The Madrigal & Other Poems

by Gonzalinho da Costa

The Madrigal

I listened
To a madrigal—
Fire, fire, fire,
They sang
So brightly,
I imagined
The song itself,
By flames.


Tree Sparrow

Chirps scatter…
You, slight, alight,
Switch your head,
Hop, swivel,
Tuck your arms tight,
Preen, puff, shiver…
Burst in flight,
Explosion of feathers, wings, tail—
Prodigy of creation,
Breathless creature
So frail.


After Basho

Chalk white moon, a disc of pooling light.
Round old pond, stillness unruffled,
Bird tucked inward. Behind
Embankment of clouds, a frog leaps—
Touchdown in water!

Black sky bursts, broken,
Beatific placid mirror shattered
By splash of a big blast,
Droplets, tremulous,
Subatomic particles scattering,
Tsunami unleashing gamma waves, X-rays,
70,000 instantly dead…

Genbaku Dome, UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Sweet Fragrant Coffee

Sweet fragrant coffee, you fill me with delight,
You sharpen my hearing, focus my sight,
Waken taste and smell with rich, deep notes…
You waft restful draughts, quell restive seas,
Water vineyards and groves, hoe fruit-bearing trees,
Build sturdy safe homes, tidy cities on the plain,
Turn denizens to work for prosperous gain,
Hoist snappy white sails, launch fresh-painted boats…
You uplift my heart, quicken my feeling!
Just do not invade my sleep and dreaming.


Editor’s Note on The Madrigal & Other Poems:

The Madrigal & Other Poems is not Gonzalinho da Costa’s first work to appear in Eastlit. His previous published pieces are:

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