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Poems: Portugal and Spain 2022

Updated: May 19, 2022

Porto spring rain.

Young boys cry away from others.

They walk to hidden tree-closeted glens, among scurrying croaking frogs, chipmunks busy with chores, squirrels with schedules to keep and among forest life, busy in its own right, the irrelevance of youthful tears are given

no more concern than Porto spring rain.

Road of intention

Wake each morning with intention

Let not the harness be pulled without

Your agreement.

Be not a beast of burden

Be part of a pulling team.

A Camino cannot begin until

You will the intent for every

Step ahead.

Each step made with an intention

To find unity in a divided world, to

Bring accord to a troubled place in

In your soul.

Think of others with intention and mae their road easier because you sent into the universe an intention for their peace.

Believe in joy, beauty, kindness, and love with all your heart. Believe it as your feet blister but yet you move on.

Every road is a unique destination. Every Camino belongs to the one who walks with intention in their heart.

Buen camino peregrinos.

Galician cab drivers

Not all pilgrims walk all Camino steps. Some walk as they can.

Supported by walking sticks or canes.

Some hailing cabs in the rain.

Still, others count on the charm of

Galician cabbies to be happy.

Such am I. A pilgrim seat belted as

steps became an opportune ride.

My Galician friends tell me stories as

They drive, the Camino comes alive.

Stories of historic battles. Stories of sites they do not appreciate enough.

We share a metered friendship, a time to part set by destination.

Today. Leticia picked us up and took our tired bodies to Santiago.

She drives gypsy cab for her father while finishing medical school.

She spoke several languages with the

ease of one changing shoes.

Her Covid masked face could not curtain the dancing blue eyes

That told stories of dreams she’d yet

to fully live, touch or realize.

A pilgrim on her own journey. In her coach, pilgrims at the end of theirs.

Will she remember us among the many? Or are we but Camino dust?


The warmth of your touch is like Caldo Gallego to a lost and wandering soul. Rains fog the windows and the steam coming off the bowl moistens by face as your kisses once would do.

I am lost without you. I travel like a monk in search of alms and sustenance. Stopping only when asked to. The hot tea, the warm kitchens I am invited into remind of days with you.

I am a simple man with simple tastes. I do not use words as does the philosopher. If I dig dirt, I can say I dig dirt. I cannot embellish the things I see. If bird is in flight, I see a bird in flight.

When you speak of a world beyond, I cannot see but the stars that are and the mountains that exist to welcome morning sun and evening moon. These things I cannot mask. They are real.

I feel the air of dawn as it surfs above the morning storm. I hear the ocean waves from faraway. I touch the animals that gather at my feet. I feel the dirt beneath my feet. I live each moment.

I taste the salty broth of the Caldo Gallego, and its taste, its ingredients sooth my body. I close my eyes and see it being delivered into my heart and soul. As I remember your love for me.

A Tree In Lisboa

There is a tree in Lisboa

Just like me.

It has weathered springs

And portentous falls.

Like me it bears scars of

Body and eternal soul.

Yet with the help of others,

Posts for support

It claims every new day

Sun as its own.

Old doors with old hinges

Long after the notes from a saxophone solo ring

in the hallway between the half-filled glass on a table, with its lip stick red balloon napkins, and the alley where the jazzbos smoke

where time and tears come to sit down and ask, " where have I been? Have I been gone so long?"

Doesn't that old door look strong? How does it hold on?


Pilgrims and their stones, round, flat, rubbed by nature and human hands to a smoothness of how one wishes bad dreams could be made to disappear.

Stacked not in order of priority on steps and altars along a lost path, not the overly popular spots where tourist trekkers find a picture opportunity.

Hardly seen among the exposed roots of a dried bark tree, left at the base where a knurled floor has formed, where sun rains and moss refuses to grow

There the stone waits for someone to spy it and pray once more for the holy intention that first

Placed it there, solitary without fanfare, hoping for one to care.

The Deceitful Gold of Power

Immodest churches exist in excess to their spiritual worth. Grand cathedrals with their altars of shame betray the essence of what most religions gave away at their birth.

Christ preached on a mount. Buddha sat beneath a tree. Moses climbed to a mountain top. Words of these prophets or Gods, according to your beliefs, raised meager profit,

But once belief banked on religion the flood gates were opened to the pursuit of power.

Beautiful churches from the old world to the new world, their altars littered with jewelry and gold, more befit a King or Queen bent on taxing the poor.

Power begats guilt, which begats structures of forgiveness, which in turn creates wealth to

Adorn the frills and agonies of the suffering to a perceived heaven on earth.

Power adorns itself as the poor wait for alms at the door. Listen not to the pleas of the those who use tithes to build a city of God on earth if entry be denied to those most in need.

Listen to the slaves who quarried each stone, the miner who picked each gold nugget that now guilds the lily of the church.

Listen to words of those who brought to life, by word and deed,

A way of reconciling the ills of the world with a spiritual wonderment that allows the

Sick to heal, the sinner to be forgiven, the lonely to feel loved.

Listen. Words are the healers, whether meditated on in an open field or a small lightless room,

Whether in a group or just one or two. Forgo the pomp and live the word.

Blasted Plaster­ on Grape Vine Street

You could hear them up the block as they brought the machines that would dust before they painted over the block.

Like a generation wiped clean with sand blasted reality, did you notice the fingerprints of veterans who died for liberty.

Probably not because as peace time liberties allow the princes of commerce to rule the streets again you forget the price paid.

But you and I have been through that, as the poet said, as we sit at the street corner all settled in for the fire hose assault parade.

And you watch as the fresco that destroys days and times and simply paints over time, time that belonged to the ancestors.

And you watch as the sprays create the primer palette for a redefinition of time, as if those before just laundry on the line.

And you never sought to question, never sought to divine, like ostriches on a walk about where no one ever asked or sought the time.

It’s all spray now. Graffiti of the mind. Mask it any way you want. The reality is there. Nothing matters now but the skill to lie.

Castle of Moors at Sintra, Portugal

Grey stones that could easily be lost in clouds or fog. High on a hill with ramparts that can spy those below From all sides, sizing up the enemy, seeing what you Face long before they scale the walls and trap you from Within.

Paul Simon. I can hear his I am a rock as I walk the Ascending stairs to a tower that I will never reach. The wind racing across the boulder surfaces, jagged And unfinished so even the face can injury as you Enter.

Bob Dylan. The watch tower looms ahead. Voices of the joker and the thief. But there is no way out of here. The tower is the highest point with one road in and only a fall the way out. To be or not. Decision.

James Joyce. First chapter. The tower. The shaving Scene. The playful buying of a quart of milk. Chaps In love with themselves. A pint of bitters. A life Ahead. Bloom wondering why it all happened in a Day.

Oh, you planned and structured pile of rocks. Moors Captured this land for a time. All things must end The touches of Moor hands. The words left in the Wind, causing history to hold and release itself once Again.

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