19th September 2012
The Mezquita at Cordoba was made for prayer.
He removes his shoes
and faces the mihrab in its golden wall.
A guardian interrupts with rough efficiency,
gestures to the high altar,
here we worship only Jesus.
how beautiful his prayer
his raised hands
his tender feet.
The new museum at Madinat Al Zahra is hardly written on the landscape.
It appears as one white line among blond fields, backed by green hills of nut groves and pine.
Inside, white walk ways, glass doors and walls,
at each step the poetry of what was a city;
a bronze deer from a fountain,
a vase decorated in green and manganese,
plates, bowls, cups and jugs,
In the site itself
great ruined halls of mosque and palace,
deep carving on marble capitals, on lintels, in arch ways,
dark and light stone underfoot,
what was a garden, what was an oven,
the remnants of red on a wall.
It is easy to imagine the business of living here,
the cries of birth and death.
And this place speaks:
freely lose and find your soul here.
you belong in this.
Montage: Claire Palmer