Friday, 11 November 2011

Mighbrow: Speloncato

Ok, ok, I know that you've been waiting with bated breath.
Excuse the terrible pun; I've run out of my dodgy old demos so I'll be bombarding you with my dodgy old poetry.
I'll post the 'Hopeland' and 'Keepers' poems in order and then anything else that pops up (or out).
"Get back to the 6th form" I hear you say.
Fine, as long as Stephanie Minto is there and the acne ain't...

Speloncato is an ancient Corsican village set  high in the mountains. We often visit when introducing friends to the island. The village square is picturesque and the perfect place for an espresso (or breakfast beer) before taking a hike. The drive up to the village is spectacular and the route home always takes us via the beach for a cooling swim and a sundowner.
On one occasion we were visited by our great mates Lindsey and Russell and we took them there. We parked up and started walking into the village but were stopped in our tracks by a funeral procession making its way down to the village cemetery on the outskirts of town. It was obvious that the deceased was young; the Corsicans do not normally parade their grief but there was an atmosphere ripe with restrained sorrow that struck all four of us dumb.


Entering Speloncato
The gentle mid-morning chatter
Is bestilled by a sonorous singular voice
Its chant repeated roughly by many

We push ourselves back against the ancient walls
As a coffee black procession advances like lava
Down narrow streets
Relentlessly, towards the cemetery
The priest bows his head as he incants

Her face is buried in the same virgin linen
That surely shaped her wedding veil
Flanked by rough faces
Male Kith and Kin
In black t-shirts and working boots
Their calloused hands gently guide her
Behind the modest coffin

Within minutes the same rude faces
Return with the baritone priest
To delicately embrace tiny cups of scalding espresso
As they make ready for the afternoon’s hunt

1 comment:

  1. Such a powerful piece.
    I was there to witness the procession, and I get that same tight throat feeling reading your words as I did on that day.
    Keep it coming...