Back to Europa

after a Christ's life:

July Fourth weekend


to 2004 –

I probably flew

over Morrison

while he was dying in

Paris –

Athens to New York City ,




The clouds are

rolling in,

crawling up

the mountain,

breaking the

heat wave?

There has been

a heat wave

and it's 64 degrees F

at 10 am,

July 3, 2004 –

not bad,

if you can get it.



The internet café

in this village of Bubion

took a week's vacation

without telling anyone,

except for me,

after I inquired

during the first day

of stoppage,

knocking on the


wooden door

that must be

at least

200 years old.

At the café

resides the town's

neatest dog,


a friendly


who followed me home

by scent

the first time

I met him.



Finches, sparrows

and other bug chasers

circle and dart

in the blue, blue sky:

I still haven't

seen an eagle or a hawk,

but the little birds

wake me

in the mornings.



My writing table

overlooks my patio

which overlooks

4,000 feet of mountains;

perhaps the best time

is at night,

two lights only

from two houses

on the mountain to the right,

no lights from no houses

on the mountain to the left,

but there is the smooth flow

of taillights

and headlights

on the Bubion to Pampaneira

mountain road –

reminding me of

mountain traffic on Crete ,

twisting, twisting, twisting –

I will stay right

where I am,

thank you,

except for walks

to Capileira,

it's 140 meters higher,

and cooler,




I may desire

this heat

in the winter.

The steps to this

casita blanca

may be hard to

negotiate with snow –

they are difficult enough


eclipsing the

Bubion to Capileira


two days ago.



The clouds

are bringing

the smell

of roses and other


or is that a

woman's perfume?



At 10:50 am

the clouds have

arrived en masse,

my head is

in the clouds,

mi cabeza esta

en las nubes.



Two mujeres

and one hombre –

they walked

three roads,


Perhaps they were children

during the Civil War;

they left to

ecape Death,

and now,


return to their childhoods

amidst wild flores .

We speak apolitically,

“muy bonita flores ,”

I say.”


the oldest one says,

bunches of flowers in one hand.

The mountains here

are alive

in the day and night;

it is life

as many of us

left it

decades ago.

It is life


let me be seen,


cante jondo,

let me be seen.




the stars at night

look like lights

on the mountains,

but they are not lights

on the mountains,

they are stars

in the skies,

they look like lights,

but they are not,

they are


en la noche.



From these mountains,

and the melting snows,


the cleanest and

freshest and coldest


and it is



at fountains

in villages and the country

where you can refresh

yourself on the hottest afternoon;

the tap water

is the best

since Salzburg,

and may be better.

I left the path

from Bubion to Pampaneira

in this Poqueira ravine,

pushing through blackberry bushes,

bloodying my knee on thorns,

to reach a


beneath shade trees:

I had seen

the water in Bubion

rushing as fast

as I had ever seen.

Here, downstream,

it was a torrent –

the noise had

attracted me

to the spot.



Sitting on a rock

near the waterfall,

I watched and listened,


the roar

of the whitewater

was all that

could be heard.

The water also

brought coolness,

as it does in these mountains,

and I stayed there

for twenty minutes or longer.

I left carefully –

a wrong step

on the rocky slopes

surrounding the torrent

would have sent me into it.



The sparrows


to talk and hop

and then I read

Kazantzakis speaking of

sparrows breaking

your heart.



It is still cool.

it began with a heat wave –

96 in the shade.

Now it is


afternoons and evenings

and mornings –

your toes cold

on the tile floor.



Despues cuatro semanas,

I see my hawks, or eagles,

high overhead,

above my patio,

circling and hunting.

The next day

I see the pair again,

flying lower so I can


their white colors,

maybe they are the

Spanish Imperial Eagles

I have read about.



Radio Nacional Espana


may be the best

classical station

I have heard

in my life

(and that includes you, KDIF,

back in San Francisco

in the old days


insufferable radio commercials

that station must now play,

if it still exists,

and you,

Radio France ).

