Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Cindy Goncalves and Her Cantarinha de Segredo (The Tattooed Poets Project)

Today's tattooed poet is Cindy Goncalves, who shared this lovely tattoo:

Cindy explained the background and significance of this piece:
"The Cantarinha de Segredo ('Small Pitcher of Secrets') is the staple of my family’s hometown Molelos, Portugal and its traditional barro preto, a style of clay-based pottery known for its deep black color and metallic finish. I wanted to keep the piece as realistic as possible to emphasize the simple, traditional beauty of the Cantarinha - and the craft in general - and my artist, Phil Da Silva (@phil_da_silva_) from 7 Tattoo Gallery (@7tattoogallery) in Newark, NJ had the patience, passion, and expertise that helped do exactly that."
Cindy also shared the following poem:

Os Segredos da Cantarinha


All black everything
like the soul and clothes
of older women
sitting on shabby benches
trading recipes for gossip
tussling aventais in their hands
cleaning off the dirt
of morning’s work.


Assim como era
no princípio.

her husband’s heavy hand
on his bottle;
on her cheek

takes the body of Christ
every Sunday

Agora e sempre.


Fields only clear food,
not the conscience.

Still, the priest’s robes
are worth more
than the fields
of the poor.


O terço,
the mother’s noose
around her child’s fears.

She doesn’t have all the answers,
but her caldo verde
makes you forget
there were ever questions.


At the jogo da freguesia,

inhaling deep the way avô did

young lovers run out of cigarettes
to keep their mouths busy
after making out behind the bleachers.


the sound
of liberation
is loudest
from a staticky radio.


is sacred.

It is the number of kings
in cleats.


compassion fills rooms
with hay beds for
strangers keeping promises

on the soles
of bleeding feet.


black boats carry
more heartache
than fishermen

and no one understands
like their wives


the current of an open ocean
does not compare
to the country’s lifelines:

O Douro.
O Mondego.
O Tejo.
O Sado.
O Guadiana.


Forest fires
have left some
with nothing but the ash
on their forehead,
from hell.


we never say

~ ~ ~

Born and raised in Elizabeth, NJ, Cindy Goncalves is a Luso-American twenty-something currently pursuing a master’s in Counseling from Kean University. She was a featured Newark Voices poet in the 2016 Dodge Poetry Festival in Newark, and continues to work with Dodge as a visiting poet in the Poetry in Schools program.  Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @cindayumm.

Thanks to Cindy for sharing her tattoo and poem with us here on Tattoosday and the Tattooed Poets Project!

This entry is ©2018 Tattoosday. The poem and tattoo are reprinted with the poet's permission.
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