The Alhambra

inspiration + travel = poetry

 
The secret is here
closer come closer we have
apples pomegranates
see eat this ripe orange and
remain in paradise up to the 6th
or yes 7th level
the ceiling is carved with the seven
levels in this room
see
 
Paradise behind
thick walls 
we protect and cultivate 
careful roses 
a man replaces
the thorns every summer evening 
 
the outside wall, the inside wall and
between, yes, there is nothing  
better protection yes?  No one cares
that nothing lives between this space
 
understand yes, what  is empty -
so attractive
 
so terrible. 

Inspiration: The abandoned moat

Everyone has a way to best visit the Alhambra. See it at night, it’s more dramatic. See it in the morning when it’s cool. See it on your own, see it with a guide, skip the line. Since I was visiting according to a pre-arranged tour. I had little choice. We visited in the morning. When it was cool. But of course, the interior gardens of the palace are built to compensate for the heat and the hot light.

I was taken by how the whole palace embodied entrapment, a luxury prison. Women who came to the Alhambra as concubines, as wives, never left. Much like the Forbidden City in China. You are taken care of you are nurtured and fed. But you never leave. I object to this because I am a western woman of a certain time. Back in the day, this beautiful garden, this life surrounded by women, would have been far preferable than the freedom to starve or be beaten by your husband thrust upon you by family. I know the imprisonment wasn’t all that bad.

The drained moat between the exterior wall and the interior wall is choked with weeds, dry in the hot sun. The abandoned moats in the north -Germany, Britain, Ireland, are green and often mowed. But of course, they have free water. Here you’d need to pay attention. And there is no attention paid. So there is this odd other space in an otherwise meticulously kept property. I’m interested in those second or third spaces.

And yes, that I can make a generalization of moats is pretty amusing, but not as amusing as my mother who has visited so many mines that she has favorites. (The Big Pit National Museum in Wales).

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