Monday, 18 January 2021



It was customary, having completed the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, to burn the clothes you had walked in on the beach at Cape Finesterra before sailing back to where ever it was you had come from. I have not undertaken the pilgrimage myself, but I met my wife and her sister at Santiago after they had completed the pilgrimage. I was thinking of our trip to Finesterra the other day and was inspired to write.

Cape Finesterre

finally the fire caught

aided in no small part

by the razor wind

that cut across the beach

we watched the clothes we had worn

all those long miles to Santiago burn

then looking beyond the sea

to where our former lives waited

knew they would be lived differently

no one spoke

These days you are requested not to burn your clothing on the beach, too much pollution, especially from the synthetic fibres that comprise much of modern walking clothes.

I suppose the kernel of the poem is the question of how do you return to your old life after such an experience? A question I think most people face at some point in their lives. 

Here's The Alpacas. Their album Pictures of You is well worth a listen.

Until next time.


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