Carminho-Silence is never empty

Nunca é silêncio vão


Silence is never empty
When it is between you and me.
Thinking about whatever may be
All I know is I feel love
When you’re silent with me

Here we are the two of us
Holding hands inside my car
You alway console me that way
Silent, next to me
Watching as I sweep sad things away

And though you might be able to explain
What happens in the heart
Truly everything comes from nothing,
In your silent glance
There is never an empty silence



Nunca é silencio vão
Esse que tenho contigo.
Pensando nós no que for
Só sei que sinto o amor
Quando te calas comigo.

E lá ficamos os dois
De mãos dadas no meu carro.
Consolas-me sempre assim
Calado junto de mim
Vendo as tristezas que varro.

E por mais que explique bem
O que vai no coração,
É do nada que vem tudo,
Nesse teu olhar tão mudo
Nunca há silencio vão.


translation and lyrics from:



Beg for Love.
Consider this burning, and those who
burn, as gifts from the Friend.
Nothing to learn.
Too much has already been said.
When you read a single page from
the silent book of your heart,
you will laugh at all this chattering,
all this pretentious learning.

-Abu Sai’d Abu’l Khayr


It speaks to me in the silence of this one
then through the words of that one speaking;


it whispers to me through an eyebrow raised
and the message of an eye winking.


And do you know what words it breathes into my ear? It says,


     “I am Love: in heaven and earth I have no place;
     I am the Wondrous Phoenix whose spoor cannot be traced.


     With eyebrow-bow and arrow-winks I hunt
     both worlds — and yet my weapons cannot be found.


     Like the sun I brighten each atom’s cheek;
     I cannot be pinpointed: I am too manifest.


     I speak with every tongue, listen with all ears,
     but marvel at this: My ears and tongue are erased.


     Since in all the world only I exist
     above and below, no likeness of me can be found.”


-Fakhr ad-Din Iraqi


Secretly we spoke,
     that wise one and me.
I said, Tell me the secrets of the world.
He said, Shh… Let silence
Tell you the secrets of the world.


Carminho-I said goodbye…

Disse-te adeus



I said goodbye to you, I don’t remember
What day in September it was
Only that it was dawn
The street was empty
And even the moon, not wanting to intrude,
Pretended that it saw nothing

We smiled at farewell
Like people who know that life
Is just another name that death goes by
We never met again
Nor did we ask anyone
About each other

What memory or yearning
Will tell the whole truth
That we couldn’t handle then?
Whether by nostalgia or by memory
I can only tell the story
Of how much I miss you



Disse-te adeus não me lembro
Em que dia de Setembro
Só sei que era madrugada;
A rua estava deserta
E até a lua discreta
Fingiu que não deu por nada

Sorrimos à despedida
Como quem sabe que a vida
É nome que a morte tem
Nunca mais nos encontrámos
E nunca mais perguntámos
Um p’lo outro a ninguém

Que memória ou que saudade
Contará toda a verdade
Do que não fomos capazes
Por saudade ou por memória
Eu só sei contar a história
Da falta que tu me fazes

lyrics and translation from:


And then you walked away
With my heart between your lips
Bound to your caprice like
A balloon tied to your wrist



I‘d be lying if I said
that the dark sparks of your eyes
didn’t leap up in my heart
to burn my soul from time to time


I’d be lying if I said
that lightning didn’t dance
throughout my tired veins
when I recall your glance


I’d be lying if I said
that the coral of your lips
didn’t stir up my soul’s waves
and drown my shores in your bliss


I’d be lying if I ever tried
to talk about the truth
the best I have is this sad sigh:
I’m dying and I love you

Carminho-My love, the sailor


I feel jealous
Of the green waves of the sea
That insistently try to kiss
your body, as you stand before the tides.
I feel jealous
Of the wind that betrays me
Kissing you as you stand in the bow,
And runs away through the deck.
I feel jealous
Of the light of the full moon
That curls up around your body
In order to dance with you
I feel jealous
Of the waves that rise along your way
and of the mermaids that sing
That sing to charm you
Oh sailor, my love
Oh lord of my desires
Don’t let the moon at night
Steal the color from your hair
Don’t look at the stars
Because they would steal
The green of your eyes
These eyes color of the sea.
(translation from here)




