Monday, December 29, 2014

The story of a fish

Once upon a time there was a fish who wished to live out of the sea. It admired the birds flying in the skies and dreamt. "One should accept what is possible" said the other fish. Still, it dreamt, with its big fish eyes. It spent the days observing the interesting forms of those other creatures to whom it had been offered the greatest prize, the skies.

One day, the sun was shining on the water, in thousands of little silver pieces and the fish, almost on the surface, longing for what it did not have, saw one of the creatures cross its limits, diving in high speed and returning fast into the blue sky. "Oh! how unfair!" Why could that creature have so much? Why would I have so little? No, it would no longer conform with that, it would no more accept such limitations. 

It thought the whole night, with its fish brain and, in the new morning, it swam to the pier. It used all its strength and leaped. For one second, it contemplated the sky without the distortion of its aqueous environment. "Truly beautiful!" And it struggled, gasped, suffocated, in that excess of air. Powerless, the fish understood  that what it wanted the most was going to be its undoing. It resigned to waiting. "Just a little more!"

Practically exhausted, it felt its body being thrown into the air. By the hands of an enormous, never seen before, creature, it flew back to the ocean. When criticized, it would say: "At least I flew!" It never swam to the pier again. Deep inside, it conformed, it seemed quieter. The other fish were relieved. The fish, however, eternal dreamer, would still swim close to the surface, still admiring the birds diving into the ocean. Until, one day, one of them carried it away. 

O nó

O nó
do sapato
da garganta

O aperto 
da gravata
das correntes
do peito

O gosto amargo 
Chega à boca

A multidão
O riso
O choro 

O nó
Até o retorno
ao pó

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A história de um peixe

Era uma vez um peixe que desejava viver fora do mar. Admirava os pássaros que voavam no céu e sonhava. "É preciso se conformar com o possível", diziam  os outros peixes. Mesmo assim, ele sonhava, com seus grandes olhos de peixe. Passava os dias a observar as interessantes formas daquelas outras criaturas a quem havia sido oferecido o maior prêmio, os céus. 

Um dia, o sol brilhava na água, em mil pedacinhos prateados, e ele,  quase na superfície, desejando o que não tinha, viu uma das criaturas atravessar o seu limite, mergulhando com velocidade e retornando ao azul do céu, com rapidez. "Ah, quão injusto!" Por que podia aquele ser ter tanto? E ele tão pouco? Não, não mais se conformaria, não mais aceitaria tamanha limitação. 

Pensou a noite toda, com seu cérebro de peixe, e na nova manhã, nadou até o pier. Usou de todas as suas forças e saltou.  Por um segundo contemplou o céu sem a distorção do meio aquoso: "Realmente belo!" E debateu-se, arfou, sufocou, naquele excesso de ar. Já sem forças, entendeu que aquilo que mais desejava seria também seu fim. Conformou-se com a espera. "Faltava pouco!" 

Quase exaurido, sentiu-se alçado ao ar. Pelas mãos de um ser enorme, nunca visto, voou em direção ao mar. Quando criticado, dizia:"Mas eu voei!"  Nunca mais nadou até o pier. Lá no fundo, conformou-se, parecia ter se aquietado. Os outros peixes ficaram aliviados. O peixe, porém, eterno sonhador, ainda subia à superfície, ainda admirava o mergulho das aves no mar. Até que um dia uma delas o levou. 

