Walking the Camino: Writing along The Way – Part 2

Further extracts from the work of participants who joined our Journal Writing tour.

Walking the Camino: Backstreets leading to the wharf in Oporto

Walking the Camino: Backstreets leading to the wharf in Oporto


Lyn Reeves

Lyn is a successful Haiku poet.  During our tour she developed some poetic gems that crystalised for us, with great clarity, some moments of her journey.  Following are a few of her poems that were inspired along The Way.

Walking the Camino: Sea gull captured on the wing

Walking the Camino: Sea gull captured on the wing

sea gull shadows
scan the face
of the old stone fort

how many reasons
to follow The Way –
this field of stars

spinning fleece
her hands enact
an ancient dance

 

 

 

 

 

Walking the Camino: Early morning along The Way

Walking the Camino: Early morning along The Way

blue morning sky
vapour trails cross-hatch
a pale round moon

cobbled lane
a scatter of skinks
on the drystone wall

 

 

 

 

Walking the Camino: Rain doesn't dampen spirits in Galicia

Walking the Camino: Rain doesn’t dampen spirits in Galicia

in Galicia
rain is music
rain is art

 

 

 

 

 

 

limping into Santiago on pilgrim feet

Walking the Camino: A stormy day along the Camino Portugues

Walking the Camino: A stormy day along the Camino Portugues

the long day’s dusk
in quietness now
the carousel horses

 

 

 

 

 

© Lyn Reeves
(some of the above haiku are published in Blue Giraffe and Windfall)


Heather Wearne, May 2016

Old Woman of Porto

Walking the Camino: What lives have been lived behind the red door?

Walking the Camino: What lives have been lived behind the red door?

You push through our group with something like impatience, or it may be that you’re just busy, busy with your own life and we’re standing in the way of your doorstep, taking photographs of your neighbour’s house and the ancient heavy wooden door that stands there as if buried in the rock of ages, with its hand forged metal hinges barely still able to hold its weight. It’s the oldest house in Portugal, as it happens, and you stop before you go on in to your own house, through your own door – a lovely deep red and newly-painted door. While I am noticing your door, you are telling us about your neighbour’s house. You know your local history, that’s clear. You raise your voice to insist on our getting the point of the story: the point seems to be that, in matters relating to this ancient house, you are quite an authority. You speak with such certainty and your body is with you all the way, moving heavily and with a surety of purpose that cannot be mistaken for anything other than its being the bearer of old truths.

We listen and nod, just as we should, acknowledging that of course we can learn something significant about this local wonder from you and of course, you, old woman of Porto, with eyes like wrinkled, blue, tissue-paper and a pale dress that is both apron and street dress – tied up with a strip of blue cloth around your old woman’s belly (have you just popped down to the fish market to buy something fresh for the plate tonight?) – you old woman of Porto, you are telling us what you know, and in a tone that tells us that we are missing the point altogether: pointing and gesticulating, tiny hissing drops of saliva spot your russet-red lips as you run out of breath trying to make us understand the meaning of that galvanized rusted pipe that is sticking out from under the six- hundred-year old door. ‘Obrigado, obrigado’ I repeat as you turn and stump across your own deeply worn stone stoop and slam that red door shut with a distemper whose source I will never truly know.

If I could speak Portuguese I could ask you about the plumbing and why it’s there, so out of time and place with the rest of this medieval building. If you could speak English you could tell me why you are so pissed off about the piece of galvanized pipe; or you could tell me whatever it is about living next door to this house – with its bronze engraved plaque for tourists, a house that has only ever offered you ghosts for neighbours – that has made you so grumpy. ‘Obrigardo, Obrigardo’… and we wander off into the afternoon and I wish that I could come in beyond your lovely red door and sit at your kitchen table while you make your dinner.

Walking the Camino: The any faces of Old Women of Portugal

Walking the Camino: The many faces of Old Women of Portugal

 

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