poem, I felt the images esp. objects tumble out of the page...as if they had come to life and this animation was powerful & pleasurable because one cannot forget such a poem easily. You have given life to the objects you mentioned...it could have been raining mandarins when I read of the market!

It would be wonderful indeed if you set it to music...& it could even turn out to be a short arty film. Maybe surreal things happen as you video-walk through the market. Now, there's a thought! :-)

S. Kearney said...

I will get on and link to you straight away!

I'll also definitely check out the link for Anna Hood. I'm always on the look out for new writing to experience.

The video-poem of this piece is forming in my head now. I see the video-walk as that of the old man in this poem, with a suitable piece of nostalgic music ... I already have something in mind, something I wrote a while back.

I quite like this idea of experiencing a poem on different levels. There's also something nice though about just a poem on paper. There's room for everything, I think!