Una Fantasía de Barcelona
my sorrows, the horse that runs away
finds the sea at
last and is swallowed by the waves.
---Don't remind me
of the sea, for the black pain springs
from the land of
the olives/under the rustling leaves."
~Ballad of the Black Pain, Federico
Barcelona opens herself at dawn
to the wind off the ocean
so she may bathe in seabirds
as they rise to her through
apricot clouds, as they sway
past umbels of oleander
black-red in pale tubs.
In the crimson sun of noon, she rides
a burning bull to the market
peonies flaring his nostrils,
with eyes of yellow wheat; his horns
of sand gore the stone streets
to a delirium of olive trees. Silver bells
shimmer cries, murdering dusty nothing
in the corners of the dark church.
Barcelona in the tourmaline night
remembers her gulls, her gannets and
shearwaters, singing sailor's ballads
to the white
stucco walls that
crack with the loss of the sun,
songs of the runaway horse
racing blind to the sea cliff,
where in freedom he drowns,
lyrics of power and terror, of
flying moons and sinking ships,
and the sweet rustle of the one
who settles in the nest.
Barcelona at dawn
opens herself to me on
her bed of shells, solid as sea foam,
womb-warm and fragrant with
her thousand desires; but
my heart is a white petrel flying
far, far over the razor waves, who
never means to land.
with thanks to Shay Simmons for the borrowing of her birds
Note: This is about a fantasy of Barcelona, as the title suggests (except that oleander does come from Morocco.) I have never been to Barcelona except in this poem.
For all the earthwealers, in the real world Barcelona, like the rest of the planet's coastal cities, is exposed to the dangers of climate change, and recently underwent severe flooding from Storm Gloria
".. along the
east coast of mainland Spain. The worst coastal flooding was reported
around the Ebro river delta south of Barcelona, where the storm surge swept up to 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) inland through low-lying rice paddies. In Lloret de Mar and Tossa de Mar, sea foam whipped up by high winds moved inland from the beach, blocking streets. At the Port of Barcelona, waves crashed as high as 7 metres (23 ft)
over defenses, flooding coastal properties..."~wikipedia
Video clips of the foam blocking streets are quite striking.
Images: Green Sky, © Jose Manuel Capuletti, circa 1950-55? Fair Use