Sheltered from the sin of the Island
Sheltered from the Gypsies
Inbred & ingrown
Wonky limbed, dark
& undersown
Who sell drugs along the wall
That leads up the hill
To the Old Town.

Sheltered from the first party of the summer
Up on the cliffs, in the clearing,
Among the evergreens,
Where the fat men, sitting in plastic chairs,
Hand out pills
& watch the dancers dance
Considering closely the efficacy
Of the new season's supply.

Sheltered from the 4 by 4s,
The Hummers, the Porsches
That come-
Like snakes in the Olive trees-
With their drivers
(The straightened hair,
The dark glasses,
The constructed faces)
Out of driveways
Through the high electric gates
Of designers houses,
Down yellow earth caminos
Passing Hippies
In beat up Beetles
Who dress in bright colours
But rarely smile.

Sheltered from all the Divorcees
In beachside cafes with their
Non-fat lattes
Talking about how, only now,
Are they Really Discovering Themselves.

Sheltered from the Older kids
Who get lifts to Santa Gertrudis
Where they gather in groups
To hang in corners-
Pale skin & headphones-
Cigarettes and Hoodies-
High on testosterone,
They push and shove and shout
While their fathers and mothers
Do lines and swap partners
At weekends.

Sheltered from the Transvestite's Parade,
Through the port where cocktails are 3 for 1,
Headdresses and feather boas,
Men's shaved legs and Cuban high heels,
Claps & shouts, bad food, plastic chairs,
The smell of sweet perfume & sewers.

Sheltered from the sweat of alcohol and pills
Of men fucking in the dunes behind the fence
At Las Salinas;
Sheltered from the car crashes on the San An Road
With the Guarda Civil, ambulances,
Stretchers, oxygen masks
& clubbers taking pictures
On mobile phones.


Sheltered by the olive grove
Where the leaves, flecked grey and green
Soften the sun & shade the walkway
From our house- our home- to the wooden table
Where sits the recent lunch,
The open books, the towels upon chairs.
Above & around is the sound of birds
That mix with the hum of the pump
Which brings water up from the well.
A tractor revs, the little dog snores
& a gust of wind sends the smell
Of lavender and lemons across the path
That leads down to the far corner of the field.

& there-
There they both are-
Sunhats and laughter,
One with a bucket
One with a spade-
There they both are-
Not a care in the world
Deep in concentration
Passing the afternoon
Digging in the deep red earth-
Digging for gold.