Poetry by Rafael Mendes

Cherry tomatoes

Molar’s pressure pushing

pericarp, mesocarp, seeds

until the point of eruption in the oral mucosa,

releasing mellow grades of flavour.

To eat cherry-tomatoes

in a soundproof room.

Fill the mouth with the Aztec fruit,

working the teeth with patience

until the explosion that initiated the universe.

I remember

That winter in the Walden forest.

When the country had a new idol and we celebrated on Sundays.

The eccentric smell of the passion fruit harvest.

My delusion after La Tomatina.

The number of my Trans-Siberian Railway ticket.

The soot on the child’s body bathing in the Ganges.

A black woman in the presidency.

When all birds were released.

The constitution of the National Republic of Palestine being celebrated.

The last H bomb being dismantled at the Gate of Heavenly Peace.

Atlantis being preserved with the last map being destroyed.

Seven billion trees being planted.

Potosí’s ghosts coming back from work.

No title

The man holds the needle, his foot rests

over the pedal, straightens his spinal cord.

The layout begins. He replicates the bend

made by the bluebird that left the sun and

got lost at sea. He moves in the chair,

cleans the glass lenses, draws the barely

noticeable spirals of coffee and cigarette

smoke at the dawn of day.

Darns the day stitching destiny. Outside

rotten oranges burst in the branches. 

About the contributor

Rafael Mendes is a poet and translator. His poems have appeared on Poetry Programme, The Irish Times, FLARE and on “Writing Home: The New Irish Poets” (Dedalus Press, 2019). He also has poems published in Brazil and Portugal. He’s a member of NIC writers group at The Irish Writers Centre.

Related Articles

Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer in the translation of Glenn Hubbard

Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer’s poems retain the flavor of romantic love, and Glenn Hubbard’s translation daintily captures the splendours of nature and the beauty of the beloved in the original poetry.

Poetry by Dominique Hecq. Translated from the original French.

Dominique Hecq works include a novel, three books of short stories and nine collections of poetry. She is a recipient of the 2018 The International Poetry Translation and Research Centre Best Poets Prize. 

Poety by Gábor Gy Gyukics

Gábor Gy Gyukics is a Budapest born poet, translator, author of 11 books of poetry in five languages

More Like This

Blaue Stunde by Gottfried Benn (1886-1956), translated by Ursula Ziaja

Gottfried Benn (1886-1956) was a German poet, essayist and physician nominated for the Nobel Prize in literature five times.

3 poems by Arnab Chatterjee

Arnab Chatterjee is the author of the three books that collectively form the Reflections Trilogy

3 poems by Dora Manuel Culabo translated by Landa Wo

The body and its declaration of strength are telegraphed to the reader in Landa Wo’s translation of Dora Manuel Culabo’s poems.

Poetry by Viviana Fiorentino

Viviana Fiorentino’s poems bravely tackle the conventions of the mother-daughter relationship in simple yet raw language.

2 poems by Fizza Abbas

Fizza Abbas is a Freelance Content Writer based in Karachi, Pakistan.