Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Cabo Verde, águas de terra

Menção Honrosa, XXV Prémio Internacional de Poesia Nosside 2009

Cabo Verde
águas de terra

engulo em seco várias vezes
é a saliva que nos sustenta
não desperdiço águas agora
agora deixo que se acumulem em mim
faço de mim um imenso reservatório
para poder voltar com alguma coisa que dar
preciso guardar todas as águas que algum dia poderiam servir
para matar
a sede e a fome
da minha gente
por isso engulo em seco
não choro
nem me dispo
para quem possa comer-me por dentro
livro-me apenas das velhas impurezas
mas guardo as outras
as outras intensas
cataráticas águas
com que salvarei a vida
dos meus netos
um dia
quando voltar à minha terra
cheia das águas que guardei
e que nesse dia despejarei
e rios correrão
nas minhas ilhas de fogo santas
praias que não desaguarão no mar
haverá água depurada
filtrada em mim
e meus filhos
já terão saciado suas sedes.
Haverá quantas águas guardar aqui.
Engulo em seco
a saliva que sustento.

Cape Verde, Earthly Waters
XXV International Poetry Prize Nosside 2009
Trans. by: Paula Gandara and POR111, Miami University, Fall 2009

Cape Verde
Earthly waters
I dry swallow various times
it is saliva that sustains us
I don’t waste water now
now I let it accumulate in me
I make of myself an immense reservoir
so I can return with something to give
I need to hold all the waters that one day
might be able to serve
to  kill
the thirst and the hunger
of my people
so I dry swallow
I don’t cry
nor do I undress
for whom might eat me from within
I get rid of the old known impurities
but I keep others
the other intense
cascading waters
with which I will save the life
of my grandchildren
one day
when I return to my homeland
filled with the waters that I kept
and in that day I will pour
and rivers will flow
in my sacred islands of fire
beaches that will not flow into the sea
there will be water purified
filtered in me
and my children
will have already satisfied their thirst.
There will be as much water as I keep here.
I dry swallow
the saliva that I sustain.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


these colors of mine never saw you before
may never see you again
beyond such two hours and some minutes
of the same colored skin
touching thought and soul and body
or the more that
it is
and you paint
in red and blue
and the more that it is
that I write
in black and white
drafting a lifetime that should have been.
Brother and sister
you carry my pens in your canvas without laying eyes
on me
and I paint your shades
in words and sounds and closed eyes
for English is so little
such a tiny little tiny little bit of me
to offer you ...

Thursday, October 15, 2009


before it was joy and glory and morning
the sound of the bells and the opening gates

it used to be blissful and gay and filled with the fury
of being
so much more than simply morning

that's how it used to be
every time I landed
in your hometown

now now now

as the bells tow
and tow and tow
they tow for me
lost and sick and scared
in cabs and east and west
in spite of you

they tow.
not because i'm dying
but because it will always be dawn
in manhattan
whether I survive. or not.
but manhantan manha-tan
like you
and me

its broken

just the broken sound of some
mornings glued with invisible hiffens
to towing bells far far far faraway faraway

like me

and I

and you
and who
I was
in those blissful mornings

my man

my man was a good man
the walls tumbled
the roofs shook
my good man sank
far from the fallen walls
and the sunken roof
he was a good man
just not in a storm.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Desaparece-me por cá logo

Não me apareças à frente
don't even dare
nem à frente nem detrás
I will not even see you
and it is not because I have gone blind
Não me apareças
Don't show up
in the morning
in the afternoon
or late in the evening
especially late in the evening
the show is over and I'll be busy
If by any chance
you forget
and I stumble upon
on my way down the stage
I'll simply say
Desaparece-me por cá logo.
Much nicer than fuck off
wouldn't you say?


I swear on my auntie's grave
the grave
grave foi a mentira
atrás da mentira
e outra mentira
it was not the grave of the aunt
she is dust ashes and nought
gravemente ferida fui eu
who is on his way to his grave
where he will face her
e de rosto grave e postura contida
it was a white lie
I knew you were standing by
all the time
it was a white lie
não foi grave
grave é a morte!


he didn't lie
he walked to the train
as to slain
.in my language
words are male
and female.
but his words
filled with dirt
got on the way
and he simply killed us
by mistake

and then again what difference would it make?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

o céu de Lisboa

as janelas do oceano
que me levariam
para a língua clara
que ilumina o céu de Lisboa
fecham-se na minha cara
e desse mar aberto
fica apenas o resquício da luz
no som
da tua voz
notas rosas de nuvens
dedilhadas por Deus
num céu que já não é meu...


If I open the window of your voice
I can hear the sound of the waves and the lingering murmur
of the beasts
that haunt me
in the silence of the sea