RNE broadcast


from the Bayreuth Festival

a week

of Wagner,

including The Ring,

in eight hour stretches

with intermissions.

RAI Italy and others

could only handle a

dos y media ora


The announcer

calls the audience,


Si, nosotros


Amigos en Arte,

Amigos en Arte.



The coolness

went and came again,

August Fourth:

10:30 am – 66 degrees F.

August Fourth:

1:55 pm – 74 degrees F.

The light bursts into the eyes

each day here

from about

four pm to eight pm;

this light is intense.

This intense light

could kill.



I drank from the

grandparents' coffee cup

as I awoke today;

their nail-spike

stands on my mantle,

reminding me of


I saw fashioned

in Oberwesel, Germany

at a Medieval festival

in 1986.

The nails are probably

from the same time:

the time of the ancient,

heavy dark doors

set into the

white plastered houses

throughout this village of




I am staying away from

Poqueira kid.

I wasn't here a week

when I saw a trailer

of too silent

brown and white

kid goats

going to market.

I will pass on the goat,

thank you.


they pour extra virgin

olive oil on bread

as if the oil

were honey –

beautiful golden colored

olive oil

from Cordoba

where the Spanish heat

continues on this

sixth day of August –

far below these

Sierra Nevada mountains.



Last night I listened

to Thelonious

on the Bubion-bought

Philips micro stereo:

that early 1940s

Monk fits here:

the acoustics of this house,

and whatever else?



Soon I will return to the

Casa Lucia bodega

in Capileira,

where I found five-year old

Alpujarras oloroso vino

aging in huge barrels.

Next time

I will try

the Malaga Dulce –

they say Shakespeare

loved this wine.




I am sitting


the corn

and trees

with grasses bending

in a cool breeze,

listening to a

Ravel Quartet

on RNE.



They started

the fireworks

in Pampaneira

for Saint's Day

(in Pamplona

the annual July festival

is in honor of San Firmin) –

I saw the plumes

of smoke


after hearing

what sounded like

cannon fire.



Those lines

on the distant mountains

are firebreaks

I learned,

not ancient roads –


or terrestrial.



A quarter hour later,

mas or meno,

I am still


the grasses bend

near the plateau

where I have seen

wild boar and mountain goat


I have to come here

some morning at three am

and see

what I see.



I am writing lines

on the trees'


on paper.

Otherwordly, it is.

Shadows on

lined paper

before coughing

punctuates Ravel.



A couple just

walked by,

rough looking

local country folks,

not tourists –

I give thanks.

I wrote 20 years


we are all


That assessment

is becoming

alarmingly true.



I just looked

down 100 feet

to three kid goats

and two adults,

grazing and resting.

The “baby goats”

as one menu


look, and move, like

dogs or cats.

A regular

family outing

this is:

Beethoven would love them

and this bucolic scene.

Yes, I will try

to stay away

from kid goat.



The next day:

the ravine rattles

with bomb-like

fireworks –

these are not sky-pretty


these are thunderous


They could be

the cannons of

King Philip IV

who reigned

when Spain

ruled Napoli ,

Sicilia and Milano.



So, thanks to Nikos,

I am back in Europa again.

Thanks to Nikos,

I am alive.

Nikos would love

these mountains.

I watch the sun set

behind the same mountain

every night,

the palomas blancas

then flying

from the church

to my roof.



I do owe my life

to Kazantzakis,


He was a friend,


I went to Crete ,

at my request,

because of your husband;

otherwise, I learned

after my asking,

it would have been


where I would

have probably found

no bueno suerte.



I visited Nikos'

grave in Iraklion often

for two years:

“I hope for nothing,

I fear nothing,

I am free,”

is how the marker reads –

no mention of name

or date of birth or death.

These mountains

are like the mountains

that frame

his rocky burial ground.

Yassu, Nikos,



When I feed

the sparrows,

I will thank you,

when I see

the Alpujarras Dance

that appears Cretan,

I will thank you,

for the rest

of my life,

wherever I may be,

let me remember

to thank you –

Yassu, Nikos,


Efkaristo Parapoli.