Somewhere a Long Time Ago

It was 1968. April.

i had flown on a military flight out of Charleston to Rota, Spain with way too much personal crap in a plywood cruise box.

i was reporting to my first ship, if i ever got there. The USS Hawkins (DD-873) was somewhere in the Mediterranean. Being completely naive (damn near my permanent state, sometimes a blessing, sometimes a curse), i expected an overnight in Rota and being flown to my first ship in some romantic spot like Rome the next day. But they couldn’t find my ship…or something. Who the hell knows. My overnight turned into two weeks.

i cannot describe my loneliness. i hooked up with another junior officer and took a bus to Seville for the day: a bullfight and wandering around the city not having a clue as to what to see and what to do. That was about it except a couple of stories to save for later.

i was lonely. i had no clue as to what would happen when i actually did report to my ship. My world had tumbled upside down. i was out of place. But on the ride back from Seville, i looked out the bus window at the agrarian landscape. i was longing for calmness, order and for a brief moment, i found it.

southwestern spain

there are no rocks here;
there are just rolling hills of fields and fields;
there are no woods here:
one just feels a calm.

don’t stay long; it could get dull;
dullness could be an affixation of the mind:
one moment of one day, the dullness
turns to calm which can suffocate my kind;

it could be solitary here;
try not to think of this
amidst the military people,
it grows into left-right bliss.

people have no quarrels here;
at least, with life itself they live;
most people seem not to notice;
perhaps it irks their souls too much.

the fields are green here;
the ocean rolls softly in the bay;
the trees are green here;
spring’s coolness precedes summer days.

the bullfights are clean things
people watch to see men face
death for nothing more than an ear or more;
it is satisfying to the crowd and perhaps the matador.

the roads are curved here;
no super highways sever the countryside;
the world is clean here
as if the rest of the world has died.

there are no rocks here,
just rolling hills of fields;
there are no woods here;
i feel the calm.

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