In Valencia
21 April 01

This morning
I found Velázquez's dwarf
from Les Meninas
on Callé Colón
and worlds within worlds opened out to me
Windows opened onto me
The wash of the spring rain
And the Atlantic washing over me
The cry of Pissaro and Cortez within earshot
And the ocean distilled as a raindrop
in my morning teacup
Do you hear me Magellan?
-- You who rounded Capes
to round out the world
I taste you as the rounded morsel of bread at breakfast
And I feel the pull of the tides
Blood tides / love ties
that bind you and free you from the Maré Nostrum
Our sea: retelling anew old tales of danger
familiar and fond as a mother
but in whose breast lurk the demons
to chastise sons
What can sons do but flee the earthly mother?

Lady in Heaven pray for us
Lady of the stars shine down on us
Spirits of the sea pity us
Merchants on land sell us
And love is bought and sold in the markets
God too and entire lands traded for free
The sea air blows around us free
And a strange commerce takes place in our hearts
The Moor is no more on the battlefield
                        but in my bed
And I have turned Turk
Christian has turned heathen
And the heathen has civilised savage Europe!


And now at the Sala Jose Iturbi
Where one man's contribution to music is remembered
And where oranges grow large as lanterns on boughs
                            defying the nip in the spring air
I hear the music of the playing fountains
from a river Franco tamed
(Much as Xerxes must've whipped the seas for his defeat at Salamis)
I feel a tear form at the eye's edge
From the same water
That swells the Mediterranean
and forms at the tip of my sweet love's shaft.

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