Melaquiades in Edinburgh-a Poem


*Melaquiades in Edinburgh-the gypsy from Macondo in One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

The people here spit on

Decry his glass balls for curing headaches

They fail to wonder at telescopes

Sneer with throat-scratching noises at

The attracting iron in the gourd.

The people seem mired to dirt and damp

So richly twinned to the harsh winds

In his centuries of living he has not seen

Their ferocity of not appearing to care.

In a warm, cramped drinking place

Down from this city of the sleeping volcano

He meets a thinker and slow talker

Telling of whales, ice mountains that float.

A gold coin earns him the souls of the well clothed;

Promises: the skin of the woman Maggie tonight

The fiery liquids flow and the oysters go down

Amid handshakes his tales flow.

Getting the hang of this diction and words:

Ay, tak me

Nae problem..

Whit better pals wuid you want?

Nane, he replies, come wi Melaquiades back to the jungles.

Only one goes to the Leith dockside

Rory and he on the wet stones

Grey clouds louring and scudding off the Forth waves

Seem to guide the boat into a chilled sea.

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