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two spanish poems by Rg Gregory
(a) orihuela-time

the sun in orihuela calms the dust
and people glide about the streets at ease
(problems left indoors to cool themselves)
time has grown fat and no one cares
to pin each minute to its proper place
the day is long tomorrow's not yet real

doves and old men occupy the squares
nattering to each other in such tongues
that take the clock away from what is time
i could be moorish strolling in this heat
past tiled seats paved stones and dusty plants
a town that knows the desert's not far off

only the traffic fusses about like now
fuming and farting worse than any horse
desperate to catch up centuries of drift
and get the people moving like machines
a modern bustle seeps up through the drains
where buildings fall to caterpillar tracks

that night we're in a garden roofed in glass
a hothouse cafe where candles play at stars
sipping iced drinks and talking casually
a silence green and golden threads our bones
and tapestries contain us - time's come unstuck
each gesture shall be / was - the present glows

(b) spanish day

all i hear at first are sparrows
i come to the window - they are foraging
across the grassless ground their chirps
are business voices grunts of satisfaction
a comment on the nature of their find

the morning's cool - some fifteen trees
in rows with broad-splayed leaves are caught
by breeze and flutter like the hands
of pale young ladies gathered half-undressed
a car glides past the hedge with muted sound

a lorry chugs uphill - the sky is trembling
out of grey with that first flat blue that says
the sun is indirectly on its way
the breeze is cool but being spain i stand
in short shirt-sleeves - my forearmed hairs

accept the ruffling breeze and wait for warmth
i follow a car's noise down the hill
it fades - a silence stands with arms outspread
catching all breath - i listen more intently
from my cell-like room where cubby holes

of dark have not yet given into morning
a sharper breeze now roughs it through the trees
and every leaf would run away but can't
so stays and rattles off complaints metallically
the sparrows beat their beaks more urgently

and i am thrust at by a stab of sun
the rooftop opposite has a golden cowl
rays slide down and leap into the trees
the breeze desists the leaves play mute
in no time sun has occupied the square

my room's invaded - dark stains are blanched
coolness abandoned for the next few hours
the heat-to-come has come - the spanish day
has no fancy way to sell its onions
you take it or you leave it – sweatingly
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