Bella Vista, Bellas Artes

(Blog entry in the form of a sketch for three sonnets. I haven’t attempted any rhymes. Too difficult given the time.)

We set of in the lift as we are wont to
And meet an outdoor chap in quaint attire
A kiwi who rides vintage bikes from rentals
Who’s on his way round Chile and Peru

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We wish him well and head for Bella Vista
A barrio of cool bohemian hue
We cross the fast and muddy Rio Mopocho
The snowy Andes looking down from high

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The barrio is covered in graffiti
It has a blowsy charm and devil may care
It’s colourful, of that there’s no disputing
It’s surely worth a photograph or two
Across the bridge we walk again returning
To what seems like the right side of the tracks

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The Parque Forestal runs by the river
A haven in the city’s busy noise
We meet a Chilean blackbird as we call it
And cherry blossom marks our second spring

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The German Statue hails the independence
Of Chile as a ship upon the sea
A couple use it as a prop for selfies
With joy but scant respect for pageantry

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A group of smiling girls accost us boldly
They’re smartly dressed and courteous and speak
They’re students who need interview material
And we will fit the bill, a venerable pair!
They bowl queries to Alison in Spanish
She bats them deftly back to their delight

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On to the museum Bellas Artes
A fine colonial building in itself
Outside a dog is curled asleep and snoring
Beneath the banners of the Belles and arts

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The space inside is handsome, big and airy
The Chilean painters all have learnt their craft
Impressionists and Fauves and all the others
A home grown crop and none the worse for that

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Down to the basement for a coffee
It’s well laid out and strangely has a view
Two muffins, heated add to our enjoyment
The coffee’s good the folk are friendly too
But Alison discovers on emerging
her hat of blue has gone astray inside

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We walk back for some lunch at our apartment
A street band marches fourteen stories down
Then off to Centro Gabriela Mistral
And drink expresso taken side by side

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With artists setting up an exhibition
And dramaturges planning out a show
Some textiles folk are communally working
The atmosphere’s relaxed and arty cool

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We leave and walk at ease along Lastarria
Fine streets and trees and elegance and light
Stalls abound with Spanish texts of Shakespeare
We merge with metro crowds at Baquedano
At Bustamente Park watch juggling gyms
Through sunset hues to cook our meal at home

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