Marshwood Vale

Poetry by David Bushrod

Sevilliana: poems of Southern Spain

With illustrations by Debbie Veitch

Cover paintingThe patios of old Cordoba

An ancient door; a grille; A glimpse of sunlight past a colonnade; Geraniums, lipstick red; The sound of running water That Moorish symbol of the paradise to come. Seductive as a peep of thigh, And yet so often that is all. You slip beneath the arch, You seek beyond the colonnade And find The promise unfulfilled.

Drawing by Debbie VeitchThe confessional

Elegant, baroque, enriched With columns and volutes, Cuban mahogany polished to perfection, And panels of exquisite trelliswork. As pretty as an arbour With sweetest jasmine scented; And like an arbour Privy to a thousand whispered secrets. Within: Monseigneur Resting on a purple cushion Edged with braids of gold. Leaning with weary indifference Upon his elbow, a listless ear Inclined towards the grille: bored perhaps With all the petty failings of mankind, And eager for a ripe full-blooded sin. Without: a young man kneels Submissive to the grille. 'Father I have sinned...' Was this the youth we noticed At the Feria? Haughty, disdainful, Riding like an arrogant conquistador Returning from the conquest of Peru, And raking with a lustful glance The crowds of chattering senoritas For a responsive eye.

Drawing by Debbie VeitchThe Roman boy

In Rio Tinto where The sharp acidic waters Scour the colours from the earth, And the river runs As red as blood, The Romans used slave labour, To mine for silver, copper, gold, And made the children creep Into the smallest crevices To reach the precious ore. In less than years, the cruel waters Burnt the daylight from their eyes, And they were blind. They found the statue of a Roman boy In fields near Antequera, Graceful, patrician, A splendid tribute to the taste of Rome. No sharp acidic waters there Have marred the beauty of the bronze Which once perhaps from Rio Tinto came? Yet still the eyes have gone. Just two small pits remain, like adits, Where once his eyes Twinkled with laughter and delight. Were they just glass, or purest gold Inlaid with costly gems? And were they lost Or did some Vandal gouge them out For profit or revenge?