Monday, December 15, 2014


You don't have to read me
But if you love me

To read me
is to know me
To face me
To look into my eyes
To read me
is to regard me
to contemplate

You don't have to read me
But if you love me

Monday, December 1, 2014


Not very hopeful
Not very young 
Not gleaming
Not contemplating future brightness

Half the path walked
Useless beating around the bush
Much audacity 

Insignificance of ideas
Nonrealization of dreams 
Mediocrity of words
And feelings

The impertinent permanence of the moving world
Masses of water separating masses of land
And people
The efemerity of people

Waves revolving sand
Leaves swaying in the wind
Bright days
Dark nights
Fallen stars
All that remains
Once you're gone

Friday, November 7, 2014

Inner Babel / Babel Interior: Dois microcontos publicados na revista Orobó

There she was

She was there in the morning
I saw her on my way
Surrounded by a vastitude of green, there she was
A single closed bud
"How brave of her to come out all alone" were my thoughts as I walked

Once again I passed by
There she was
One might think she'd feel lonely
But alone, she bloomed
And in bloom she remained

At the end of the day, 
I saw her one more time
Sitting there in the greenery,
In no less than it was planned, 
In no less than she deserved, 
In the magnificent splendor of a bud that, alone, decided to bloom.

Cecília Meireles

Hoje é dia do nascimento de Cecília Meireles, uma de nossas grandes poetas brasileiras. Então, em sua homenagem, vai aí um poema dela que me toca e a minha humilde tradução para o inglês para que outros o conheçam. / Today is the date of the birth of one of Brazil's great poets, Cecília Meireles. So, in her honor I share one of her poems that touch me and my humble translation of it to English so that others get to know it.

      Cecília Meireles

Eu não tinha este rosto de hoje,
assim calmo, assim triste, assim magro,
nem estes olhos tão vazios,
nem o lábio amargo.

Eu não tinha estas mãos sem força,
tão paradas e frias e mortas;
eu não tinha este coração
que nem se mostra.

Eu não dei por esta mudança,
tão simples, tão certa, tão fácil:
- Em que espelho ficou perdida
a minha face?

       Cecília Meireles
       Translated by Lorena S. Santos

I did not have this face of today,
So calm, so sad, so thin,
Neither had I such empty eyes,
Such bitter lips.

I did not have these powerless hands,
so inert and cold and dead;
I did not have this heart
which hides.

I was unaware of this change,
so simple, so certain, so easy:
- In which mirror have I lost my face?

Sunday, November 2, 2014

The voice

I heard your voice. 
It called my name.
I heard it! 

Nor here, nor there, 
Neither me, nor the voice.
I heard it! 

Voice of all answers. 
To whom all questions are directed. 
I heard the voice! 

Stay, I asked! 
Say more, I begged! 
Silence... silence...
The voice that returns no more

Saturday, November 1, 2014

A voz

Ouvi sua voz.
Chamou meu nome.

Nem aqui, nem ali,
Nem eu, nem a voz.

Voz de todas as respostas, 
Para onde rumam todas as perguntas. 
Ouvi a voz! 

Fique, pedi! 
Fale mais, implorei! 
Silêncio... silêncio...
A voz que não volta mais. 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Monday, September 8, 2014

When a murderer lives inside your head

Schopenhauer says to live is to climb a mountain and when you see what is waiting for you on the other side of the mountain too early in life, you can never climb it the same way. I saw what was on the other side and decided I was simply not climbing that mountain anymore, unless pushed the way up. You wouldn’t realize that just by looking at me then. You wouldn’t see that I had quit. I would wake up, take showers, eat (actually there would be a lot of eating), go to work, do whatever obligation I was supposed to. I would even go out with friends or family.

But if you looked really closer, you would realize I was only automatically responding to demands, except for the food. Food became my only source of pleasure. How was all the rest performed? At work, if there were tasks and deadlines, I’d do them, using no more than the basic skills required.  As to my social life, it rested on the plans of others. They would say when and where to go. They would pick me up and bring me home. I would smile, have conversations… and eat.

Seeing me there, at work or with friends, you could think life can go on normally, even when horrible things happen to you. You could feel hopeful. But if you had seen what was going on in my mind then, you would have contemplated a different picture. As soon as I arrived somewhere I had an urge to leave. I could not focus on what they were saying so my mind wondered. I pretended to listen and just observed the line of ants on the wall. I payed attention on how the little creatures simply knew the direction to follow and I smiled at my friends.  The fact is that nobody wanted to talk about the only thing that really mattered to me. They all wanted me to move on, to forget, to be happy. I wasn’t happy! I had no interest in what they were talking, I had no plans for the future and I couldn’t careless about anybody else’s plans. They didn’t know. I doubled.

