Ralph Lucas


Born in Montréal, Canada in the first half of the last century, R.A.Lucas began having poetry published in the early 1970s. His short stories and poetry have been published in Canada, England, the United States, India, Australia and Norway.

Another Spanish Day

A too thin village stray
on its back
displays delicate ribs
rolls in powdered
sun-bleached dust
outside an almost empty
tapas bar.

I return to my notebook
of unfinished lines and
the vino blanco
too sweet for me
but loved by a fly
just inside the rim
of a thick, short glass.

The waiter adjusts his teeth
rushes from behind the bar
to chase the dog away.

Walking in Algeciras

Too young to carry a gun
a soldier in a loose brown
ignores the sun

some favourite song
tanned legs as
townswomen march quickly
to the bullring.

I came up behind him
and his song faltered

quit      then continued

weaker now
with less intention
some notes flat
and shallow

my smile unreturned
by a frightened
on another too hot
Spanish afternoon.

Before Taking the Ferry to Tangier

Facing south from the roof
above the square corner turret
of Castellar de la Frontera
I could feel Morocco’s warmth
feather touch my skin
heat the ancient stones the dust the day

I was sure I could smell the sand
the dry scent of long discarded fantasies
left as offerings against
a constant and always
crucifying sun

below me individual trees
an abandoned orchard
struggles to survive
once green leaves browning
on another too hot afternoon

while on the distant horizon
snow-capped Atlas mountains
suggested a less fierce planet
so I went back to my
troublesome poems

Between the words I kept
hearing music, guitar, her voice
Joni Mitchell singing
The wind is in
from Africa

I wanted to catch the ferry to Tangier
lose myself in the Medina souk
but I walked back down the hill
the road winding like a
too long unedited story
each step toward the coast and
so many unfinished pages
still waiting.

Poetry in this post: © Ralph Lucas
Published with the permission of Ralph Lucas