Song of Almería

By JOHN POCH

Our bus downshifts cresting a hill,
and a partridge covey flushes into
the lit mist of the autumn noon, clouds
spilling over higher hills slow and white
like soft glaciers cut by massive stones
the size of fortresses, and just as cold.

But here, a goatherd in a great orange sweater
appears like a camouflaged god and staggers
through a rain-soft field while his lithe goats
leap to yet another terrace, headed to the hills,
and he sings. A horizontal pillar of smoke
tries to engulf him in its trash fire haze,
and he might sing a tragic song of the sea
as he climbs away from the brilliant sea.
He makes believe the mountains lift him.
He goes to prepare a kingdom for me.

 

 

John Poch‘s most recent book is Dolls (Orchises Press 2009).  He teaches literature and creative writing at Texas Tech University in Lubbock.  His poems have appeared recently in Yale Review, Poetry, Agni, and Cincinnati Review, among other journals. 

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Song of Almería

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