Love and trust

These then are the people we are
       we travel back and forth
to Funchal or to Machico
       to Seixal or to Porto Moniz
we lie on sun-drenched beaches
       and navigate the rocks and stones
we drink from plastic bottles
       and climb steep rugged hills
with the agility of billy goats
       we eat whatever the restaurants
push our way without complaint
       we examine our consciences
by reading the old colonial histories
       stamped on church walls and ceilings
After dark we count countless stars
       and pay allegiance to a golden moon
sparrowhawks mewl in the night
       and visit the ledges of our dreams

We are all the things we ever wanted to be
       yet having travelled so far
still have so far to go
       love and trust stroll hand in hand
through narrow dusty streets
       love and trust lie in a single bed
love and trust bring new names
       into the world and shield the dead
from permanent death
       paradise we know can be clinched
with a kiss if the time is right
       and good fortune comes our way
to keep growling hound dogs
       and sacrificial gods at bay

John Lyons


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