my grandma’s mirror

25/06/2011
grandmother ©papa osmubal

grandmother ©papa osmubal


my grandma’s mirror

carlos marreiros

the mirror bevelled
held in a black timber frame
subtle Chinese ornament

tarnished as time goes
step by step
it’s changed to water

the lustre long lost
the mirrored plain
gone ashy grey

it’s a long time since
my Chinese grandma
appeared to me
in the Mandarin mirror

she went with the last waters
with the rice-field
never to return


Siu Kan, 1978


an old umbrella

25/06/2011
umbrella under the shade ©papa osmubal

umbrella under the shade ©papa osmubal


an old umbrella

carlos marreiros

wire’s bony frame
hidden by rag
a bit of skin
wind’s arms
belly is nothing

rags of everything and of nothing
existence denied
torn handkerchief, bloodstained
abundance of being, being
of nothing

on the hill
of last night’s rubbish
empty hands of the beggar’s carcass
surrendered to its own condition
failure, inferior, unjust
after all the attempts
impossible yet

not yet thirty
but centuries past
caverns in the pre-historic face
archaeology fossilised
in inscriptions of the skin

it was the corpse of time
of all the times
the watch of eternity
pointing to the zero
of words misapprehended

the point where everything begins
and everything ends
the condensation of all and of nothing, and all at once
where there is no history
neither does age make sense


Macao, 1980


temple of ruins

22/06/2011
ruins ©papa osmubal

ruins ©papa osmubal

temple of ruins
carlos marreiros

I want to profane the temple of your marble silence
trample your eternal ivy
where time wore you as stone

pull down your arches
for new colonnades
from column’s capital
polyphony created
the staircase already a theatre

pick the highest beam
crucify you at dawn
with the wind’s nail
with the thorn of nothing


li bai

22/06/2011
chinese ©papa osmubal

chinese ©papa osmubal

li bai
carlos marreiros

Chinese ink the colour of night
vagabond on rice coloured paper
 
so much wine, rice wine
sipped from the moon cup

moon opens the sun’s palace doors
the artist already drowned
the ceremony of the inkpot
serves him as spring

unarmed the poet’s body floats
under the peaceful gaze
of birds, stars, mountains


black tongue dragon

21/06/2011
dragon ©papa osmubal

dragon ©papa osmubal

black tongue dragon
carlos marreiros

I robbed ivory
of its resistance
the camphor-tree
of its scent
I begged jade
to lend me
its purity
Chinese ink
its wit,
so that I could invent
an opium not forbidden
 
the result was imperial:
I was eaten alive
by the dragon 
with the black tongue


Macao, 1992


carlos marreiros

12/03/2009

Carlos Marreiros is a well-known figure in Macau literary and arts communities. An artist-poet, he is an architect by profession.