‘Without roots in the Mediterranean
You may never understand this word machismo

Inferring as it does an upright bearing
Shunning fall-down drunkenness in public

Bald men brawling in the street then pissing in the pool
Bawling after midnight ‘We are the Champions’

Machismo means a chivalry at all times to all ladies
Drunker than their menfolk so mislaying shoes and sundries

Not to swear on holy names when merely to lament
Misplacement of a latchkey or ‘deciding penalty’

Nor prelude to pronouncing loud political world views   –
Machismo is to stoically endure

All unfortunate things and to endure
All European tourists to these islands’



Bernard Saint
Illustration: Claire Palmer




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