The Complete Tourist
At the Posessio of Alfabi 23.6.16
A wooden Flemish chair carved with
the myth of Tristran and Isolde,
under ceilings painted bright colours
inscribed with words from the Koran.
And beyond an open gate, the courtyard
and the road, with stone benches to sit on
under the cypress trees deep shade.
In the elegance of this Spanish farmhouse:
a cellar with an olive press and stables,
and above rooms with windows open
to the mountains and the moorish garden,
with palms and irrigation channels
spreading water to the sun.
The swallows dive and Chopin is
being played on the terrace.
I note a filigree of shadow in the
olive branches on the hot path.
Not of me anymore. My country
is reflected in the amazement
of the Spanish gardeners eyes.
His shrug at a pasty-faced people
who want lawns and cathedrals,
and pretty flowers in their private gardens.
Which have no strangeness to them
and are white, completely white.
Possessio – Mallorcan/Spanish for ‘farm estate’.
Clare Crossman lives outside Cambridge. She has published three poetry collections Going Back (Firewater Press 2003), The Shape of Us and Vanishing Point, both from Shoestring Press where her work was included in the anthology Take 5 04. She is working on a third collection with Shoestring for 2017. She has recently finished a memoir of the Cumbrian Artist Lorna Graves entitled The Invisible Sanctuary Within the Heart also due for publication in 2017.