At home, I would watch movies with my husband and he would cook for me. Lying in bed, I would  picture myself dead on the bathroom floor, wrists cut, a river of blood… Relief. Relief was what I felt picturing that scene. I would also pass by a long bridge on my way to work and imagine:  “what if I make a sharp turn to the right and just let the car fall down the lake, let the water slowly fill it up... Relief. They don’t know, my friends, but once they tried to cheer me up and took me hiking. I was still weak and walked in a much slower pace then they did. Now and then they would remember and would slow down for me. We reached this large canyon with beautiful waterfalls and I admired their magnificence. “What if I fell”, I thought.  

I also doubled at work. I didn’t smile much anymore, but all responsibilities were up to date. While, I emailed people, worked on reports and had meetings, I looked around at the furniture, the PCs, the piles of paper and simply saw myself insanely throwing them all to the ground, screaming, and kicking them around. Sometimes, in this scene I imagined there would also be the throwing of PCs through the windows of the 9th floor where I used to work. At that time of my life I had a secret murderer living inside my head. I would drive and see a bunch of people crossing the streets, all together, going about their lives, in movement.   I would stop and wait for them to cross, but the thought would cross my mind: What if I speed up, what if…

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Parcos sorrisos
Pequenos gestos 
dão preguiça
Os menores esforços 

A luminosidade 
Eu sigo 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


Who relish your false beliefs
Hiding behind the crucifix
Disguised in the compassion towards human kind, 

Who look at others
With starving eyes
And push them away 
When they draw near

Who linger on frustration,
Remaining static, 
No ambition, no movement
Know you're cursed, 
Know you're doomed

You will never find such passion,
Never exert the power 
You so strongly hold on to
In cowardness and weakness 
You shall drown

So small, 
so diminute
Until you mean
Close to nothing 
Until you are just a grain, 
A speckle, an insignificant fragment 
of the profound love you once retained

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Pra ser feliz

O que fazer pra ser feliz?
Pular de bota em água de poça?
Dançar na rua cantando uma canção?  
Assistir filme, comer pipoca?
Esquecer da solidão tomando vinho?
Comendo macarrão?

O que fazer pra ser feliz?
Jogar tudo para o alto e começar de novo?
Passar a vida comendo arroz com ovo?
Insistir no mesmo, repetir os gestos, os ritos, os pensamentos?
E será que isso dá algum alento?

O que fazer pra ser feliz?
Fingir que é bom, altruísta, generoso?
Convence o espelho?
Não fica mesmo nem vermelho?

O que fazer pra ser feliz?
Ganhar dinheiro?
Comprar mansão, iate, carro importado?
E faz o que, depois que compra?
Fica feliz?
Quanto dura ser feliz?

O que fazer para ser feliz?
Encontrar o par?
Junto ficar?
Aguentar o bom e o ruim?
O bom é fácil.
O ruim.?
É de lascar!

O que fazer pra ser feliz?
Seguir paixões?
Uma por uma?
Viver  todas conforme o vento?
Seguir a correnteza?

Mas e o ruim?
Porque ele vem.
Paixão não cuida
Paixão consome
Isso faz você feliz?

E tem feliz?
Não tem feliz?
Feliz é hoje,
É um minuto
É um segundo
É por um triz

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

When I had faith

When I had faith I contemplated the stars with dreamy eyes.
waited weeks for a letter that would save my life or kill me instantly. 
I believed in love songs and wedding gowns. 
went to the theater and watched movies as messages sent from the Gods. 

When I had faith I believed pregnancies bore no pain. 
I believed in doctors and medicine. I believed babies never died and mothers were always alive. 
I believed in Justice, not men's justice, but God's. 
The first, I truly never believed. 

