The Café – (Zejel)

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Cafés like clock work pace the day
Though they be sunny or dark grey
Coffee ’til the aperitif!

Start the day at break of dawn
A brisk walk with a mighty yawn
Coffee on an inviting lawn
Begins the day with a leitmotif.

And when the luncheon hour comes near
A grilled sandwich with a light beer
Is right good any time of the year
(With cheese, prosciutto or roast beef.)

Evening, for the happy hour
Finds old friends under a bower …
Canapè, chips and wine devour,
Pre-dinner rites – mundane belief.



“The zejel is a Spanish verse form that pronounced “seh HELL”.

The zejel’s opening stanza presents the theme of the poem and is called the cabeza.  It is either a rhymed couplet (AA) or a rhymed tercet (AAA). Successive stanzas are quatrains built with a tercet (“mudanza”) and a single line (“vuelta”) that rhymes with the cabeza.

So… the rhyme scheme is either:

AA / BBBA / CCCA / DDDA / etc.


AAA / BBBA / CCCA / DDDA / etc.

Lines are usually 8 syllables long (mine are 10 syllables long).”

You can find this in “Blog it or Lose It’s” post (link below)…I did the 8 syllables, but I cheated as regards the first three rhymes…as this suited me better.

Today I read The Guitar Player by Blog it or Lose It a beautifully fun poem in the zejel form, which I’d never heard of…I also invited Oliana to come to a café with me…even if virtually…so two friends have inspired this little ditty, my first zejel! Thanks to you both!

In Italy the café is such an important part of social life, that the poor dears when they go to North America feel completely lost without them.  Even I, when I returned to visit felt kind of lost.

No fast food place can ever replace the café here in Italy, although MacDonald’s has added a café “surrogate” in all their restaurants!

McDonalds Padova