Rome 2014

Rats run round Roman ruins,
Rustle in the rubbish.
Beggars infest streets,
Stretch out on slimy sidewalks.
Street vendors harass ceaselessly.

But Tivoli is clean,
Washed by a hundred fountains,
Creator of joy and music.

We slowly struggle up the steps
Of grotty Via Glorioso,
Staying on the shady side
Midst syringes and shit,
Somehow missing the sign
Showing Spaghetti Western's
Creator, Sergio Leone's
Ties to this dingy district.

At last we reach the Vatican
Where opulence outdoes all
The gold of every church we've seen.
It's more a monument to Mammon
Than to its humble inspirer.

Sancta Scala
I never!
Such a tale!
Steps so holy,
To save their stones,
Imported from Jerusalem,
Raising hopes of dopes who
Somehow think that creeping up
Upon their knees will save their souls.
Worse, they think unsightly stains are all
That's left of blood of Son of God they love!
Holy bonus -
If you