I believed good poetry could come out of sunshine, flowers and blue skies. 
I believed you always knew why and when you lied. 
I believed in moonlight. 
I believed in rhyme, when I had faith. 

Now, most of it is ever gone. 
Most of it is lost in time. 
But the rhyme, the stars, the love songs, the Sun, the sky. 
Well, perhaps, just perhaps, I still might. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Little message from the presumptuous soul

Because by looking  at you I made you more beautiful.
You did not know who you were before you saw me. 
The light you shine now emanates from the love I once felt for you, 
a star long dead gleam traveling through the universe. 
You might walk around without me, 
But I'm there. 

In the proud stroll, in the intense stare, 
In the careless movement of head and hands, 
In the shaping of a smile, 
In the sound of  laughter and in passionate cries, 
I'm there. 
You might forget, so I'm telling you! 
I am there! 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Mãos dadas

Mãos dadas
Luz de fim de tarde
Ressaca de clube
de jogos
de risos

Corpos preguiçosos
queimados de sol
cheirando a banho tomado
nas ruas
sem rumo

A música
A música

O desejo
O beijo
A língua
O arrepio
Jovens corpos

O calor
A casquinha
O sorvete
O prazer
A juventude
O crescer

E as mãos?
As mãos
Que são

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The wound

Thoughts hurt
Writing cuts the skin deep
Let it bleed 
Run through the paper
Drip its drops of dos and don'ts

A scar stays
Too new
Too recent
Too soon 

A sharp movement will burst the wound 
Fill the world 
With words of sorrow
Flood the world
With cries of pain

Monday, July 14, 2014


Eyes embraced
When feeble were words
Eyes were deep
A turbulent ocean 
Sucked me deep 
Eyes that caressed
Eyes that undressed


Shy eyes
Furtive looks
Yet, deep intimacy
Stay on 
Shy eyes
Stay on


Wide open
Capturing movement
Seeing silence and sound
immeasurable danger
in the blink of an eye

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

O Oceano

Ficou lá, em pé, nas pedras, contemplando o oceano. Esse oceano que tocou tantas praias, onde tantos sonhos foram sonhados, em tantas diferentes línguas. Esse oceano ao qual se sentiu tão ligado, seu parceiro de outras vidas, tão familiar, tão misterioso. Para ele, desconhecido.

Lá permaneceu, parado, olhando fixamente, observando as rítmicas idas e vindas. Sentia-se atraído por sua intensidade, pelo movimento das ondas. Tentava entender o porquê. Ouvia atentamente seus sons.

Imaginava o prazer de sentir-se coberto por suas águas, sentindo sua temperatura, subermergindo em sua profundidade, deixando seu corpo ser carregado pelas correntes. Podia adivinhar as correntes, profundas correntes.

Nadadores enfrentavam tais correntes. Ele já vira. Mergulhando das pedras, eles se jogavam. Com suas primeiras braçadas furiosas, confrontavam as marés, domavam as correntes. Voltavam exaustos, sem fôlego e extasiados. Mas ele não era nadador. Vinha contemplando esse oceano há alguns anos. Ouvia seu chamado. Enchia sua vida monótona, seus sonhos, suas fantasias.

Deu um passo mais à frente. Olhou para baixo, fechou os olhos, ouviu a voz, chamando por seu nome, insistindo. Ficou lá, na ponta da pedra, sentiu a brisa, lambeu o sal que ela trouxe aos seus lábios e o saboreou por um momento. Abriu os olhos, sentiu-os arder pelo Sol. Respirou fundo, virou-se e caminhou na direção oposta.

The Ocean

He stood there, on the rocks, contemplating the ocean. This ocean that had touched so many shores, where so many dreams were dreamt, in so many different languages. This ocean to which he felt so connected, his partner from other lives,  so familiar, yet mysterious. To him, unknown. 

He remained there, standing, staring, observing the rythmic comings and goings. He was drawn to it by its intensity, the movement of the waves. He tried to understand why. He listened attentively to its sounds.

