my writing, photography and the occasional handicraft

Oct. 26, 1992


Meredith and I have made it
to Prague. A once-mighty city still
proudly painted, each building
telling a story in colored murals
of Valkaries and peasants,
fifty feet high.
A clock, older than time itself,
chimes out the hour.
Astrologically accurate, with planets
spinning perfectly and precisely
ticking seconds --
forgetting Galileo.
We buy sweet bread for
three Koronies:
three crowns worth two pennies,
and walk across the city
in one day. Mozart lived here.
He said the people understood him
though he spoke no Czech.
His house was in the countryside,
its grass-green hollows
and garden woodlands are
surrounded now by slums.
Waiting under glass,
there is a harpsichord he might
have played. In the main square,
the clock chimes three times.
A skeleton pulls a string
that rings a bell,
that summons forth the wooden prophets
to parade before the tourists
in a city
in a country
where the people once believed,
like the men who built the clock,
that the sun
revolved around the Earth.

© Jessica Minier Mabe


2 Responses to “Poem: Prague”

  1. janinejewell

    Love, love, love this poem. Just really sums Prague up. Having been there last year and i must admit having gathered a bit of an obsession with this beautiful ancient city it was a lovely read. The clock in ould town square was amazing. As we stood under the clock waiting for the hour to strike we very lucky enough to witness a typical czech wedding that had just took place in the church below the clock. Truely a lovely piece of writing.


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