Demolition

One thing the residents of Barcelona will tell you is that the city is constantly “en obras.”  Which means that wherever you are, turn a corner and there will be some kind of construction work going on. Things age, materials decay, and sometimes, property simply changes hands and new owners have a different idea. 

Demolition

They're tearing down the castle
that stood across the street.
Each morning when I leave the house,
such rubble at my feet!


A gargoyle's head, a family crest,...
the rotten stone must fall.
It seems that what we really need
is another shopping mall.

Someone sold the title
and a heritage was lost.
The change will bring a profit,
but it can't outweigh the cost.

Boywatching

A moment of joy captured through a bus window.


To the boys!

Tie me to your torso
and take me for a dance!
I just want to feel your body,
I’m not looking for romance.

Let the sun sculpt every muscle,
let the shadow draw the line.
We won’t cross it, we’ll just think it.
I know you can’t be mine.

But life is meant for living.
In this moment, let me dream
that years do not divide us
and I am still sixteen!


Hush

There’s more to life than the city. I also enjoy walking through mountains, villages, and I have a special fondness for old stone architecture. Catalunya has monasteries, churches, walls, roads, and prehistoric dolmens, all made of stone. I never tire of it. It’s a beautiful natural material.

This poem was inspired by a visit to the Cistercian monastery of Santes Creus en Poblet. I’ve been there several times and I always enjoy the silence. On this specific visit, however, something about the bars on the windows disturbed me.

 

theway the truth andthelight_pl

 

A window, barred.
 

keepsake_pl

 

Lace made of stone.
 

bridge_pl

 

Rejection of the world.
 

cloister_pl

 

A silent Order lives within.
Their daily walk is curled
around the cloister square.
 

dark domaine_pl

 

Don't bother knocking,
no one comes.
You are not welcome there.

Compartint la vella manta

First post in Catalan! This one goes out to those who too often remain nameless. Any native Catalan speaker is more than welcome to correct errors!

Compartint la vella manta

Compartint la vella manta és amor, al meu parer. Encara que siguin pobres i visquin al carrer.

La mare els coneixia, "Són bona gent amb mala sort." Sovint és el que passa amb la gent que ve de l'hort.

La ciutat els menja l'espirit i els calés. No em preguntis pels cognoms. Són en Joan i na Roser.

Legend

The patron saint of Catalunya is Sant Jordi (Saint George), the dragon-slayer. His day is celebrated throughout Catalunya every year on April 23rd in a festival of books and roses.  I had a whimsy of George/ Jordi, riding home from work, tired after a hard day of jousting, or killing barbarians, or whatever, and when he gets to the village, he finds everbody’s yelling about the Princess being held captive by a dragon, and he knows his day isn’t over yet.

LEGEND

It wasn’t a good day he’d had.
In fact, he was tired and sad.
When he saw that dragon,
his spirits were flaggin’.
That reptile looked so very BAD!

But his Princess was caught in a tower
instead of their honeymoon bower.
So he hefted his lance,
and he took his best chance.
A legend was born in that hour!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Personally, I’ve always had a soft spot for the bad guy, the dragon.

The Pruners

This year, like every year, the city parks and gardens crew came out to prune the sidewalk trees. I understand it’s supposed to be good for the trees’ health, but it seems aggressive to me and I always feel the urge to salute the trees and thank them for the service they have given.

The Pruners

It's Winter now; They're coming soon. I've not been feeling well. Last year they cut off most my limbs. Look closely, you can tell They haven't healed.

A younger tree will take my place. I wish her life and health. And may her arms hold many nests. That's how I counted wealth.

May sun and rain be kind to her, and splendid be her shade. And when the pruners come for her, may she not feel betrayed, but know it is a cycle. We bloom, and then we fade.

The words he sang to me

I saw a banner on the street advertising a concert by a well-know Valencian singer-songwriter, Raimon. Every time I see his face or hear his name, I remember the first time I heard a beautiful song that he wrote using the words of the poet Ausiàs March. It’s called “Veles e Vents” (sails and winds). There is also a beautiful folk song in English “Four Strong Winds“. In Catalan, they divide the wind into 8, each direction with its own resonant name. I recommend listening to both these songs.

So on the day I saw this banner hanging above me, the first line for this poem began to roll through my head. Eventually, this is where it led…

The Words He Sang to Me

"Veles e vents", the words he sang to me. Words of a man long-married to the sea.

He tried to love me, but no chance of that. His foreign heart could not speak anything but praise of Her. Her scent, her taste, the way she caught the light.

He loved the rasp of coarse rope nets. "Her braids," he said, and smiled. "Some days she's angry, others calm, and someday I will lie so deep within her arms I'll not come back."

And that's the way it's always been with men who work the sea. They'll love you for a little while, but she gets Eternity.

His song had names for all the winds that blow across her face, and I have learned them all by heart. That much she can't erase.