Tenho ciúmes,
Das verdes ondas do mar
Que teimam em querer beijar
teu corpo erguido às marés.
Tenho ciúmes
Do vento que me atraiçoa
Que vem beijar-te na proa
E foge pelo convés.
Tenho ciúmes
Do luar da lua cheia
Que no teu corpo se enleia
Para contigo ir bailar
Tenho ciúmes
Das ondas que se levantam
E das sereias que cantam
Que cantam p’ra te encantar.
Ó meu “amor marinheiro”
Amor dos meus anelos
Não deixes que à noite a lua
Roube a côr aos teus cabelos
Não olhes para as estrelas
Porque elas podem roubar
O verde que há nos teus olhos
Teus olhos, da côr do mar.


Quevedo-Love Constant Beyond Death


Amor Constante Mas Allá de la Muerte

(Love Constant Beyond Death)
By Francisco de Quevedo

Translation by A.Z. Foreman

That terminal shadow may with darkness seal
my eyes shut when it steals white day from me,
and in an instant, flattering the zeal
of this my eager soul, let it go free.
But on this hither shore where once it burned
it shall not leave behind love’s memory.
My flame can swim chill waters. It has learned
to lose respect for laws’ severity.

     This soul that was a god’s hot prison cell,
veins that with liquid humors fueled such fire,
marrows that flamed in glory as I strove
     shall quit the flesh, but never their desire.
They shall be ash. That ash will feel as well.
Dust they shall be. That dust will be in love.



Cerrar podrá mis ojos la postrera
sombra que me llevare el blanco día,
y podrá desatar esta alma mía
hora a su afán ansioso lisonjera;

mas no de essotra parte, en la riuera,
dexará la memoria, en donde ardía:
nadar sabe mi llama l’agua fría,
y perder el respeto a lei severa.

Alma qu’a todo un dios prissión ha sido,
venas qu’umor a tanto fuego an dado,
medulas qu’an gloriosamente ardido,

su cuerpo dexarán, no su cuydado;
serán ceniça, mas tendrá sentido;
polvo serán, mas polvo enamorado.


Cristina Branco


Not birds, nor stars, nor sails
Are as beautiful in my breast
Daybreak falls silent in my eyes
The night enveloped me so
With this pain as if from a dagger
With this cry of a love without end
Love without end, love without time and measure
Water drawn from the distance from its source
Light that dawns without dimming
Love that wants to be a breeze but is a gale
Love that wants to be rain but is a storm
It is all or nothing and everything there is to lose.
Nem pássaros, nem astros, nem veleiros
São tão belos dentro do meu peito
Calou-se a madrugada nos meus olhos
Por isso a noite me envolveu assim
Com esta dor que é asa de punhal
Com este grito de um amor sem fim
Amor sem fim, amor sem tempo e sem medida
Água que brota ao longe da nascente
Luz que amanhece sem anoitecer
Amor que quer ser brisa e é vendaval
Amor que quer ser chuva e é temporal
Que é tudo ou nada e tudo há de perder


‘Attar and Carminho

The Soul’s Dilemma

Once again, each day,

I travel the path of your love

Every night without fail

I mourn your absence anew.

My soul lacks the courage

to love one

such as you-

and my heart lacks the strength

to abandon you too


From Love’s Alchemy: Poems from the Sufi Tradition.  New World Library, 2006.

