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Une légende: Waldorf Astoria New York (A Poem)

A Waldorf Story by Bongani Zungu
2021

The cynosure of all things civilized.
“The difficult immediately,
the impossible takes a few moments longer.”

Side-by-side, Empires lavishly adorned.
In such a bounce, buoyed ballrooms
danced; “pièce de résistance”
Longing for the upper crust of the Peacock Alley.

All decorated with electrifying private
bathrooms thoroughly throughout.
Dinners, balls, and chants of the celebrity maître d'hôtel.
Luxury snapped in flash; pictured in pixels
on a relish bottle, tempts to touch for more.

Circles surrounded by fruit and nut salads,
Apples, celery, walnuts, and grapes—
Along a trail of a thousand islands; in
this decade, maybe more.

And that of red sandstone, red brick
and terracota— the colors know.
Sighs and sights of fireproof steel frames
resting on heated solid rock. The story,
so soon cocoons.

With a telephone in every balmy shrine;
First-class in smiles and service shores.
The definition of luxury, loggias, balconies,
gables, groups of chimneys and tiled roofs.

When legends spoke of elaborate frosted-glass-
and-wrought-iron marquees;
Siena marble saw footsteps mosaic tile floors
headed towards the coffered ceiling.

Along escalating elaborate elevators where
grand staircases descend for decades.
Furnished with paneled pollard oak and
Carpathian elm; only the ear will listen;

“It’s been said the French Quarter
begins in the lobby of the Hotel Monteleone.”

Preferring the perfect Peacocks of
the 18th century.
And back to the Birth of Venus and the
flight of leucocephalus.
The colors once more, pinkish-red on
golden blue azure skies—
Stepping back in silent time
in this monolithic masterpiece.

‘Tis the epicenter, near the citizens of sophisticated taste—
Admiring themselves in many and all the mirrors
of the icon of all extravagants;
Admiring the wide stately corridors which go on forever,
alongside white-gloved bellmen.
Whom doth hold the round mosaic under crystal chandeliers; and ever.

Admiring the bronze Grand Clock; just here.
Perchance the octagonal base of Presidents and Queens—
Unlike the gelatin sessions of Parliament
and fleur-de-lys finials of Common Lords.
Rather the legendary story of tall Art Deco.

Meet me Here,
Meet me at;
The Towers of the Waldorf Astoria
“Le luxe ultime est le temps.”