Brazil's Cerrado is an enormous savanna that includes tall grasses, tough, twisted trees, shrubby forests, and canopy forests along streams. Although its beauty is perhaps not as apparent as that of the Amazon, look closely and carefully, and its allure becomes ever more apparent. That gnarly tree over there produces the succulent and brilliantly colored cashew fruit. An anteater is napping somewhere in the middle of that tall grass to your right. Up high in that palm tree, a flock of macaws rests and chews on palm nuts. Keep looking and one encounters hundreds, if not thousands, of edible and medicinal plants and fruits. Rife with flowers like orchids and bromeliads, waterfalls, and endemic mammals, birds, reptiles, and insects, the Cerrado has inspired me to paint.
Below is a poem I wrote in 2012, after 3 years of frequenting a place in the Bahian cerrado called Chapada Diamantina (Diamond Plateau): Chapada Diamantina The Brazilian hinterland the brilliant wonderland the Never-never-land the sparkling diamond-land the wild water-land the Diamond Plateau-land mysterious reflections and refractions cave pools turned turquoise with the fingery rays of god liquid rainbows in misting waterfalls a sparkling stream over a mosaic rock-bed moist stone cities lost in time and space somewhere in xique xique cactus wilderness spirits of the world butterflies, hummingbirds, woodpeckers, and fairies darting in and out of dripping ferns and dewey moss, orchids, bromeliads, and lichen secrets of the Bahian cerrado crista de galo alma de gato buceta de fada meganina sempre vivo candéia Old souls and new sharing stories and secrets on the gurgling trails of the resplendent plateau and in the cobbled colonial towns.