Glazed tile made in the workshop of Niculoso Francisco in Seville, Spain circa 1520-1550.
The central quatrefoil is endorsed by four linked semicircles enclosing stylized floral motifs.
A panel in the Museo do Azuleso, Lisbon, Portugal shows the full decorative effect of this design. The tile is part of my collection of antique tiles from Seville.
Look closely at my weary face
a roadmap of Sevilla etched within the fine lines,
scattered among the delicate flowers and leaves,
my beautiful image faded by time's passage.
Once part of a magnificent sala in the Alcazar Palace:
The Moors wiped their boots here
before their last sigh.
And there, a slight indention caused
by the invaders' horses' hooves.
Diplomats cooled their heels in the Salon de Embarjadores,
waiting for the restless attention of the Emir of Andalus.
The flamenco was danced with abandon across my Niculoso design -
see those dark scuff marks there and over there?
A sultry senorita waved her fan furiously, flinging it in impatience
on a hot night in Barrio Santa Cruz, scratching that corner,
as she scorned the advances of a poor wandering minstrel.
A guitarist played plaintive melodies on the banks of the Guadalquivir,
while awaiting an audience with the Caliph's vizier.
Jugglers' wooden pins clattered against my glazed surface,
as visitors strolled through summer festivals
in the fragrant evening shadow of La Giralda.
Gypsies selling oranges raked their painted fingernails over my leaves,
while eyeing wealthy men calling on the king and queen.
Many came to ask their blessings for travel
far across the sea, hoping to expand Spain's horizons.
Cristoforo Colombo waited two years here, seeking
Isabella's patronage for three sailing ships.
All these moments came and went and new worlds were found.
Still I survived, my face bearing witness to history:
songs of conquerors, adventurers, discoverers and zealots;
odes of love and passion; epics of greed and betrayal.
Stories of battles won and alliances lost;
of shifting loyalties and three religions' influence.
Tales of Sevilla and Andalucia:
the heartbeat of Spain!
This poem was written for Poetry Thursday.