A Passion for Poetry

Tony Wyld used his passion for poetry to get him through the COVID pandemic and raise money for charity.

Tony lives in Vale da Telha with his wife Sarah and two Portuguese water dogs, having moved to the western Algarve during the COVID Pandemic. “It was a strange time to move to a foreign country for obvious reasons, but it did mean I had lots of time to write, which I guess was true for many writers.”

Many of his books have been written for charity or to raise awareness for a cause. His book, The Covid Collection, raised money for NHS Charities Together and featured some of his work and other poets and short story writers who were invited to participate. “My poetry passion is one that I try to share. You see, anyone, really anyone, can write a poem – you just need a pen and paper, or nowadays merely a mobile phone!”

During the second lockdown, with his long-suffering wife’s support (she feels obliged to listen to each new poem!) they produced another book of poetry called For the love of … to raise both money and the profile of Animal Rescue Algarve. He says that this was their most successful book to date and, again, friends and other successful writers collaborated in this exciting and worthwhile project. 

“This time local schools in the Loulé area were invited to participate and we were bowled over by the Portuguese youngsters’ mind-boggling poetry skills and beautiful accompanying illustrations.” The book, priced at 10€, is available from Animal Rescue Algarve. Tony tells us that he is always looking for new charities to raise money for and you are welcome to contact him with any suggestions.

Eden Project, Tony and wife, Sarah

He started writing as a hobby when he semi-retired from the ‘chalk face’ (interactive whiteboard) ten years ago, although he has always dabbled in verse for as long as he can remember. “Now that my wife and I live in Portugal, she paints and sings while I write and play tennis – or walking football. But that is another story – or at least another poem! I find there is always something to write about, hopefully in an interesting and unique way. But unlike a novel (which requires absolute dedication), poetry can be created in the strangest location and at the ‘ungodliest hour’, and is easy to get back to if your muse temporarily abandons you.”

As a former foreign language and English teacher, Tony has always had a fascination for words and the way they have the potential to be either wasted or savoured. “What I love about poetry is that each word is carefully chosen and savoured like a fine wine to create something unique and meaningful.”

He says he finds it easier to write in Portugal than at his previous home, Cornwall, possibly due to the Cornish ‘dretly’ state of mind, which means ‘I will do it sometime later’!! Yet St Austell, where he lived, famous for the Eden Project set imposingly in the China Clay country, produced the great poet Jack Clemo, who, like many other poets, inspired him. “And, of course, Portugal is a land of poetry blessed with so many fabulous poets, including the genius Pessoa, and this is probably another reason why I find it such a motivating place to write, as it sometimes feels like they are looking down and giving encouragement.” 

Tony always welcomes contact with other poets and, if anyone is interested, he would like to hear from you, possibly to collaborate in his next project. He is available for poetry readings and enjoys writing for special events. Below is a sample to whet your appetite! 


Main image Tony with Fernando Pessoa

Pastel de Nata

Shouldn’t be allowed

It makes you fatter

Stand out in the crowd!

As soon as folk start

To bite into the pastry

This fine, filo tart

Is by far too tasty

The cream starts to ooze

Sweet nata so nice

All self-control you lose

For you’re in paradise

The trickle of custard

As your tongue is caressed

Feeling faintly flustered

Infatuated, obsessed!

With a galão consumed

Taste buds will tickle

All dieting now doomed

Feeling helpless and fickle

But what does it matter?

Oh, Portuguese treasure

My flaky pastel de nata

My guiltiest pleasure

Your caramelised top

You melt in my mouth

I really can’t stop

Then it all heads south!

With the coffee combined

The explosive flavour

Drives me out of my mind

Sweet nothings to savour

Dainty and sensual

Momentary release

Always consensual

I am your mouthpiece!

And when you feel at odds

What could be cosier?

Divine food of the gods

Heaven-sent ambrosia

I hear …

I’ve heard ‘most expats are ‘on the run’

Who come to Portugal for guaranteed sun

They don’t integrate or learn Portuguese

Except ‘hello, can I have a beer please?’

I hear ‘the Portuguese are hard to know

That drivers here refuse to drive cars slow

That the dogs are treated in ways so cruel’

But is any of this true as a golden rule?

We know the perils of flaky fake news

Being contaminated by stereotypical views

So may Portugal remain an open melting pot

And of nationality or race, it matters not

So seize the day and pay good heed

To Fernando Pessoa, a great poet indeed:

‘What we see isn’t what we see, but what we are.’

And if you grasp this idea you’ll always go far!


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