A common man marvels at uncommon things. A wise man marvels at the commonplace. CONFUCIUS

Monday, 8 February 2010

Red Earth Road

Red earth road, red earth road,
Where are you leading? I don't know.

Red earth track, red earth track,
I followed you once, but I'm not coming back.

Red earth trail, red earth trail,
Dead-end street or Holy Grail?

River's flooded, stream's in spate,
Taking my chance in the hands of fate.

Stream's in spate and river's in flood,
Water's full of chicken's blood.

Pig's been slaughtered, hung to dry,
Don't know whether to laugh or cry.

Boar's been shot and bull's been stuck,
Its cock and balls in the freezer truck.

Santa María, ven aquí,
Blood's still dripping from the tree.

If you find out who's still the boss,
Mark the place with a wooden cross.

Priest's in the bar or else in jail,
Hammer the truth with an iron nail.

Shoulders hurting, feet are sore,
But the pain in my heart I'm feeling more.

Full moon rising, sun is down,
Five hundred miles to Jimmy's town.

Red earth road, red earth road,
Where are you leading? I don't know.

Red earth track, red earth track,
I followed you once, but I'm not coming back.

Hope this (controversial?) poem may stimulate a litle debate..?

(Posted from Salamanca, on the Vía de la Plata, Spain.)


The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Well……that's certainly a poem. Blood, body parts, flooded stream, full moon, pain, and a man of the cloth apparently given in to sin. If you'd have worked Mama, hound dogs, beer, and a train in there, you'd have the making of a hit country song. :-D

You've been on the trail awhile—I can tell.

The Solitary Walker said...

Thought adding in to the mix blood-red wine, mad caged barking dogs and poisoned tortillas would be just too much, Grizz...

The Weaver of Grass said...

Salamanca - my favourite spanish city - wonderful university and marvellous art nouveau museum. Emjoy.

The Solitary Walker said...

Yes,it's a great place. I saw the Art Nouveau museum but didn't venture in. (But that was no debate, Pat - 'twas an entirely uncontroversial remark!)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this Robert. Words from one of your earlier poems keep coming back to me -

"How dark the soul in the dead of night! But how bright the morning sun!"

Keep going and keep the honesty. Zamora soon.


The Solitary Walker said...

Andy - you will not believe this, but please believe this. I'm having a hard time in my personal life. I've been lingering in Salamanca and had already decided to quit half-way. I bought a train ticket to Hendaye today. But now, this instant, you have inspired me to go on. I am now tearing up the train ticket. Thank you.

Anonymous said...


I do believe it! People said to me when I was having very tough times on the Camino that you will know deep down what is right for you. I hope you manage to find some of the good times too,

buen camino


am said...

First your poem/song reminded me of what I associate with the red road:


The Camino is giving you your own songs. Sounds as if you have "been ten thousand miles in the mouth of a graveyard," with 500 miles still to go.

Road, track, trail.

Not coming back vs not going back on the track.

Pain in the heart.

"He heals their shattered hearts. And binds up their wounds."
(Psalm 147)

There's no debate in me, but this poem does invite contemplation.

Kind wishes,

always rambling said...

Keep on going... I want some relief in my post camino working life and you always have some good thoughts....keep moving...the people on the way will help you...I know I am talking to a very experienced traveller
happy trails

The Solitary Walker said...

Thanks everybody for all your comments. I'm sorry I don't always respond individually, but I do appreciate each and every one.

This poem tries to capture a certain aspect to Spain I sometimes struggle to come to terms with.It can be very raw and 'in your face'. For US readers, imagine being transported to Mexico from New England overnight.

The young are questioning and often rejecting the traditional religion of their culture (in this case Catholicism) - you may argue quite rightly. The corruption of the Roman Catholic Church over the centuries is well documented.

One evening in a bar there was some subscription channel on TV (called something like 'Hunting & Fishing') showing what appeared to be the hunting and killing of protected African wildlife - to the gleeful delight of the exclusively male audience.

I'll never get my head round bull fighting. Bull´s penis and testicles are, I believe, a Spanish delicacy - but I've no desire to try them.