statue head on ruined arch

It’s Sunday; it’s the first of December. Which means that here in the UK, some people are celebrating the first day of Advent.

But the first day of December is cause for celebration for other reasons and in other places. In Chad, it’s Freedom and Democracy day. In Romania, it’s Great Union Day, celebrating the Union of Transylvania with Romania. It’s Myanmar’s National Day, and it’s Military Abolition Day in Costa Rica.

Those are just a few of the days that are being or have been celebrated today.

Finally, while researching for this post, I’ve also discovered that, not because it’s December 1st, but because it’s the first Sunday in December, over in Turkmenistan they’ve been celebrating Good Neighbourliness Day.

I’ve chosen the pictures today as, apart from the one at the top of the post, I think the damage the heads have suffered might make them quite good neighbours. After all, the last thing anyone wants is a nosey neighbour.

statue head on ruined arch

statue head on ruined arch

statue head on ruined arch

I talk a lot in the posts here about neighbours. Certainly when I lived in Spain they were an important part of village life, despite the fact our house was quite isolated. It strange to think that now I live in a town, in a house that’s been converted into three apartments, I don’t actually know any of the other residents, or indeed any of those who live anywhere down the street.

The following poem is the first of a set I wrote in Spain. Perhaps my current neighbours would be nicer people than some of those who feature in my Spanish poems.

Neighbours I

My neighbour hung a kitten from a tree,

not by a leather thong looped round its neck

nor with a length of string: maybe he thought

the bundle of bone and fur too light

to snap the axis, sever the spinal cord.

Instead, he stuffed it in a plastic bag

and left it dangling in the Iberian sun.

“It had a manky eye,” he said; “It should

be dead by now,” and handed me a box

of eggs from scraggy hens that scratch their claws

blunt in a concrete coop. He swept a curve

encompassing, “Family and animals,

son lo mejor.” Mangy sheep, grandkids,

a tethered dog… I threw the eggs away.

Author: don't confuse the narrator

Exploring the boundary between writer and narrator through first person poetry, prose and opinion

2 thoughts on “neighbours”

  1. Son numerosas las cosas detestables que tiene este país -vamos a llamarlo España-, pero, entre esas otras muchas, destacan la pasión por el ruido, la omnipresente suciedad y el maltrato gratuito, casi sádico, a los animales, con especial contumacia en las zonas rurales. Acaso las dos primeras son, a pesar de su desagradable y constante protagonismo, soportables, pero la última no tiene perdón de Dios. Yo pensaba que con el tiempo -y con el cambio de generaciones- las cosas iban a ir a cambiando, mejorando hasta desaparecer, pero parece que no es así, que estas maneras de comportarse y vivir siguen perpetuándose como si de una tradición irrenunciable -y hasta de la que sentirse orgulloso- se tratara.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ¡Hola!
      De hecho, no sé si el poema cuenta la verdad o no: se basa en una conversación real que tuve ya hace unos 10 años, pero cuando se lo comenté, el Argentino me dijo que tenía que haberme equivocado. No es el tipo de tema que se puede volver a hablar para aclarar. A mí, me parecía factible, y, aparentemente, a ti también.
      Sin embargo, e incluso con todas las barbaridades que vi allí, echo de menos a “mi pueblo” en España.
      Un abrazo muy fuerte, y gracias por seguir leyendo aquí.

      Liked by 1 person

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