He imagined the pleasure of being covered by its water, feeling its temperature, submerging in its depth, allowing his body to be carried by its currents. He could guess there were currents, deep currents.

Swimmers faced such currents. He had seen them. Diving from the rocks, they took the leap.  With their furious first strokes, they confronted the tides, tamed the currents. They came back exhausted, breathless and exhilarating. But he was no swimmer. He had been contemplating this ocean for quite a few years. He heard its calling. It filled his monotonous life, his dreams, his fantasies.

He took a step closer. He looked down, closed his eyes, heard its voice, crying his name, insisting. He stood there at the edge, felt the breeze, licked the salt it brought to his lips, savoured it for a moment.  He opened his eyes and felt them stung by the Sun. He drew his breath, turned around, and walked away.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Dreams that never are

Oh, she insisted, begged, pleaded
Yet, no interest, no reply
After, no explanation needed
No justification could apply

It was all there in the cold stare
In the blank expression of the face
No other moment can compare
To when alone you fall in space

She closed her eyes and heart and soul
She began falling
Ever slow

And I can hear her, though afar
Amidst life and its demands

Her cry for dreams that never are

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Take it, my friend

You should take it, my friend
Your chance given by the universe 
Go back to the beginning
You had no past, you were free

You should take it, my friend
Though weary eyes look at me 
While fine lines crawl up your face
And silver rays shine through your hair

Just return to that place
Oh, go back to that time
Peaceful you'd fall into slumber 
Resting in the arms of your lover

And the dreams you had were a highway of stars
Where you both could run free at the speed of the sound

Monday, May 19, 2014


Um pouquinho
Um pedacinho
Um micro fragmento 
Um caquinho
Uma migalha

A porção infinitesimal do que há
Do que vive
Em mim


A little
A bit
A micro fragment
A tiny chip
A crumb

The infinitesimal portion of all there is
Of what lives 
Of me

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Morning of May

Life goes on
Morning of May 

The Sun
Its Warmth
A Cold
Light Breeze

And the walk ...

Dark night
The absence, 
The fear

A black hole

The tightening
In the chest,
The emptiness

The morning
of May

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Manhã de maio

A vida segue 
Manhã de maio 

Leve brisa 

E o caminhar...

Noite escura
A falta, 
O medo

Buraco negro

O aperto 
No peito,
O vazio

A manhã,
De maio,

Sunday, May 4, 2014

The World that lives in me

The world lives in me
With all its colors and scents
All its flavours

It multiplies with
every new sight,

Every time I love or cry, 
Breath in and out
It expands
It amplifies
This world
The world that lives in me


De Piri
Eu gosto
Do quente do sol
Do frio das águas
Das Pedras
Dos Rios
Das almas

De Piri
Eu gosto

Gosto d'ocê

Friday, April 25, 2014


There is nothing to say
That has not been said
There is nothing to feel
That has not been deeply
doubly, overtly felt

Spaces can't be crossed
Time can't be filled
And even the lies,
the customary lies that make all better,
cannot be told anymore.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Chinese man

 She got up and went to get a cup of coffee. “Damned headache!” Acute and deep, precise, the day ruined.
-      - As if a long, fine, pointy needle forced itself through my cranium, you know? A Chinese man with long mustache holding one point of the needle, manipulating it, pushing it very slowly.
-      - Why Chinese?
Seriously, she could not believe it! A headache from Hell, dripping sweat after the coffee and that was the question?
-      - Why not? Is there a law against the Chinese?
-      I was just asking!
-      - It’s my pain, isn’t it? If it’s Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, what is the difference?
-      - Forget it!
   She regretted the rude reply, but did not apologize! Apologizing would require time, explanations, facing the Chinese man, pulling him by the mustache, immobilizing him. She went into the room, closed the curtains, and laid down. She heard the door being slammed. “He is gone!” She thought of how much that answer was going to cost her in accusations of rudeness, selfishness, lack of caring. She knew it would be useless, but she would try to explain:
- It was the Chinese man!