Saturday, December 21, 2013
THE BEAT - 229 CLUB, LONDON DECEMBER 13, 2013
Being near the winter solstice, the days were short, sun rising at about 7:15 and setting at 4:30 in the Naples area, the day being even shorter in the UK. This required early starts to the day to pack in as much as possible, the evenings reserved for music and cigars.
A trip to the National Archaeological Museum in Naples to see the frescoes, mosaics and sculptures excavated from both Herculaneum and Pompeii. Faces centuries old staring out at me from the plaster.
Walking the streets of these two cities, once buried under many feet of ash and pumice, the stone pavement still rutted by the wheels of chariots and wagons. I look into homes of the people who had the misfortune of having witnessed the August 79 A.D. eruption, a classic story every geologist learns about.
Basking in the sun while sitting on a bench atop Mount Vesuvius, drinking wine, smoking cigars, watching the sun cast its light across the Bay of Naples, silhouetting mountains and islands.
Sleeping in the tent atop a cinder cone near Pozzouli, the youngest mountain in Europe, the heavy rain tapping the fabric, a feeling of warmth and comfort in my sleeping bag.
Trains awash in bright, colorful graffiti, thinking that it actually looks pretty good compared to the run down interiors of the cars.
Listening to music that first night following my arrival in Naples, below a castle on the bay, two lovers in a passionate embrace as they stand near the entrance to the fortress. I close my eyes and also fall in love with the music filling my ears.
Beams of sunlight silhouetting Vesuvius, the hazy floor of the Valley of the Giants below, framed by tall cliffs that were born during the destruction of the old volcano nearly 2000 years ago, regretting the fact I must go, perhaps never to return.
Deep beneath the edifice
Wakes to make some noise
On unsuspecting Pompeii
They thought forever
Whether we are here or not
Falls into the sea
Human attendants scurry
Winged behemoth rests
Kneel before Walmart's alter
To get a soundboard version signed by Ranking Roger, go here: