power & power relations reflection regeneration restoration travel writing

brasilândia- in verse

What is Brasilândia?
A many layered thing- literally.

A mix of textures, colours, sounds,
lá tudo nublado, aqui tudo colorido” as my host sister put it,
The day she took me on a walk
through her colourful neighbourhood.

A slice of life all in one short street.
Where the church and local pub vie for customers and airspace-
and the tousle keeps you up on a Saturday night-

It’s a many flavoured thing: here salty, there sweet,
And you can find the bitter as well,
if you are open to seeing it.

A place that is changing, moving, pulsing.
With residents who talk of giving gifts,
to the neighbourhood that raised them.
Where the front door stays open and guests shout greetings
over the gate, through to the kitchen: they are always welcome.
Where we greet the bus driver because we know him,
And almost miss our step on those hills and curves
of streets and alleys,
because our eyes were on the kites flying high
durante as férias escolares.

Where people walk through the neighbourhood with an eye
for what could be:
A shoe rack made of old wood- why not?
A white wall surrounding a garden is the perfect graffiti canvas.
How is this small park doing- they broke the seats…
“Uma falta de respeito- tem que cuidar!”

Eyes for what could be,
and minds and hands on making that ‘could be’ a reality.

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