The old Tivoli Hotel, Up Beach in Panama city, Republic of Panama. More prose than poetry, but I would like it to be poetry.
+OK, thank you for writing to tell me the name didn't fit the poem.:) Formerly named, Healing, for personal reasons.

+The Tivoli Hotel

Except for me and a few fish shacks,

Up Beach is twenty feet underwater

but the Tivoli Hotel is still standing ...

... well, sort of standing.

Looks more like it’s rearing backwards—

away from hurricanes and the steady blow of sand--

0dd what oceanfront can do to empty buildings.

You can find the prettiest shells

right up on the steps,

like scattered petals or cameos from a Sunday dress

and you wonder how they got there, so far from the ocean.

Hills of sand piling in porch corners and between banister railings

are whiter than the beach, and smoother,

like twice sifted flour.

Sea oats grow waist high around the gazebo,

and roses, which all the time hate our soil,

rage here, with more thorns than blackberries

and weeks of beet red blossoms.

The wood siding of the hotel looks silver plated

its peeling paint like the streaks on an unpolished

tea service.

The big double doors are padlocked.

So far nobody has smashed their glass panels.

Nobody could stand to do it

because the panels mirror your own face

as well as the view behind your back:

Acres of lemon grass edging the sparkly beach,

a movie screen sky,

and an ocean that wants you more than anything.

No matter the outside loneliness,

if you look inside

the hotel seems to promise you ecstasy

and the company of all your best friends

... and music.

The shift of a shutter hinge sounds like the cough of a trumpet;

Piano keys waver a quarter note above the wind

so you might miss the hurt

jamming those halls and closed up rooms.


Poetry by Ashe The PoetBay support member heart!
Read 444 times
Written on 2015-11-05 at 17:09

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Ivan R
A perfect story perfectly told, in so much flavor, in so much point, this is a great piece, made me in love with short story again, what a way to write ... bravo.


All the many times I had been to Panama City and I don't recall ever seeing the Tivoli. You certainly make me wish that I had, though I suspect that I would find it more beautiful and evocative as it is now, feeling something of myself there now, the weathered patina of aging,
keeping a place and time that for others doesn't exist, the sounds of memories. Healing can be just holding on.

I so admire those who can construct scenes with words.

The difference between a photograph, and a beautifully expressed painting springs to mind.

Great piece.

Arunesh dixit
Picturesque, pleasant, Organic and blending of joy and beauty of inner hall, makes this poem a very nice story of a Person. The hotel itself is facing hurricanes of life and yet there is lot of peace and music and joy inside. Good One!!!

Arunesh dixit

one trick pony The PoetBay support member heart!
this poem is graced with elegance. the description of this grand old, sad, hotel is masterful. i looked at a lot of pix online of the tivoli in its prime, and you made the images become real, because a building is just a building, but you gave it music, and laughter, and friendship. all the details in your poem may slip by unnoticed, but they are the parts that make the whole greater than the sum of its parts, which is a cliche, i know, but true.

as for "healing," the meaning may be subtle, or unknowable to the reader, but it's yours. it seems that standing before this old hotel meant something significant to you. if healing was what it was, i can see it.

i miss the beach.

Great poem Ashe:)
One of your best ... I truly enjoyed the journey:)

Lawrence Beck The PoetBay support member heart!
I really like this, Ashe. It's very nice. I like the spaces between the lines. They force the reader to slow down to your pace as you wander around.