The poet always walked the entire stretch of beach from end to end, with a cigarette stuck in the corner of his mouth, wearing a sailor’s cap and most of the time, a striped shirt with a breast pocket in which to carry his lighter, a box of tobacco and a pen to jot down the verses that come to him as he watched the waves. Listening to the sound of the Atlantic and feeling the texture of the sand under his bare feet, as if for the first time, he was alone even though there were people around him. If you waved to him, he would wave back timidly, lifting his hand carefully, so as not to scare the seagulls and curlews that flew above the shadow of this gatherer of impossible dreams.
The poet lived on the continent for many years where he shared his triumphs, wine, long bohemian nights, and verses with the other great poets of his generation. But the poet missed the sea. Some have caught a glimpse of him strolling along the Paseo de Rosales in Madrid or staring at the pond in El Retiro, sniffing the air in all directions, for the smell of salt and seaweed of Las Canteras. That is why the poet returned to this place, walking along the beach at all hours, as if he could not get enough of it.
The brilliance of the ocean was always reflected in his glasses.He was always sniffing the air, like an old and blind dog, so as not to lose his way among the shadows or the deceptive singing of the mermaids.
He dreamt of being lured by a mermaid, at least once in his life, even if it meant being shipwrecked and drifting aimlessly at sea like Ullyses. If he had been asked to make a wish, it would have been to be a sailor adrift, but one day he stopped coming to the beach, and was no longer seen leaning out of the windows of Punta Brava.
Maybe the mermaids sang to him at last. The old life-long sailors of Los Momos say that they have seen him on some evenings behind la Barra, watching the sun drape the contours of La Teide in red.
According to the sailors’ tales, it seems like he has joined other castaways like himself such as Homer, Daniel Defoe, Stevenson, Alonso Quesada, Manolo Millares, Tony and Manolo Gallardo or Pepe Hierro. The poet knew that he would never be far from Las Canteras. Nor alone. And certainly not forgotten.
Translation: Students from the Faculty of Translation and Interpreting, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.