Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

La Alpujarra 10-12



A legend of the high sierras:

On a certain night of the year

A traveller in a certain valley,

Empty of folk for centuries,

Happened on a footpath leading

Through an orchard of knobby trees

Into a village of Berber houses-

Lights behind their shuttered windows

Voices flickering  like snakes.

Suddenly a tall, old man,

Levelling a brass-bound musket,

Stepped from the shadows....


                                      Right. Stop there.

A whimsy fuelled by a bad conscience

Is all this is. There are no Moors

In the high sierras and haven’t been

Since their catholic majesties turfed them out

Almost five hundred years gone by.


Maybe the grief of the dispossessed

Pools in the valleys, maybe not,

But whimsy is the wrong way of treating

A tale as raw as this one is,

One that is going to be unresolved

For just as long as the tambourines

Get smacked for Christ and boys in madrassas

Bob their heads as they chant the Book.




Doesn’t it bother you that we hate you?

Bother you that we think you’re stupid?

What the hell is all this about-

A church dug out of a bloody big rock

By prisoners of war who hated the job

And hated you and thought you were stupid?

Shouldn’t a church be built with love?

Pharaoh in spite of what you were taught

Wanted his pyramid built with consent

And paid his workmen bloody good wages.

Hate has filled your church with horror.

It looks and feels like an air-raid shelter.

It looks and feels like a secret bunker,

As full of dread  as it’s full of corpses...

O you fascists,

Your brains are dull:

You thought is stiff,

Your path is straight,

But we, your enemies,

Move like snakes.




The secret is there is no secret.

What do men want? What do women want?

Quien sabe?


                   In comes Time

To sweep away the derelict flirts

With his besom broom. And what do they know?


Glitter and shadow.


                             It was so fine                 

To be looking down from the balcony.

Our men had reputations so

They muffled their faces.


                                      Feminine smiles

And laughter: they are sinister

And damn attractive.  Even the toothless

Laughter of crones is so damn attractive
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