*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
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.