Sally Festing

Appreciating Gaudi

A shell fortress rocky as an oyster,
they call Casa Batllo 'House of Bones'.
No buttresses or steel struts,
a dwelling spun round treetrunks,
towers and finials wrapped in coloured skins.

Inside, polished until fish and lizard entering,
see themselves as in a mirror.
Gaudi wanted us to love
the God he many-splendoured.
Transcended Thoreau for embalming nature.

But touring feels too long
inside a whale. Ask Jonah,
he'd understand the need for space to fly.
No subterranean hero,

                              from tramping corridors
between the ribs,
I couldn't live
where freedom's based on logic
and the parabolic arch.


Last night, Barcelona,
6.15 behind the old cathedral,
a student playing Vivaldi on accordion
while around, enshrined,
one of the most wilful geniuses

who ever lived, swung on ropes of light,
leaping from cloud to cloud,
turning the angels in his mind to dreamwork.
Shell.   Cave.  &nbspSubterannean chamber.


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