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    Paris heartbeats in an orange glow
    She is still in glorious excess

    Written and photographed by Rose Ghajar
    December 14, 1998
    The Iranian

    I walked for 20 miles a day wearing my black coat from Saks and my Kmart leather white tennis shoes like a shadow through the streets of Paris.

    I would start from Rue de la tour d'Auvergne, near the Gare du Nord and down Boulevard de Magenta to Place de la Republique where the statue of a French women of Liberty stood with a wreath on her hair and her hand outstreched in victory under a blue sky in November with white clouds. In spring, chaliced poppies flame to red in the palm of her hand.


    And on to Avenue de la Republique, past Lycee Voltaire a fortress of a school teaching classic French, Arabic, Spanish, Japanese, Italian, Art, yoga, Tai Chi Chuan, and flute. A sign outside signed by Charles de Gaulle, Vive la France! I marched on.

    Reaching Cimetiere du Pere Lachaise I bought a perfect purple violet in a pot for my favorite poet Oscar Wilde who was buried there on 30th November, 1900 after having literally exploded and died in Hotel de la Artiste at age of 46. His grave was in the English garden walk too far away from Dublin, but I was there to sweep away the yellow leaves of fall and run my gold polished fingers over his inscription. Always a first for beautiful poetry Solome, the picture of Dorian Gray, a House of Pomegranates and Gold Medal for Ravenna. "To drift with every passion 'till my soul is a stringed lute on which all winds can play."

    It was a sunlit day in Paris trees touched with gold, tree trunks deep grained wood and the lingering rose under a turquoise sky.

    Purple shadows on his sweet brave grave. The wind blew a tear away. I saw too Edith Piaf's grave and Colette, Gertrud Stein still in Paris now with Jim Morrison. I had just six days and nights to breathe the Paris air even in November a chill and rain. A promise of what nature held.


    A walk to the Opera on Rue la Fayette and down Avenue de l'Opera, a stop at Paul's for coffee and strawberry tart, turn a corner into the Louvre.

    a poem

    a glass pyramid like
    a diamond ring
    pops out of the
    heart of the Louvre
    surrounded by
    pigeons and pools
    Mona Lisa looks at me
    and smiles
    framed on the yellow wall
    we're together in Paris
    walking arm in arm.
    Like a flame of blue
    when love is new.

    The end of a full fall, I felt the cold walking and would take time to sit on green benches double-sided, left over before the Metro when Parisians walked and sat under the trees like blackbirds chatting, laughing trying to solve one single secret in life's mystery.

    The Louvre offered many treasures. The ancient and beautiful Aphrodite (Venus de Milo) alone in a marble room, no flowers or fields of green and yellow now. No pearls or poppies to hold. She is still in glorious excess, spring in all her joy.

    Do not touch the works of art. The soft and silky blossoms on the vine, I wandered in the great halls lost in the treasures. Bellini, Botticelli, Florence, Venice, Psyche and Cupid. In Love! The noble madness, the splendour of the bows of the Olympians. My lips have drunk enough. No more, no more, I escape through the exist door.

    In the morning is another story though. Place de la Republique and down Boulevard du Temple, Musee Picasso in a 17th century Petit Palais mirror my wildest passions, 251 paintings, 160 sculptures,


    Mere Pastiche
    The echoes of Picasso
    Love songs to Dora Maar
    and tears for Francoise
    Marie-theres, Jaqueline
    in the palace corridors
    full of forms of fear,
    and through the bars
    that hide the stars
    white faces seemed to peer.
    Something new and delicious
    out of the old and familiar
    a rare enough experience
    to pierce my heart
    with white sails unfurled
    a subtle spell, a flute
    I wander out to the pallid and reluctant moon.

    La Seine. Oh! Where the stars appear near the Eiffel Tower. I remember a poem about the Obelisque at Place de la Concorde a foreignor from Egypt, immortalized in a foreign land. The oleander on the wall grows crimson in the dawning light.


    Before I can leave one last delight in La Maison du Chocolat such pleasure in the dark, sweet center and on to Madeleine, Sainte Marie La Madeleine facing Place de la Concorde in sun bleached stone making her throne. And around it gastronomic visions at Fuchon and Hediard, celebrating 145 years of passion, caviar, foies gras, plats cuisines, confitures, confiserries, teas and cafes and cognac Napoleon Hediard.


    And Now there is nothing
    left to do
    But to kiss once again,
    and part,
    Nay, there is nothing we
    should rue,
    I have my beauty-you
    your art,
    Nay, do not start,
    One world was enough
    for two
    Like me and you.

    Oscar Wilde

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