Flora & fauna

26 November 2008

The leaves turn here, in patches, at the same time as the orange trees bear fruit & the olives begin to be harvested. Palm trees tremble in pale, weak sunlight. Oranges ripen fat & plump next to bare branches. Autumn.

In honor of Santa Catalina de Alejandría, 4th c. martyr & patron of philosophers & students, who is symbolized by the palm, the sword, & the rueda dentada, iced sardines are roasted whole, scales & heads, on flat griddletops with sea salt, & the entire city climbs to the summit of the mountain next to the castle to eat them on her feast day with their fingers. You eat them over bread to soak up the oil, boned & peeled.

To the east:  hills greening in the early winter rain, the pass that is called gap-tooth, the beginning of the Sierra Máginas. To the west: the city, all of Jaén huddled around the base of the single mountain, the hilly olived countryside like a rumpled bedsheet.

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2 Responses to “Flora & fauna”

  1. dave Says:

    Jim, I propose a venture.
    prose-poetry.
    I’m sure you have some magnificent scenes at your disposal, and the rigidity of verse, even prosaic verse, might more than substitute for photographs.

    Sidenote: I started reading “kelly gang,” but school work has stolen time from me. Will start again in the winter. His style is definitely different, intriguing, to say the least.


  2. […] la Fería de San Lucas*, and Jaén shivering under the wet, slick onslaught of late November rains*, and Jaén* at the Navidad are three different places, and it seems to me you don’t know a […]


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