"É de Cultura como instrumento para a felicidade, como arma para o civismo, como via para o entendimento dos povos que vos quero falar"

Written on a Rooftop in Lisboa

Marisol Lee Benter
Swallows in the sky like diamondsand I see in them, chasing tail againsta marbled sky,lovers necking in the wind.They scream at the sunbeating heat with velvet strokesof brown peppered wings,an...

What I Saw There

Patricia M. Bindert
I came to Portugal knowing nothing about Portugal except what Sister Fabian wrote on the board when I was in fourth grade in 1956. Of her beautifully handwritten notes that  we were to copy into...

Impressions of Portugal

Marianne Goldsmith
Lisbon in June at dusk. From an open window three floors up, a white-haired gentleman in shirtsleeves leans on the sill, elbows clasped, watching us, and other tourists winding around the narrow,...

The Bats at Faja Ovidivdor

Kathleen Willard
The ocean today is perfect for suicides said twice by the waiter and translated by a friend from the Portuguese and the water rages over the highest cliffs, the boats dry docked, and no one...

Whaling in Pico

Kathleen Willard
Now clouds dance above the dormant volcano embracing a mountain so tall it creates weather   and harpoons in the whaling museum no longer pierce the leviathan’s skin. In former...

On the Sex Lives of European Kings

Kathleen Willard
Darling, it’s complicated, these arranged royal marriages with the age and language barriers, her long vowels of Portuguese slapped into line by his guttural German. She barely...

Fado Tonight at the Table of Friars

Kathleen Willard
And she begins to sing at the Mesa de Frades. Candles illuminate altars of azulejos the blue annunciation and yellow unknown saints, and where do the songs originate - A young girl stands before...

At the Ruins of the Carmo Monastery, Lisbon

Kathleen Willard
Perhaps all churches should remain open to the heavens and unroofed embracing elements, the swifts flitting through transepts and naves, and all who enter regard an ocean of sky, the rain, an...

Theory of Flight, Circa 1704

Kathleen Willard
for Bartolomeu de Gusmão   There is something elegant about the early aviator’s theories of flight - airships fueled by alchemy of ether, an element extracted from the...


Kimberly Nunes
I am in my hotel room writing poetry and Antonieta comes in. It is Sunday and I wonder why we can’t skip today. I would make my own bed or leave it undone - yet I like how she stacks...


Steven Lansky
I came to the harbor, found the square at the foot of Augusta. Anchored out, rowed in to the landing, pulled my dinghy up on shore, unfolded my bicycle. I had conquered Europe! I met a fellow and...

Heed Crosswalks

Ann-Marie Fitzsimmons
Across from the Camoes statue, Bernie and Doug chatted while we waited to cross into the Square. While listening to them discuss Disquiet and Alexander Chee, I honestly wondered how many pedestrians...

Flânerie in Lisbon

Sarah Lyn Rogers
One thing that's striking about Lisbon is the way the city memorializes its artists. Among statues of saints, kings, and explorers, you'll find Luís de Camões – who...

Bring me my Dragon (Trees)

Jen Hirt
From the moment I set foot in Lisbon hear it – the off-handed hipster talk about the castles and palaces looking like the set of “Games of Thrones,” an American fantasy epic whose...

Avenida Liberdade, June 1990

Mark Pearson
Along the shaded Avenida, yesterday’s seat is taken, so I take the next table, order café con leche, sprinkle on some sugar, drink the sweet stuff and watch the chickadees fluff and...

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