By Bill Dwyer

I composed this poem as I walked the Camino Frances in April 2019. This was the second time I have walked the Camino Frances. I have also walked the Camino Portugues and the Camino Ingles. I planned, in April 2020, to walk from Bayonne then pick up the Frances from Pamplona. The Covid 19 pandemic stopped that and I do not think it is likely to happen in April 2021. So, I live in hope for April 2022.

The spires of cards in verse four refers to April 2019 as I was on the Camino.  The cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris burnt down. I thought how these magnificent structures that stride Europe were the civic as well as spiritual enterprises of Man. The real tribute of this poem is to Los Santos of the title and the last line.  

Where pilgrims once walked with their world in a sack 

They now have mochilas that mould to the back 

No hessian now to shade from the heat 

Smart fabric and Compeed that moulds to the feet 

And what were they like those pilgrims back then 

Were they all pious penitent saintly stooped men 

Did they make a soul friend by the end of the Way 

Or the chattering pest who just talked through the day 

Ever drank too much wine or got into a fight 

Belched at the table or broke wind at night 

Was there ever the one who just went too far 

And tried to make out with the maid at the bar 

Where the westerly way still winds so hard 

Wending towards the great spires of cards  

For some future hope or to ease some past sorrow 

Or perhaps just to walk with the saints of tomorrow 

Por una tristeza pasada o alguna esperanza 

O para caminar con Los Santos del Mañana 


Bill Dwyer April 2019