Madeira. A holiday island rising from the Atlantic.
Portuguese in flavour. Nourishing each guest.
Survives by satisfying those who come to stay,
Urging visitors from north, south, east and west.
Sharing longitude with Morocco, born out of a volcano,
Blessed with greenery and timber, resplendent with flowers.
European money has drilled new roads through granite mountains,
Cutting tourists’ journey time by hours.
Tourists live in luxury in hotels on the coasts,
The Portuguese well know the art of bringing out a smile.
Not for them the supercilious attitude of the Parisian,
Madeirense are always ready to go that extra mile.
An airstrip looking like an aircraft carrier –
Half on land and half on sea.
Good fortune that it doesn’t rock in harmony with the waves
And planes can stop without a splash or three.
In past times nuns retreated to inland valleys,
Escaping pirates’ unwelcome hands.
Both have gone now, but still the valleys
Offer the most beautiful of lands.
So, is it an island paradise, to lure you back once more?
Or just another leisure destination with comfortable hotels along its shore?
Does it inspire the muse to bring out complimentary verse?
On balance it is desirable, and for sure, you could do worse!
P. Stoker. 18th Jan 2016.