Benagil Beach Sea Cave

Swim through six shades of turquoise
Water and sky to the Abalone shaped
Cave and emerge into the song of the sea

Three holes inside the shell, a flute pierced
By sun and sound, as tides and swimmers
Ride in and recede
Creating the tinkle chatter of
Ecstatic tickled shells

Whipped cream sea foam, brown
Sugar sand caked toes, sun
Roof frosted golden skin

An oceanic cathedral dome, the
Sistine of the sea

Salt in nostrils like waves in caves

Fresh sardine lips

Clam shells eyes

A merman-siren come alive

 

 

Oh Lisbon

A four-hour run to get acquainted
Up gardened hills, vistas rolling as if
Being painted.

Colored rooftops tiled in red, bright
Yellowed and azure skies, down
Boulevards lined with merchants,
Men and woman.

Down center streets, out to the river
Tagus, run toward the sea, savor.

Down to the statue, open-armed Jesus
Christ, under continent’s largest
Bridge. Europe’s golden gate, Jackie’s
Delight.

At the mouth of the Atlantic, sailboats
Like salmon return to spawn.

Salt skin. Wet clothes. Saline eyes.

Oh Lisbon, the smell of the sea, home.

You are everything.

We are thine.

 

 

Lisbon Cab Ride

“It’s a Wonderful World”
begins to play with my earsprings
with my heartdrums
and I am bathed by the beats
of people, of streets
overcome by the warmth
of humanity, of peace
It is a wonderful world
And the smiling faces of the Chiado
A young Jesus’ nod
His hipster smile
The feeling of being neighbors with strangers
My soul, whole, full of belief

 

 

Garden Above the City

Guitarist finesse
Cast iron fences at
Cliffside terraces
Tiled walls of colored design
Textured rust rooftops
Colors of yellow
Colors of blue
Colors of pink
Shades of pastel hue
The smells in the air of
Earthy, ripe flavors
The bells though the squares
Nascent hours
Atop this bench
With a stranger
Abounding with gratitude
Ascending with thanks
On these tiled pathways
One poet gives thanks

 

 

On the Banks of the River Tagus

 

Blood red harvest moon

Rising over boardwalk

As sunset red and pink

Rust die the landscape

While a Fado band plays

Music for the people

Dinner on the docks

Ice-cream on Avenida

Da Ribeira das Naus

Two men under a new luna

Perfectly found, perfectly lost

 

 

In the Algarve

the Atlantic ocean
Is the glimmering birth of a billion
Smiling faces, resplendent in their
Simple joy, mirth in mirrors of
Ripples, faces of the diamond of
Bliss

Two men repose by the sea, clad
In red speedos, luxuriating in the
Fragrant verdantry, the salt bath of
Ocean air

The waves, intimate caress of stone
Shore, cradle the corner of a continent
With a long lost lover’s embrace

Sailboats, explorers before and beyond,
Traverse this tranquil paradise

Sunny thoughts, classic grace, eternal
Love.

Forever our place

 

II

Sex that brings new horizons to the
Imagination, new coasts to the consciousness

Sex that makes the sun rise behind
Closed eyes

Sex that makes movement impossible

That gives birth to oceans

Like swimming in the Atlantic
On the Algarve coast
Bobbing and dripping
Like the planets in space

The warmth of the ocean
The warmth of the sound
Of the waves and the
Warmth of his hand on my hand

Sex like the speed of
Light through the universe

Sex like transcendence
Like the sands
Sex innumerable

 

Lance Garland

Lance Garland

Lance Garland is a firefighter that lives on a sailboat in Seattle. A veteran of the US Navy and graduate from the University of Washington, his poetry has appeared in The Wayfarer, CIRQUE, Pacifica Literary Review, REQUITED, and others. His novel Second-Class Sailors is available from FreeLancelot Publishing, along with its poetry companion Ask To Tell. His poetry volume Sailboat Living is an honorable mention for the 2016 Homebound Poetry Prize.

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