Sunday, August 26, 2012

Tampa & the Republican National Convention

Hickson Park, Tampa

The Republican National Convention (RNC) is in town: Tampa. If you live in this city, or any city that hosts a major national, or international event, there are mixed feelings. For a little time, however brief, your city is in the spotlight. You want it to look well. Some 50,000 to 70,000 visitors will descend on your city for a week. There are all sorts of concerns. There will be protests. There were will be traffic tie-ups. There will be speeches and presences—potentially the next president of one of, if not, the most important nations in the world—people who will go on to make a mark globally. And then there is the presence of a hurricane. School is cancelled. Work goes on: business as usual. Dark clouds hover: Rain and wind and flooding. Will you not see this city as we see it, as we love it, as we would have you love it?

A special place for many is the Hickson Park, on the Hillsborough River across from the University of Tampa, perhaps, the finest legacy of the last Mayor, Pam Iorio. A slice of Tampa in the following poem, recently published in South Asian Ensemble (Toronto).


I want to take you
where white lights
glow on deleafed winter
oaks like icicles,
where the dark river
floats a rubber slipper
inland – away from the bay
invading our souls,
where water erupts
under spotlights
like our love once
I want to take you
where laughter fills the night.

The Hillsborough River and spires of the University of Tampa, acorss from Hickson Park

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