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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Postcard From Rio

Published: Chantarelle's Notebook (On Line) April 2011



Dusty candles stuck in cola bottlenecks along the curbsides
Flicker nervously against the evening traffic
Sea breeze flavored with the scent of ethanol exhaust and lipstick
Little altars set by fire plugs, street-side tree trunks
Doorway entrance steps and stop signs
Offer small protection.

Cigarettes are left
A bit of candy
Shiny coins . . . still new
Made worthless by spectacular inflation . . . time and place
Small offerings left for spirit gods displaced by fire and greed
Their forests gone forever
Forced to live upon the streets of Rio de Janeiro
With their people
Sleeping on the sidewalks
Homeless servants, petty thieves and whores

These ancient spirit gods are angry
They will have revenge.


  1. This poem reminds me (a bit) of my visit to Ethiopia...there were beggars in the streets but very little refuse or garbage. Anything of use was captured and kept - eaten, used, sold. Gum was sold by the piece and bottles were used again and again and again. An acquaintance (working in the country of Chad) sd that nation was so poor that they didn't have beggars as tyhere was...nothing to get from begging. If anyone had anything extra, it wasn't given to something else. We are at the plush end of civilization and it is always jarring to remember the folks at the other end of the curve. Thank you for the poem.

  2. Your poem transported me directly into the scene. Thank you.