The International Writers Magazine:European Travel Notes
The cockerel is the first sound, and the warm black night with
its cicada percussion is the last.
And a toothless grinning, black-garbed granny - face brown as
fudge - boasts her toothless gurgling granddaughter in white frilly
oven-hot streets weave blazing bougainvillea with freshly-washed linen,
ankle-twisting potholes and cables going nowhere.
And a plethora of gift shops sell sandals and striped bags, cheap Cretan
T-shirts, sea shells and tea towels, honey-covered almonds, bangles
and worry beads and sad plastic replicas of fine Minoan Art. And a woman
on a bus makes the sign of the cross, not once but three times, as it
labours past a church - the reflex as natural as when she later checks
And market spilling shoppers jostle one euro glad-rags, and tourists
buy lace that will never find a use. And women squeeze aubergines, fat
peppers, fresh walnuts, melons, fat tomatoes, with okra ladies fingers.
And hard-selling students press time-shares on passers-by with time
here, but no time and no cash to spare. And melodies swing playfully
from vine-roofed tavernas in twisting cobbled side streets that labyrinth
And wooden pallets bleached by summers become board walks and fences,
roof tops and chicken pens. And stone fortress building-blocks, seated
for millennia, edge decade-old glum concrete and todays rusting
And purple morning glory weaves garishly through bamboo reeds, climbing
high as houses in a dried rivers bed. And red-fruited pomegranate
and dust-covered lemon boughs and mulberries with fanning hands wave
in the sun. And a parched row of olive trees swing green-beaded necklaces
in sea-born breezes from slope-perched groves. And a bud-bearing caper
shrub makes the wreck of a Nissan truck its very happy home.
And a cat, like a wild thing, chases mouse-size grasshoppers, and dogs
bark, and goats bleat and sleep in the sun.
And the apartmen El mar is square-roomed and simple, but
the seascape from its balcony is little short of heavenly. And its couple
(in their late teens and daringly from Germany) have mosquito bites
on limbs and love bites on their skin. And a fifty-something belly of
a man wears speedos, and his wife goes topless, pink-bosomed bobbing
free, out of sight of neighbours on this far-flown beach.
And a bloke buying beers says "Thanks, Duck
" to a waitress,
who searches in her dictionary and wonders why.
And a woman, soft on sand, drops a book shes engrossed in to focus,
for a moment, on a Man behind her eyes.
And the turquoise, salty-frothing of the all-embracing sea washes multicoloured
of pebbled tumbling marble. And the heat beats everywhere, on everything
light touches, warming bodies through to bones and rock to its core.
And limestone-shimmer mountains, in a sky thats impossible, crown
hazy-grey headlands - as they rise from the shore.
Yes, you can understand why Gods trod here and Zeus lives still in these
And the cockerel is the first sound and the warm black night and its
cicada percussion is the last.
Wish you were here. Back Tuesday night (flight CT 2469 at 22.30 - south
Love K. xxxxxx
© Karen Saxby Ocotber 2005
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