Zabaleta's Town by Marie Fitzpatrick


In Quesada, the breeze blows a heat haze across mountain slopes where dusty grooves hang above white-washed casas. A Roman company that's stepped and dotted through with fincas; their garden walls draped in vines and shaded by trees. Each day blossom borders swimming pool paths and the sun takes-her-time getting up, and as it  yawns dogs howl at the day-moon and cock crows get squashed between chattering birds before it  stretches out a melody; then scales of colour lift, so fast--a Chopin minute that throws off ghostly shrouds.




At noon a bell rings. And again  it will  ring the hour, its  sombre dong dong  for me recalls devotions and mass, and I mind Rome and home. Like home the café bar's an early house, inviting men and boys to step-in to chat, and like home the people are very fine. Watchful ladies call a buenos días when invited by a smile and men nod from their posts in the village square. And each day the sun takes-her-time, for at night she caresses interludes, hums lullabies, where from flame she builds a fanfare that locks-out daylight.




Tonight a fat, yellow, harvest, moon presents a gift of bounty and peace, and from the mountain top village lights wink. They air tunes that are in tune with sky where once a star appeared to guide three kings. It is still there guiding travellers and goatherds that drive their flock across this old, hard, clod that holds life's heart and shares its soul with pear and peach; olive and pomegranate, with lemon and vine; old, canny, sod that grabs sun's health and sucks-up night's moist air to nurture, and share Maestros' repeated care.

-- Quesada, Jaén, Andalusia, September 2011

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