by Garry Robert McDougall
Najera left, St Domingo de la Calzada imagined,
fifteen minutes through vineyard and heath, mountains to the south,
my walkers traversing Azofra and Ciranuela,
undulating hours together, pilgrims caravans passing,
waving to my silent speedometer.
At curving hilltop for picnic place, car butt aside,
the Rioja on three horizons,
I am unfree in all directions, standing
in midday’s sec aire, windless and fair
for St Domingo on-the-plain,
sandy, urban township,
agri-framed, impasto mountains verde.
Imagine St Domingo in its Sunday best,
white-welcome to unmatched husbandry, plain view,
distant mountains pressed to parallel lines,
this traveller’s heart not of this place, nor touched to the core.
In the great emptiness of Earth and sky,
Companions, where are you?
Deliver me; voice to me,
touch and laugh over calamari, in-the-rib humour and casual asides.
Words jam in my throat until dusk,
pitch black, stagnant and bewitched;
vacant before Rioja vineyard,
being all south, and gone west.
Between earth and sky, over the fence sighting,
ripe, dark grapes conjure desire,
drawing me to help-myself.
Last updated July 07, 2016