January 29th – 31st

Chinchon
Plaza Mayor, Chinchon

January 29th

Tucked away together
cosily in the car.
A quick getaway,
speeding off on some adventure.
Exploring some untapped place.
The frission of arriving
in the dark
in a strange place
and trying to find bearings quickly
without wasting a drop of
precious time together.

After the hustle and bustle is done
we sit talking,
as the square blazes and burns around us,
The balconies empty as the winter winds
whisper and waft through the empty plaza.

Chinchon
Plaza Mayor, Chinchon

January 30th

Rickety stalls begin to spring up
in the sand
as the square is filled with the sound
of scaffolding.
Old-fashioned clothes
flutter in the breeze,
their hangers tapping gently
against the uprights.

Fruit sellers unpack their vans,
setting up their wares.
A larger van arrives,
flinging open its doors
to reveal a huge assortment
of sweets and snacks.

In the open space,
this smattering of stalls
is pitiably small.

Cafe, Madrid
Cafe, Calle Mayor, Madrid

January 31st

Next door, the Starbucks is
heaving.
Full to bursting with
chattering teenagers
and tourists
cosied up on soft furnishings.
Just like in London. Or Rome. Or New York.

The only sound is the gentle whoosh
of the steamer, and
the soft clinking
of teaspoons against ceramic.
On the wall, ornate mirrors
echo the emptiness.
From the ceiling, delicately wrought candelabras
cast light into every empty corner.

In the depths of the silence
occasionally a whisper
escapes, drifting through
the decades, thrown into the future
from the Golden Age, when local meant within 50 miles
and the greasy fingers of globalisation
had not yet stretched across
the Atlantic.