Paul Archer - photo Paul Archer - poet, translator



Summer in Mallorca

The terrace stripped bare of every shadow.
A gecko basks. The sun sheers off
dimensions and desiccates
the orange trees' leaves, the soil, their roots.
A dictatorship blaring senseless
propaganda through klaxon sunrays.
A herrador in a ferocious forge
hammering on the anvil of the earth,
banging flat the detail of wisdom and words.

And we long for the days of limpidness
the torrente running through melting green,
frost-fresh air, the delicate peony petals.
This is when humankind expires:
yes, there's the stabbing chill of winter
to gouge the you from you, the me from me;
but summer heat's a smiling assassin
skilled in the snake's deceiving arts
as it moves to the kill, softening, stroking.

We return to the house's shaded rooms,
the custom-bound particulars of daily life
with the sun's silent scream at the windows,
carrying something to show that out of endurance
some good may come, owing its very being
to the suffering: a basket of ripe oranges
for slicing, for squeezing out the tangy syllables
of a language that will come to us in dreams
hanging from limp green-leafed boughs.


This poem is part of the "Natural Causes" collection of poems with illustrations by Geoff MacEwan.

For more information, go to Poems and Etchings - Natural Causes.

Summer In Mallorca etching

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