This collection contains original work inspired by the volcanic and verdant Portuguese Archipelago in the wonderful wilds of the North Atlantic Ocean and the beautiful people who inhabit them. Bem vindo!

Though I am not there, life goes on.


 

The mighty azure surf rolls in-and-out

The sun’s long arc creeps from horizon-to-horizon

The cagarros arrive at the warming and say goodbye when it is time

 

The fruit truck toots its happy horn while passing-by

The yearly feasts are observed and locals make merry

The whales still know what they know and keep it all to themselves

.               .               .

The wind whistles through my shutters and hums across our fields

The mantle clock faithfully ticks-out the lonely hours

The hydrangea buds, blooms and blows away

 

INQUIRIES

 

 

Fado

(Portuguese for Fate)


The moth has fallen in love

with a streetlamp. And

why not? His dazzling attention

is craved by many. Surrounded nightly

by scores of fluttering

Jezebels. But this evening

he shines only for her.

All through the dark she undulates

to and fro his glow. A lusty mid-air tango

powered by lux amorous. 

 

But— 

 

This is not their first dance.

 

Invariably— 

 

The Fates will have their way. 

 

The sun starts its rise

as his lumens begin to dim.

The light-warmed air cools around them

and galos crow-out last-call.

Dawn slowly creeps-in

whilst he in his candelas

softly sneak-out. Parting

their wooing-ways as-always.

And so it goes with love

and wattage.

 

INQUIRIES

 

Portuguese to English for “Saudade”


Melancholy

Longing

Sadness

Heartbreak

Worry

Nostalgia

Resentment

Fury

LOVE

Anger

Frustration

Jealousy

Pining

Anguish

Heartsick

Grief

Missing

Desperation

 

&

 

Has there ever been a word

translated less sufficiently?

 

INQUIRIES

 

BALEIA

(Portuguese for Whale)


What a word—

three magnificent syllables

itself a song emanating from the deeps

 

Gorgeously denoting all that lies beneath—

an underworld festooned in mystery

dreamily carrying-on in their watery ways

 

Whilst the interloping twinkle from above—

rings out like a cerulean telephone 

insistently calling from that upper place

 

Huddled in buoyant anticipation—

patiently and impatiently preparing

to greet the great ambassador

 

BA—

LEI

A

 

 

In Memory of Captain Carlos


 

those who are born of the sea return to the sea

 

The good captain peers

Over his wheel and bow

Looking weathered but unfazed—

Like the battle-tested basalt rocks

Sheltering the quiet port.

 

those who are born of the sea return to the sea

 

He looks back at his crew on the pier

Issuing a grateful nod

And an implied até logo

Proceeding steadfastly

Into the fraternal North Atlantic.

 

those who are born of the sea return to the sea

 

With every nautical inch

Once calm waters grow unquiet

Turning dark blues into dazzling topaz—

With every break and crash

That never grow old.

 

those who are born of the sea return to the sea

 

Broken loose from the green island

The captain instinctively sets course

For someplace new but not uncharted—

São Miguel looking smaller and smaller aft

On the horizon the beatific beacon brightly beckons.

 

those who are born of the sea return to the sea

 

 

Summer, Azores, 2019


The days were long, full and lush.

I sucked intently at the breast of this little world

for each drop of nourishment offered.

An intoxicating brew,

numbing the senses

to all the superfluous—

enabling crystalline focus

on worthy subjects only:

sunrises, sunsets.

moonrises, moonsets.

singing birds, crooning cows.

crashing waves, warbling cagarros.

Friendly “bom dias”, “boa tardes”

and “boa noites” from the passersby.

Happy toots from passing trucks selling fruit

or crusty provisions straight from the padaría.

The bells of Nossa Senhora de Conceicão

announcing the passing time with their old world din.

These were—

precious and hallowed moments,

insisting frequent remembrance—

often joyous,

at times mournful,

but always grateful,

for the gift that was—

Summer, Azores, 2019.

 

INQUIRIES

Fantasia on a Pizza


The warm kitchen lights of “Fantasía Pizzería” have just gone-off.

 

Empty bottles of Jardinette and Maré Cheia

are carefully scrapped by Samantha

and Germana resolutely closes the red, blue and white gate.

 

But the steadfast embers in Aurelio’s oven burn-on.

 

Quietly sharing stories in the placid dark

of the evening that was

and glowing rumination on the meals to be.

 

Merry patrons stroll back to seaside cottages

on bellies full of amity and joy.

 

Accompanied by airy swells fresh-off the North Atlantic

infused with savory incense from chattering cinders

nostalgically and reverently inhaled by all.

 

As each of their tales go-on.

 

 

Dangerous Sun


I caught my first Azorean Cold

From an impetuous embrace

With a dangerous sun—

Both warm and frigid;

An unprotected weekend fling

in the teeth of temperate winter;

A fickle lover—unamused

By summertime whimsy.

 

INQURIES

 

SUNRISE


The first brush stroke

On the canvas of today.

The potential

Is almost beyond mind’s eye.

Am I open

To this opportunity?

Or restrained to

Solely painting-by-number?

 

INQURIES