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Ron Whitehead

Old Lisbon, Portugal - Click Here for Photos by Xavier Noel .

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
-------------- 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
-------- ola
---------------- obrigado
-------- birth - life - friendship - love - death
-------------------------- Sintra
------------- 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
------------------------------- Napoleao
-------------------------- 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
----------------------------------------------------------------------- Sintra
---------------------------------------------------------- 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
-------------------------------------------------------------------- obrigado
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ola


with Love
Ron Whitehead
February 25, 2007

Copyright (c) 2007 Ron Whitehead


Click Here for Photos by Xavier Noel

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