Blog Archives

The Drought Breaks

 

The Rains Return

 

The sky weeps;

Bent low,

Hills soak to refill rills.

Upon the porch, we sit still.

 

The rain – snow in the high ground – has finally returned to much of Spain, bringing some relief to the drought we’ve been experiencing this year.

The spring that supplies our village in the Valdorba is still flowing at a trickle, though. It will take much more rain to raise the water table and refill the reservoirs.

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the spring last week above, the same spring in September below…
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But everyone has been happy to see the rain, despite the need for umbrellas instead of sunglasses.

This is a photo of one of the beaches in San Sebastian, aka Donostia, taken when I was there last week.

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I sat on the beach and wrote this poem.

 

Donostia, December 2017

 

On the breakwater, as tide rises,

Shielding eyes to see gleaming mountain

Snowmelt trickle by.

 

 

We shouldn’t be able to see the mountain from the beach at this time of year, for the blanket of cloud that normally shrouds the city.

But what is normal anymore?

 

Anyway, I wrote a few poems that afternoon. It reminded me of another poem I wrote a few weeks ago, which describes a little of why I’ve written so little recently, and posted less.

But maybe we’ll get back to normal sometime soon…

 

Words Come Forth

 

They say our words won’t be kept down;

They bubble up, under pressure, like lava

Pushing through a fissure,

Bursting forth if they can’t flow.

 

But instead, they are drawn

Under empty sky,

Sucked out by silence,

Pulled forth by the vacuum

Of open space,

Giving them a place to emerge

Timidly into tranquilly

Like deer from the thicket at twilight.

 

 

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Along the Shore, a poem

I was reminded of this by a friend on facebook today in reference to my second novel, Five Days in Ballyboy Beach, just accepted by Tirgearr Publishing.  It is also, sadly, appropriate from the less romantic viewpoint of the amount of rubbish swirling round in the ocean – a paper just the other days suggested that melting arctic ice would release trillions of tiny pieces of plastic back into the water.

 

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Along the Shore

 

 

I walked along the shore

Searching for stories,

And saw from the tide line there

Was no shortage of them:

 

A small apple, still intact,

Discarded from a recent

Cider-pressing at a nearby orchard,

Taken by the rain down a drainage ditch;

 

A balloon, lost by a boy

Who stared skywards, crying

As it sailed out of sight

Inside the blue, at

The truth of his father’s words

That it would fly away if he let go

More than at the loss of his toy;

 

The arm and lens-less frame of

A former pair of pink, heart-shaped sunglasses

Lost from a inflatable boat

Bouncing over the Caribbean,

Bought in a stall in the resort

At two in the morning by a gentleman

After travelling from a Guangdong factory;

 

A piece of string – a balled up knot of

Baling twine – tied to a gate on a mountain farm

In place of a hinge that had long since rusted off

And fallen into the mossy rocks,

Until it wore through with use,

Taken by the wind to the river

There to flow towards the ocean

Entwined in twigs and tree trunks

Till they too, rotted away, then

Enticing turtles as if tentacles;

 

Seaweed, streams of it, several hues of

Green and brown clumps covered in sand

Some curling as they desiccate, smelling of

Sea and the denizens of the deep,

Symbolising and indicating some

Small piece of the unseen reaches beneath

The lapping waves, wondrous, dangerous

Violent and intense as any city-street.