Today, in Sevilla,
The bulls are silent
Let the ghosts walk the cobbled streets
Let this be a day for legends
Sweep the dust silently
And remember the toreadors

Today the ring is empty
Filled with ancient spirits
Down in the bullyards
Where the bulls no longer bray
The wind scatters the dust
Dust the colour of blood flaked away

At five in the afternoon
No bellows
Nor cheers
Rise to the vaulted sky
No boots stir the dust
No spurs clink defiance

Do not tell me of the blood
I will sit in the plaza
Drinking beer with the departed
Spirits of matadors
And poets who fought
Great bulls of stagnance

Franco you have killed
The noble heart down in the bullyards
Let us dance in the dust
To an ever strumming guitar
Let the wind carry the scent of olives
From the hills

Do not let me see the blood
Enough is in my eyes
I will sit and weep with Lorca
At five in the afternoon
And watch the coffin of my life
Trundle on its wheels

Bury me down in the bullyards
Where I can remember
Kings of Castile and Aragon
The oranges of Sevilla
The ambition of Pizarro
And the tenderness of Lorca

Let me sleep in the bullyards
Listening to sad madrigals
Singing of the riches of Spain
Down in the bullyard
In the afternoon
When the bulls are silent

Joseph Morgan Ives studied English, Anthropology and East Asian Studies at the University of Alberta. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with his six-year old son.

This poem was written as a tribute to Federico García Lorca. I first became interested in Spain in general and bullfighting in particular through the machismo of Papa Hemingway but my feelings matured over time and I was deeply moved the first time I encountered Lorca's poetry and learned of the tragedy of his death. Even in the midst of brutality one can find moments of nobility if one looks for it. The poem states my feelings in ways that I can't express in prose.



Copyright 2009