IN SPAIN I CAME TO MY SENSES
For John Liddy in Madrid:
In Spain I saw lightning strike
Twice: bull’s eye, blue eye. Blinding.
Twice. Caught in a storm of not being
There for the original sin, I revisited
Eden. Selling apples with poems at their core.
Learning by heart that I speak to the few
With the words left in Limbo by Dante.
The sky has circles that I cannot fathom when
Blinded in these blue eyes by the bull’s eye
At the centre of my voyage through to Spain
That ended in Gaza. Blinded.
I found I had found I had a future
Much like my past.
In Spain I heard three cocks crow
Called them Destiny, Despair and History.
Deferring now to that fifty year old call
I halt its progress. Stay the moment.
In Spain I genuflected at the shadows cast by
Limerick, my broken treaty with memory
Earthed in sand, distant from flowers.
In Spain I never dared to carry roses.
The heated scent distracted from the thorns.
Their absence hurt.
In Spain I wandered to Madrid from Barcelona,
And back, pretended I had had my gypsy moment
As balladeer, dashed at castles with Quixote,
Followed the Wild Geese in order to refight
The siege of Limerick, catch my breath and start
A return journey.
In Spain my bestiary included snowfalls of gulls,
Peacocks dancing on poet’s graves in Parc Guell,
A Lion Rampant carrying exiles to another’s home.
Joined, on the bull’s back, a dismounting Oisin.
Now In a City of Enlightenment
I draw the curtains. Drape the deserted streets with petals
That have no roots, watch the day grow flowers to decorate
The nights. Remember when in Spain I came
To my senses.
Easter 2021: Edinburgh.
(In Spain I Came to My Senses appeared in Agenda Vol. 54 Nos 3-4)