David Shields: Twin Peaks And Troughs

(Tarragona, twinned with Avignon, Pompeii . . . and Stafford)

Castanets are rocks in the stream of the guitar;
The dancers trip their rounds upon the bridge;
The tragic poet intones above his lyre;
There’s a bottle of brown ale in the fridge.

See the flamenco dancer fan her skirts;
See the tricolore proclaiming a jour férié;
See the fresco birds pick berries from the boughs;
I’ve to see a man about a young bull terrier.

Picasso boldly reinvents Velasquez;
Antipopes amass vast hoards of wealth;
Satyr chases nymph in crisp mosaic;
Two china dogs adorn the mantelshelf.

A glass of fino, almonds and green olives;
Aubergines glistening with a gloss of oil;
Fresh fish, curd cheese, honey, figs;
More oatcakes. Put the kettle on to boil.