Poems and Songs

Flamenco

Iím rather an absent-minded chap;

Where it was I am not clear

Somewhere - there on your Spanish map.

The name? I forget. It was somewhere queer.

There were mountains, of course, and a stream that leapt

Rioting under the old stone bridge,

A huddle of low-pitched roofs that crept

Up to the gaunt church tower on the ridge.

There in the velvet Spanish night,

Suddenly, up from the village square

Soared a voice like a rocketís flight

Quivering through the perfumed air.

In a song that seemed like a savage prayer

To some old, forgotten, heathen god.

Soared and die; and the whole affair

Ended for me.  But it still seems odd

That I glimpsed one moment - what?  Lifeís meaning?

I canít explain or forget at all

That strange unearthly gypsy keening

In a village whose name I canít recall.

 

1964

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