Spanish Dance at Oude Libertas

By Rodney Mazinter

Garbed flesh firm pressed against the seat,

Beyond the wind, great engine's song.

Ranked poles flash swiftly in retreat;

The hov'ring moon slow, sweeps along.

City lights magnet-like draw me far away from Parrot's Mount.

Yet, I'm content, for there I saw, and there I drank at beauty's fount.

The humming tires revive the beat on which that night my soul had dined,

Recalling drumming, flashing feet — in primal caverns of my mind.

What magic spell was put in train

To bring to these shores sounds of Spain?

Resting firm in Bacchic mud, wide, whitewashed walls reflecting hues

Of colours splashed by spot and flood −

A riot of reds twixt boldfaced blues.

Stringed guitar, music, song − passion stirs the roiling blood;

Amidst the heady reek of must, fine forest scents caress the soul

Strong sounds find solace in the dust stirred up in that sublunary bowl.

A heav'nly place 'neath southern skies, so far from dry, Iberian soil,

Dancers, clothed in wondrous guise, their steps from music disembroil.

What magic spell was put in train

To bring these sounds from shores of Spain?

Oude Libertas, the open air theatre set in Pappegaaiberg (Parrot Mountain) of the Cape Winelands, plays host each summer to Spanish Dance. Mavis Becker, my wife, an internationally renowned artist in her own right, has been part of this scene for many years. She has never failed to inspire me and thousands of others with her beauty and grace and her ability to reach down into your very soul, bringing to life the pride and passion of Spain. Driving back to Cape Town one night after just such a show brought forth the words and feelings expressed in this poem.

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