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The collection

Ron and Sarah Withehead

in Portugal 2007

Ron in Portugal

Alfama   old Lisbon   Portugal   February 2007
a love poem

for Sarah

            visited Iris and Xavier
            flew from Louisville to Detroit to London to Lisbon
            my longtime dear friend Lucia and Maria and Pedro and their dog picked us up   
               drove us     in their natural gas powered Peugeot 
               ancient friendly wisdomeyed dog by my side in my lap front seat
                      to Alfama   to old Lisbon 
                      Escolas Gerais #24-2
                      Iris and Xavier's apartment
                      narrow streets   centuries old
                      cobblestones handmade
                      tram rails electric
                      trams unlike any other orange and lemon colored trams
                      painted paintings trams decades centuries old in mint condition
                      trams dance slowly up and down narrow old Lisbon 
                          cobbled streets   clothes hanging stories high stories high
                      three four five stories   every street filled with stories myths alive
                      fairy tale streets stories the clothes tell in gentle rain in turquoise
                      sunshine and fog on Rio Tejo foghorns ships boats headed to and fro
                      river ocean   Tejo Atlantic   mists in the morning   church bells and trams
                      at 5am   pigeons loving rooftops singing dawn 
                          Sarah and I sleep on the top floor on the futoned floor under the stars
                          the night sky our window    door to the moon
                      at 2am   after Fado Fado beautiful Fado   we wander meander down and up
                      narrow stairs streets alleys   Sarah says    listen listen   and we all
                      Iris and Xavier and Sarah and I all stop   and listen we listen we listen
                      and all we hear is the sound the soft and gentle sound of    silence silence
                      at 2am   Alfama   old Lisbon   no sounds no dogs barking no horns blowing
                      no church bells singing no cars grinding no boats no planes no talking
                      only   silence silence silence    stillness   at 2am in old Lisbon   what beauty
                      no other city in the world can say   silence   at 2am   no sound   only   
                                              silence   stillness   silence
                      I take Sarah's hand   we kiss   gentle   on lips   we melt   at 2am   old Lisbon
                                  in the mist in the silent rain   we kiss
                      Xavier plays gypsy violin while preparing gourmet French and Portuguese 
                      dishes    rare spices herbs   delicious  the food melts in our mouths   
                      the music melts our hearts   Jacques Brel   Rimbaud   French songs poems
                      of love of peace of friendship                Xavier is the best tour guide in
                      Portugal   watch out for the trams   step into a doorway   or die
                      spring is here   orange and lemon trees pregnant with ripe fruit
                      at Portugal's largest bizarre   street market   block after block after block
                      Xavier says look   and there   lo and behold   there we see a tree   filled
                      with big bright green glowing green parrots   never before the people say
                      never before has such a sight been seen   global warming they say   has
                      has   has   global warming has thrown off their migratory patterns the birds
                      the green birds look over the bizarre and in unison yell   further further 
                      further    as they   in unison   depart in flight   headed   further to 
                      who knows where   Sarah buys skirts and sari and third eye   from India     
                      street market   old Lisbon   police arrest drunk merchants   we drink 
                      espresso in sidewalk cafes   blue skies   ancient bright not withered faces
                      old wise faces   groceries markets restaurants   on every street run by
                      generations and generations   fresh food fruits vegetables meats seafoods
                      daily fresh   wine ports the best in the world   palm trees Atlantic and 
                      Mediterranean breezes   it is spring   in Portugal   Morocco Tangier out
                      the roof window   rooftops river ocean spring breezes songs poems dances
                      the dance   Iris dances the dance of life   world beat rhythms magic alchemy
                      mystery rhythms Iris dances Sarah sings the poem of life the poems of love
                      Sarah and I dance love's dance in Alfama old Lisbon in Portugal
              from Quinta da Regaleira
                 to Alfama
                      the water of life   oh eternal natural springs
                         wash us    purify us   transform us
                             sweet angel of the fountains
                                 of the natural springs   springs of seven mountains
                                    oh angel of water
                                       baptize us
                          oh water of life
                                   make us new
                    O Privilegio dos Caminhos
                        trazem a sua arte a Lisboa
                           num encontro
                              entre poesia canto musica e danca
                Lucia   Baltazar   Xavier   Iris   Sarah   Ron
                                                                                      Santiago Alquimista
                    birth   life   friendship   love   death
                          the journey   below   and    above
                 Pessoa   poet   boulanger   alchemist
        poetry   song   dance
                                          the bread of life
                                                manger du livre   eat the book
                                  and the word will set you free

                              changing water to red wine
                                            the wedding feast
                                                       in Alfama   old Lisbon
                                                                  Iris   Xavier
                                                our guides in this strange this mystical land
                             Fado   destiny   synchronicity
                                    trams and church bells
                                            at 5am
                                                        meditation   prayer
                                                                                       red wine
                        Tejoo Bar
                                 laughing woman 
                                                            with a broom
                            Tejoo Bar       Pedro at midnight     guitared poems
                                              freedom portal
                                                                       keep the flame alive
                                                              the flame of freedom
              Pedro sings and drinks and recites poetry every night at The Tejoo Bar
                        Baltazaar       Dazkarieh
                                        world music   world rhythms
                                                           the beauty of rhythmic movement of sound
              measuring space with time with magically rhythmed time
           romantic   alchemical   mystery   Portugal
                                        the best wine port shop in Lisbon
                                          Baixa   Rua dos Fanqueiros (tell the owner I sent you)
in Kentucky   it's raining   Portuguese poems
              the food   the wine   the coffee   the port
                                                                                my God oh Great Spirit
                                                                                    i'm in Heaven
                            Pasteis de Belem     Piriquita
                the French gypsy violinist   Xavier   plays and sings till dawn
                                           The Friends        new friends
                             Threshold of The Gods
                                     Jesus crowns Mary Magdalene
                                                         Ron crowns Sarah Elizabeth
                                                                   Quinta da Regaleira
                                                             Fount of Abundance
                                                                                              alchemical Portugal
                                                                                                 the threshold
                                                                                                     the doorway
                                                                 to the creative imagination
                                                                    to spirit realms
                        Lord Byron's Café
                               Pessoa's Hotel
                                                         by plane and train we travel
                                                                                                       we walk
         from Oporto    to Braga    Bom Jesus
                              the Azores                      Sintra
                                                to old Lisboa           Alfama
                                                      to Faro          to Tangier
                                                                  to Terceira
                      Luis Vaz de Camoes                                 Fernando Pessoa
                                   Ana Paula Inacio     Luis Quintas     Rui Coias
                                                   Fado     Amalia Rodrigues
                           old Lisboa     oh Lisbon     oh Portugal
                                            we sing your songs
                                                 we drink your wines
                                                        we make love to you
                                                              we raise toasts to you
                                                                   we dance your dances
                                                                         we whisper your poems
                      obrigado   obrigado   obrigado

with Love
Ron Whitehead
February 25, 2007

Copyright © Ron Whitehead 2007

Ron in Portugal
Ron in Portugal
Ron in Portugal
Ron in Portugal

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