three of us

jammed into the two MG seats

guitars in the back

racing down the two lane

high above the straits

Africa visible across the water

stopping in Torremolinos

where we will play and sing

in the plaza, the cafes

laze on the beach

and wander the streets

crowded with international seekers

dancing to the music

from Liverpool and the City of Angels

sitting at the afternoon tables

before heaps of calamari frita

and bottles of local sherry

talking and laughing of things long forgotten

watching the strolling passers by

then taking our place in the pasaeo

to be watched in turn

friends, guitars playing and singing

into the small morning hours

until the tips of our fingers

grew sore and black from the strings

sitting against the afternoon wall

of the tiny neighborhood store

drinking cold beer with the camposenos

the field hands

trying to tease the meaning

from their heavy southern brogue

smiles and laughter

at my stumbling attempts

until a key turned

and i began to enter their world

wandering through the Prado

turning into a small unmarked room

standing alone

surrounded by paintings by Heironymus Bosch

dark, foreboding, grim

like suddenly confronting the Spanish Inquisition

or the final act of the corrida

unfailing kindness and courtesy

patience and spontaneous help

as my wreck of the language improved

smiles and laughter of the ferias

the old man and his worn guitar

playing and singing real flamenco

straight from the soul


me otro país

Copyright Michael Douglas Scott