SIERRA DEL CARRASCAL DE PARCENT





This poem has a special meaning for me. I moved to the village of Parcent in the Alicante province of Spain in 1990. The ‘Carrascal’ sierra with the climb up to the ‘Coll de Rates’ dominates the village. It is visible at every turn of the winding village streets and the view I wake up to every morning. I wrote this poem in 2006 when my time for poetry was taken over by politics. The countryside of Parcent was under threat by 3 massive building projects which would have led to the hillsides being covered with new houses. I became President of the campaign to stop the building ‘Veins de Parcent’, which received support from all over Spain and an unforgettable visit from the European Parliament's petitions committee, whose support is an example of the important role of the EU in protecting our environment.  In 2007 I stood with others in elections for the local council and became a councillor, a role I still hold. The building plans were finally turned down by the Valencian regional goverment and our beautiful landscape saved. The poem reminds me of the love I feel for this village and its people and how standing up for what you believe in, whether protecting the environment or  declaring yourself European, is always worthwhile. A sad consequence of Brexit will be when I and all British citizens lose the right to stand and vote for elections in Spain and Parcent will no longer have the possibility to elect a British representative.


Sierra del Carrascal de Parcent


Eyes open she lies before me.
As lustrous moonlight bathes her slopes,
the shimmering pearl slips over the sierra.

Darkness reigns, till soft red creeps.
Breaking dawn fires her craggy flanks,
etching sharp shadows, greys wake to green.

In drowsy gaze, flocks wing swooping
from rocks to rooftops, mountain of moods
heralds the coming day.

Womanly to her granite core,
clothed by climate’s vagaries,
El Carrascal's spirit mirrors my own.

Today we’re bright, spring like,
sunlight warming, not yet beating down
with summer’s blistering haze.

On sombre days we share suffering;
bluffs draped in misty mourning,
breath laboured, dampness invades.

Glooming mists blown away, sculptured
reliefs exposed then veiled as billowing clouds
tumble down like custard over pudding.

El Carrascal stands proud, shadows spaghetti of
tangled streets, pine clad vista in windows framed,
imposing, unmoving, untamed.

Strength of ages, unspoken witness,
terraced by Moors, refuge from war,
fountains of life spring from underground veins.

Serene Sierra threatened by avarice,
slashing scars of slick cement, trees razed
hills pockmarked in contagious white rash.

Where fires raged, houses raise, mushroom sprawl
fuelled by flagrant greed, fanned by ignorance,
the migrant’s dream kindling destruction.

Eyes open, she lies before me.
Blood red sky foretells my loss.
I rise to fight; while souls inflame, hope remains. 



© 2017 Jacqueline Claire Knight.  All rights reserved. 

 

Comments

  1. Wonderful. You have and hold the mountainside in all its guises!

    ReplyDelete

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