The temporality of architectures
Vítor Oliveira Jorge

when the buildings grow old
and inside them generations and generations of secrets accumulate

when the inner skin cracks
and nights of parallel universes open

sometimes the coupling of the naves is perfect
and harmony may reach its height.

then the flying architect smiles
foreseeing the arches adequacy

there in the space where his pencil
has entered into orbit a long time ago.

variation around an haiku of Ban’ya Natshuishi

that day we let the sheep’s lost head
come into the house.
it layed down next to the carpet
and it stayed there, looking at us.

we asked the landscape if it would feel like dancing
around us,
spreading colours and petals and butterflies
around the width of the sheep’s skirt.

thus joy has entered the house madly,
and on every step a musician played,
and on every pedestal a young girl danced.

and the sheep’s skirt spun round
around the vertical axis
around the strident shouts!

Vítor Oliveira Jorge was born in 1948 in Lisbon, Portugal. He is Dean the Faculty of Arts at the University of Porto, where he has taught archaeology for more than 25 years. He has published several books of poetry, including of c. 20 and Electri-cidade. This is the first appearance of these poems in English translation.