In the Street of Barefoot Lovers there are peddlers of song, clowns.
Dancers and acrobats who have come in from the surrounding towns.

Most of them are drunk, all have failed in their respective professions.
They perform solo, or gather at corners in jam sessions.

They are creators of new and fabulous forms of prayer
Which eventually become the art at which men wonder and stare.

Strung between lamp posts and slung from balconies are flowerpots
Containing botanical gardens and suburban plots.

There are churches and mosques and pagodas and temples
Where spirit is not cowed, but sings to the sound of timbrels.

In them there are no priests, no rituals—only a flame
Burning in a crystal bowl as a sign of love’s name.

There is a wineshop of which few know, where a vintner debonair
Sells for a good song, an act or story, a vintage most rare.


This good natured picture of hippiedom is fun to recite. It thumbs its nose at convention. Its keynote is the spontaneity which the vintner rewards. Musicians, poets and craftsman freely give rise to praise of the Beloved. Variety springs up like so many flowers. The new form of prayer is not asking for anything and it does not need to be mediated through priests and rituals.

The flame in the crystal bowl is a symbol for the inner illumination of the heart.These poets and makers create from the inner flame and receive His wine.

There was a novel called The Street of Barefoot Lovers by Joseph Foster, published in 1953.

A timbrel is like the deff of Islam, it resembles the modern tambourine.

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