The laurel forests of Madeira

Laurel Forest Madeira

We travelled north
       through the mountains
through the town of São Vicente
       —lush evergreen laurel forest
on either side of the road
       the deep emerald vegetation
obscuring the rough terrain shaped
      by volcanoes long extinct

That day the sun shone
       and the air felt cool and fresh
as we climbed into the hills
       and here and there we saw
tall torrents of mineral water
       cascading perpendicularly
into streams that churned
       in beds lined with pumice

And arriving at the shore in Seixal
       with its tall rugged cliffs
where these thin rivulets plunged
       abruptly over the edge
into the aimless sea I thought
       of time and love and light and
all things that at the end of the day
       spread out into nothing

John Lyons

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