Fruit salad days
air lemon-fresh
earth olive
late spring, Algarve
But the north’s bom dia warmth
is luke down here,
the barbarian invasion
has taken its toll
Blitzed by Brits
just a sunnier Brighton,
it’s all but chips and butty! 
Bonney Bombach
*bom dia- good day/hello

Small hours, the Mandego
sleeps shallow in its banks
town folks deep in their beds
A lone car sleuths across the bridge,
at last the blasts of horns has ceased,
game over
Above, an ancient seat of learning
crowned as much by Rectors
as by Kings
From Roman foundations
town splays steeply down,
conquerors and colonies
have left their mark
Plaintiff songs of black-cloaked Fadistas
and percussive shimmer of guitars
stir the river to a new day

*Fadistas- exponents of traditional Portuguese Fado music
Bonney Bombach

The day of my seventieth
eager as morning
the quinta orchard calls.
I dance through cherry,
peach and turtle dove.
In farm-house
no leaping lord
but my own true love,
I’m lead by a path
as in a trance,
to stray across a painted field
Gathered wildflowers
spill  from hands,
a perfumed spray
a colour splash
for loved ones turned to
dust or ash.
Nestled in a vase of white
their colours sing
throughout the night.
My love, I’ve made a rainbow for us two.

*quinta- farm
Bonney Bombach


  Signing conversation
on the balcony above the street,
my hands play the air,
face, eyes, mouth, body
all partnered in this miming.
I see the nearby shape of sounds
that float from moving lips
but words of passersby
fall on deaf ears.
At night I dream the
unknown dance of poets
who paint the world in words,     
songs of silence.
Bonney Bombach

The grab of it
at continent edge
where Atlantic churns
then bruises,
far flung
from reindeer track,
land hewn of flint and sun.
Prince Henry’s  fleet 
billows white to ocean
Vasco, whispered prayer
compass in hand,
charts, maps and shakes the world,
his handbook
precious as empire,
trade routes wove of
spice and wine 
The grab of it
at continent edge
to trace the Douro to its mouth
camera, not compass, in hand
spring in my step,
where pilgrim river
Bonney Bombach

  Frame by frame, eyes glued,
stone walls and earthen tracks scale
granite-strewn slopes, firs                         
clamber up mountains,
Eucalypts colonize.
My romance has seen
a second coming. I’ve
scrambled through centuries,
spring-splashed dunes and
ancient ruins alive in my mind,
ocean winds and the guttural
latinate tongue alive to my ears.
Bus forges on, intent
on its destination,
fields and roadside blaze
a trail of yellow toward Espanha.
A certain triste washes over me.
Até logo Portúgal!

Bonney Bombach



Lisped in Spanish
from the seat behind
thindilerra thindilerra,
innocent in syllabic confusion
it rolls off her tongue
urgent with enchantment.
I get the jist, crane to see her
between the seats but
she’s invisible.

The high-speed train hurtles
smooth as the satin of
Cinderella’s gown.
Thindilerra thindilerra she chirps
persistent as a record
stuck in a groove.

Attuned to the signal,
the mother switches track
from fast train to golden coach,
reads aloud, voice warm
as an embrace.

Prince, pumpkin, glass slipper.
Rapt, the child falls silent,
Thindillera alongside, even
as the wicked stepmother
shrieks from the page.

Bonney Bombach

Spain, 2017


The geography draws me
here on Europe’s south west edge
where Atlantic’s turbulent
waters come to rest.

From Porto’s river men set sail
to hone their skills,chart wind
and tide, map land and sea to
take the world by storm in the
great Descobrimentos, its
darker side aside.

I walk the banks of Rio Douro-
named by Celts before the Romans,
where river empties into ocean
its fountain-head in Spain-
to think of all the craft that sailed
both waters, trade routes wove of
spice and wine a thousand years,
Henry the Navigator, Vasco and
vast riches long gone.

Today, work-hungry men migrate
and one-time mansions crumble
yet still this city breathes its splendour,
tourists flock, Rabelos grace the
banks, their wooden barrels filled
with finest Port.

At Europe’s edge I stand and watch
the river breath into the sea.

Bonney Bombach

Portugal, 2015/2019

Descobrimentos -The Age of Discovery, Portugal’s intensive 15th and 16th century maritime exploration.

Rabelos -Traditional Portuguese cargo boats of the Douro River