UKArchive ID: 36600

In Calella
Originally published on June 6, 2016 in Poetry        

A sad plaque on a wall told the whole story.

In days that only those ancients
Placidly dying
In la Placa can remember
The celebrated gothic murals
Adorning La Capella de Saint Julia
And Saint Quirze
Were destroyed
And the relics of Saint Elm of the Navigators’
This was nineteen thirty six
The culprit is well known
But lips remain sealed
Better the devil goes unspoken.

In the high wall canyons
Of Calella carrers
Shuttered houses sprout balconies
Exhausted Wisteria droops
And cactus from dusty terracotta
A hopeful birdcage linnet sings
Bedding is aired
And a bike wheel pokes
Between the bars

The pavements of Calella
Teem with toy dogs barking Catalan
And tourists passing time
Hunting an authentic bargain
In the stew of mass market
Souvenir trinkets
Tee shirts and flip flop shops

The streets are heavy scented
Hand tooled leatherwork stalls
Jostle pizzeria
And cafes’ Plato Combinados
To gain the attention
Of wallets passing by

Hawkers cry
“Good price for you…special”
Above the babel
Of sports and karaoke bars
Foreign tongues
And Euro-pop

The Capella of Saint Julia
With Saint Quirze
Does not open
There is no congregation
The reason is known
But lips are sealed

© (Coolhermit on OLD UKA)

UKArchive ID: 36600
Archived comments for In Calella

Pronto on 07-06-2016
In Calella
The old battle between God and Mammon and Mammon seems to be winning. Perhaps God should update his website?

Excellent write.

Author’s Reply:
Yeah – you may be right 🙂 I was in Calella and saw a sad plaque and it struck a chord with me. The first devil is of course Franco and his hordes – and the second – as you say, Mammon. Mammon may be winning a few battles here and there but the war ain't over ha ha 🙂

pdemitchell on 07-06-2016
In Calella
Freaking AWESOME observation of history drowned by modern teat-suckling Mammon-mammary transience. It fed me images of the film by the Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro , Pan's Labyrinth, which is a must see set in Franco's 1944 Spain. No Pasaran in the flip-flop shops. Mitch

Author’s Reply:
Thanks – Pan's Labyrinth will be my next film. Just watched on youtube “The Battle for Algiers” a marvellously evocative work – strong stark images.

Back to Calella – There was something wistful around the closed shuttered church – locked and bolted and the little plaque etc describing its history but no mention of Hitler's mini me – just the date and fill in the lacuna for oneself.

Re history: My neighbour – a travel companion – had no idea of the Spain/Catalonia rift, we went to Barca footy tour (my son's request) (hell for me) and when I filled him in on the back story he was amazed – now he goes to Calella every year for the past decade and no idea – hits the English bar etc only. I think I may have stirred an interest as he is a receptive kinda bloke once you get him switched on.