Bridge to Global Literature

Let’s all remember that more and more poetry gets lost without earnest attempts at translation.Read poetry here to get a glimpse of the rhythms and resonances of languages you don’t know.

Quinta da Regaleira – Bhupin Butaney

Jul 16, 2021 | Poetry | 0 comments

Poet's Note

The poem was inspired by a palace (Quinta da Regaleira) in Sintra, Portugal. The palace is shrouded in preternatural mystery and truly forces the visitor to escape to the bounds of fantasy and surreal.

I. The Beginning

Searching for Eden in a lab of alchemy,
exploiting properties of fire and earth
to dissipate time, unlock secret worlds
to which the mysteries guide, like days of old
when adepts wove metaphysical passageways
through slants in reality, within which darkness
pervades until that distant corner where a soft
glow permeates, an entrance to the apocryphal.
I walked through the faint, inviolable light,
words cannot capture what I saw that night,
what I experienced in that mystical-escape,
a moment lost ‘tween time and space.

II. External Sanctum

I came to be at the foot of a spirally hill,
ambling a peaceful path toward paradise,
winding round through amalgamations
of oak and pine, under arching bridges
which tempt the mind ‘til that third revolve,
my senses stayed aligned, when I passed
the Grotto of the Virgin on this gothic hill,
a temple entrance I did find, archaic stones
layered in celestial design, seeming human,
yet beyond humankind, dimensions out of time,
echoes of which existed, strangely, in my mind,
the logic of astral planes to compass inside,
I entered this womb of dark and dampness,
lured by mystery and compassed by madness,
I traveled through the bowels of Babylon
to its boding tower, though not knowing then
its fabled name…

III. Internal Sanctum

I walked through darkness ‘til I found myself
in the hollowness of the hill, the ancient tower,
an empty tube of silence crowned by light and grace.
The hollowness was encased by porous stone
and steps evenly dispersed along the wall to climb.
At each revolve, openings appeared to alter-worlds
for exploring other dimensions outside of time.
At the nadir, a circle marked by triangles muted red,
pointing outward as if to anchor some sacred geometry
for ritual and primordial chants performed aeons ago.
Within this arcane circle that beckoned me below,
omega and alpha intertwine, creating involutions
that unwind dimension and time, and particle and wave
lie as one,
before God tore them asunder like Romeo and Juliet,
enabling the illusion of reality and tongue, it all began
and ends here, the Tower of Babel— wormhole,
vortex of time – primordial gravity, whirring chants
from pre-beginnings, enchanted me to the bosom
of that sacred geometry, falling through its depths,
comprehending infinity, losing consciousness…

IV. The End

I materialized in this room with carved wooden sylphs
dressed in gold and cupids formed out of alabaster,
ensconced in a chair, whilst my senses returned, yearning
for that mythical wood, that other world, to breathe
its magical air wafting through the verdure, where mystical
beasts await to feast on reason and imaginations unseal,
where east was not east in that womb of Evermore.


Bhupin Butaney currently teaches and practices Psychology. His poetry tends to explore human experience and meaning through a distinct psychological lens, often reflecting an inner strife or conflict working to resolve itself. His poetry has appeared in The Aesthetic Apostle, In Parentheses, and Parabnormal Magazine.


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