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(Fifth and last in a series)

This is Frankowka. It is an artists’ retreat, a bed-and-breakfast (Agatha cooks the most unbelievable vegetarian meals, as well as the softest and moistest cakes ever). It is an antique and art gallery, art renovation studio, home away from home (see previous four posts). You can go there. You can rest and find yourself here, in the Polish countryside, 900 km from Amsterdam. Beautiful en-suite bedrooms, art that opens your eyes, long walks in the countryside, all on the road to Warsaw. You, too, can enjoy this magic place–but I won’t give you the phone number–you’ll have to email me for it.

In future years I will return to Frankowka with more students and we will write on. There will be open-mikes for our poetry readings in the jazz cafe-slash-art gallery. There may even be a twinning between Webster and the local university, where the grandfather teaches Aesthetics.

When I came home from Poland, my family and friends and colleagues asked me how the writing retreat went. “It was an extraordinary week,” I told them all. But the secret is, I came home filled with words, filled with peace, filled with hope.

That there is a place on earth that give such gifts, deserves to be advertised.

Here’s the poem we all wrote:

Ode to Frankowka

Tears in my fire, voldka cried when I saw the art.

Calm art, sweet art, dream of my art.

Words and all that jazz.

You pay a price for things in life,

Be it illness or be it strife.

Zulu’s in my bed,

Can’t wait to rest my head.

Philosophy in the air,

Came before religion, so there!

Don’t down too much emotional engagement

Where you go, in Malibu

Lola, lola, lola,


Everything we say comes true,

Can’t wait to spend my time with you.

Practicize, you snobbistic woman.

Old eyes of wisdom, but young at heart,

Never fell in love, but loves his art.

Polski pierogi pasta platcki petrol

Oh my pregnant belly!

Szymon says, szymon you.

Szymon’s bed says, who ARE you?

Unexpected gifts at unexpected times

Is the way to a woman’s heart.

A longer second toe, have we all,

It helps us balance, not to fall.

Kelsey kicks ass at soccer,

Yeslek skcik ssa ta reccos.

She has a way of pulling emotions,

Kelsey and the grandfather are crying oceans.


Agatha bakes

Delicious cakes.

Never-ending homework, lousy internet connection

Why can’t Szymon get this done, intellectual masturbation.

Wroclaw fever,

Tire pressure weaver

Can’t go home

Gotta leave her.


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