wearied angels

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Photo: Pixabay.com

wearied angels

looking round the only tavern 
in this quaint old sleepy pueblo, 
I see bleary silhouettes and 
weary faces of frequenters, 
evoking the sombre ambiance 
Toulouse-Lautrec skilfully captured 
in his sketches of sidelined souls 
he so dearly loved to portray

looking at a few jaded frames, 
bent postures and strong, calloused hands, 
I see mostly working-class folks: 
sodbusters, manual labourers; 
skins excessively scorched and tanned, 
toiling under Iberian sun; 
I see footsore peregrinos
having a humble pilgrim’s meal 
with vino or a cerveza

looking at their pleasant conduct, 
I recognise the pride and strength 
of Castilian evergreen oaks; 
I see hearts shining liquid gold 
from mesa tops kissed by the sun; 
I see cork oaks stripping their bark 
to seal the season’s wine bounty

looking deeply into their souls, 
behind the rustic outer wrap, 
I see salt and smoked paprika; 
people content with their fortune, 
genuine, kind and unpretentious, 
like the pot of vegetable soup 
stewing happily in the hearth 
where firewood gifted gentle coals

I am blessed to be here, right now 
with angels near fringe of society; 
this fills me with a sad rejoice, 
knowing I am never coming back; 
if I die now, bury me right here! 
but my pilgrim soul will forge a path, 
carrying on to who knows where? 
and this town will travel with me, 
safely carried deep in my heart

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