Ray Mather

Poetry

POSTCARDS FROM PORTUGAL

Albegaria Senhora Do Monte, Lisboa
Castelo Sao Jorge, Lisboa
Crossing The Serras Of North East Algarve
Galeria Corte-Real, Paderne, Algarve 
Residencial Beira Rio, Mertola, Baixo Alentjo

                              

 

A travelogue in photographs and poetry 

 ALBEGARIA SENHORA DO MONTE, LISBOA

   I thought you would never leave the window

As the day dozed dreamily into night

Noticing every shade and nuance

You turned and squealed to me in delight

From Castelo down to Mouraria

Over to Belem and the bridge beyond,

Your eyes drank deeply of the beauty of Lisbon

As your heart developed a lasting bond

 

 

 

  CASTELO SAO JORGE, LISBOA

 Our first mouthfuls of modronho,

Shared on the steps overlooking the Largo Martim Moniz,

Burnt a warm path to our stomachs,

Complementing the heat of the sun on our skins.

Above us the flags flapped and strained in the breeze,

Behind in the courtyard,

Pedro Godinho expertly rendered “Recuerdos de la Alhambra”,

Unaware that he was cementing these summer memories for us

 

 

 

 CROSSING THE SERRAS OF N.E. ALGARVE 

On the twisting road

From Mértola to Alcoutim

We first met the

Rolling mountains

perfect as a Rabuzin* primitive

We headed south-west to Loulé

Wriggling up and down

Each brown rounded hill

Patterned precisely with pines

A primary school frieze

Of green lollipop trees

 

* Ivan Rabuzin (1921-2008), Croatian artist

 

 

GALERIA CORTE-REAL, PADERNE, ALGARVE

We arrived with the vegetables

Admiring their beauty

Organically grown in the hot, red soil

  

Under the cool canopy

We took tea and amaretti

As we gazed on the profusion

Of bushes below

Afterwards in the garden

We explored the creative chaos,

Stumbling upon so much to please 

 

A bike overgrown and an antique wheelbarrow

Terracotta pots and deep porcelain dishes

Rescued candelabras and a stain-glassed settle

White stone figures and metalwork birds

We moved up to the galleries

Of paintings and pillows

Photographs and prints

And some Pottery from Porches

Glassware, tableware, some old tins and bottles

An ancient cooking range

Modern cutlery chandeliers

A marriage made in heaven

Of the present and the past

 

A sensual overload

Of the dark and the light

In this house of dreams

And garden of delight

Art naturally nurtured by the sea and the sun

 

 

  

 RESIDENCIAL BEIRA RIO, MERTOLA. BAIXO ALENTEJO

Dusk settled, heat-heavy

Like a tired old blanket

On the far side of the river

Framed through our balcony doors

Playing out a pageant of rustic peasant life

The dull clanging of goat-bells

Announced the arrival of the herd and the herders

 Father, son and a skilful, watchful dog

Slowly, deliberately steering their charges  down to the river

To drink deep draughts of cool water

Tranquil lights twinkled on the white buildings

That the goats moved between

Unhurried, timeless, a biblical scene