instant poetry Apr 8, 2009

idea from calgon's write-up in this node. text from Professor Pi's Isla Bleda Plana (with permission), found via only a few clicks of random node.

over the past
              fifty
                    years,

 Ibiza has had its fair share
  of invasions
  of foreigners

in World War II it was a shelter for artists from Central Europe
in the sixties , writers flocked the subtropical island
followed by the hippies
            the disco movement
        and the clubbing scene in the eighties
                                  and nineties

of course i heard everything
about the wild nightlife in  San Antonio
and Ibiza City  but

  i was only eleven years old

and my folks weren't into that sort of holiday
activity either--scuba diving was our game  and
although i was officially

  several years too young

my dad would take my brother and me into the depths
of the Mediterranean--going through my old scuba logbook
i remember these dives vividly--

      the cave with the gigantic sea anemone
        at Cabo Nono

   diving through the arch at Margalidas

        the Roman wreck at Conejera

but I never made a dive at Isla Bleda Plana.


at approximately 6 nautical miles west
of Ibiza lies
  a small
                group
          of
                        uninhabited
             islands
                                called
Las Bledas

the main island is a big
                     rock
                     with
                     cliffs
that rapidly drop off to 100-200 m depth

i can understand why
my dad didn't allow me to strap on scuba gear

    nevertheless
the island was one of my dad's
favorite scuba diving spots
and if weather permitted
he would explore  the  waters
while the rest of the family
remained on The Rock

Isla Bleda Plana doesn't have many geographic features
  it is a barren island
 perhaps 100 by 100 m long
and equipped with an automatic lighthouse

my brother and i would climb up the lightning rod
                  up to the top of the lighthouse
                                to enjoy the view

                  we imagined that
                  we could see the mainland Spain

                                  in the distance

                                 although I doubt
                           that would be possible


the island has little vegetation
   there are no trees; only a few plants
  grow on the rocks
 withstanding the forces of the wind
and the salt of the sea

however the island is home  to  a unique reptile subspecies
         the Podarcis Pityusensis Maluquerorum
              a 20 cm small black lizard

lizards (Podarcis) and geckos are quite common on Ibiza
            at least they were 20 years ago
but on a small barren rock like Isla Bleda Plana
they are an unexpected sight
            they seem to form a tiny ecosystem
            together with the flies
            and sparse birds
     that visit the island

it is truly amazing that these tiny

  lizards

manage to survive on so few resources

and there were many--
when we would visit the island
 they would crawl out
  of each crevice
   to greet the human visitors

the lizards were not
 in the least bit
  afraid of humans

apparently they only fear predators
from the sky


we would feed them yogurt
                    fruit and candy
straight from our hands sometimes
they would climb straight up your leg


it is difficult to find any information
on Podarcis Pityusensis Maluquerorum

i managed to retrieve the publication from 1921
in which the black lizard is mentioned first
apparently it is named after two brothers

  Jose and Joaquim Maluquer

two Spanish herpetologists
 it is a subspecies
  of the Podarcis Pityusensis Bosca
      the Ibiza Wall Lizard

  the only difference is its color

the lizard from Las Bledas is pitch black
(although the publication notes
 that its underside is dark purple

The Black Lizard can only be found on Las Bledas.



unfortunately
 after 20 years
  i do not know
   if the black lizards of Isla Bleda Plana
still exist

the green Ibiza Wall Lizard is on the list
of Threatened and Endangered Species
but the Black Lizard Lives

  in such a remote place
that it may not be threatened at all


i sincerely hope that these friendly crawlers still dominate The Rock.