More poems and contributor notes in Chinese feature



Papa Osmubal

Papa Osmubal


     (after a sculpture by an unknown Chinese carver)

The roots partook
of the fire of the sea and rocks

The tree was like a saintly
monk that paid obeisance

And from its hoary flesh suddenly rose
the bright countenance of a sage

So peaceful and so mystic
like the hillocks and the mountains

Whose voice is that of blooming
flowers and lions and dawns and birds


     (after a sculpture by Kuyashonin)

Six saintly sages
dwelling in me:—

This I never knew
till last night

When I said my paean
much to my surprise

They came out
silent like the deep sky

And they're all fireflies
flying towards infinity

And O all perfect eyes
burning in the dark

Intense like the sun
chaste like the sun

Early Macao Morning

The Chinese baker rises
earlier than the sun, the birds.
His motion is meticulously measured, restrained.
He is silent as his shadow.
After planting the joss sticks at the altar,
he pours his warm drink: the trickling of tea
shatters the morning stillness.
Then he sets out for work: the aroma of baking bread
and steaming dim sum wakes the city up.

(from Poet's Jubilee Anthology, forthcoming The University of Macao, 2006.)