I wrote your name on the wind…

Translation of lyrics:

I wrote your name in the wind

Convinced that I was writing it

Upon the page of oblivion

That was lost in the wind (x 2)

And when I  saw it still buried

In the dust of the road

I thought my heart was free

From the bonds of your affection (x 2)

Poor me, I had no idea

That just like me

The wind would fall in love

With that name of yours

And as the wind tosses and turns

so does my torment

I want to forget you, believe me

But there is more and more wind


I whispered your name to the wind

I whispered your name to the wind
It set the trees’ leaves all aflame
They fell, spelling your name in dust
Which then lept up to dance and sing
And when the dust fell down dead tired
The earth’s heart split in longing pain
And when the sky asked earth what’s wrong?
The ground could only groan your name
And then the clouds welled up with tears
The lovesick sky began to rain
Then sun scattered the clouds but when
He saw what the sky’s tears contained
He flushed with love, fainted away
And only the dark night remained
 The moon woke up and asked the stars
About the sunlight’s dying flame
They winked and all whispered your name
The moon blushed black, and closed his eyes
His image in the ocean sighed
The sea’s smooth surface heaved and writhed
As whales wept with the mourning tide
And then the Moon’s heart broke in two
One piece is me, one piece is you
 And I swear by your name it’s true
I’ve seen just what your name can do


Songs from Andalus

Fado: Casa de Fados

(from Carlos Saura’s film Fados)


Lyrics (from the film’s subtitles):

First singer:
A lost friendship can never return
It’s a forged firendship
 That jokingly comes and goes
It’s a forged friendship
that jokingly comes and goes
No one gives a thing
If behind that gesture there is no value
Only a friend can give love without receiveing


My mother I sing tonight
For the day has punished me
And in the silence of things
I find a friendly voice
And in the silence of things
I find a friendly voice
My mother I cry tonight
for the love I am drowning in
For the words of life
Have no other world
For I am this song
Mother, So hurt
I wear this body at night
without fate but with fado
I wear this body at night
without fate but with fado


Maybe fado will tell me what no one wants to say
That is why I chase it so that I may understand myself
That is why I chase it so that I may understand myself
My love I have sung
Under the last sky
Because I surrender myself in every last fado as if it were the first
Maybe fado does not ask me for everything I give it
So even when I forget
It does not forget me
So even when I forget
It does not forget me


Carminho (my favorite):
I cried for not seeing you
For seeing you I cry
I cried for not seeing you
For seeing you I now cry
Harder for wanting
Wanting to see you all the time
Time rushes past
When you talk and I listen
But the hours of our life
Each has a moment
Stay beside me
And never leave
So that my heart poor thing
May live life in an hour
So that my heart poor thing
May live life in an hour
Do not be afraid of fame, ill-famed Alfama
Do not be afraid of fame, ill-famed Alfama
Fame sometimes defames good honorable people


Other guy:
Fadistas come with me
Listen to the street fado
And sing a street duel
In a charming ancient quarter


Let’s go as I have said
You will see when the day dawns
How fun the revelry was
In the old Alfama quarter
Do not be afraid of fame ill-famed Alfama


Other guy:
I know of the world you speak
But surely I know wrong
I know what the world is saying
But surely out of spite
For was it always not true
That tales were told?
 Many people there lived
Very quiet lives
Which in a spiteful way are muddied
Sometimes defames
Good honorable people

Flamenco: Camarón-Rosa Maria

(rough translation of the lyrics)

Country Wildflowers
Water from the clear lagoon
That’s how I describe the colors of your face

Rosa Maria, Rosa Maria
if you loved me, how happy I would be

I envy the flowers
the mirror where you look
the brush of your hair
and the air that you breathe
and the air that you breathe

Rosa Maria, Rosa Maria
if you loved me, how happy I would be

She’s joy and beauty
and grace in her walk
and even your laugh is beautiful
and different from the rest

Rosa Maria, Rosa Maria
if you loved me, how happy I would be

Rosa Maria, Rosa Maria
if you loved me, how happy I would be


Camarón and Paco de Lucia por Siguriyas


Andalusian mawwal: Omar Metioui-El secreto encuentro

Lyrics from Ibn ‘Arabi’s tarjuman al-ashwaq:

ألا يا نسيم الريح بلغ مها نجد      بأني على ما تعلمون من العهد

فان كان حقا ما تقول و عندها    إليّ من الشوق المبرّح ما عندي

إليها ففي حرّ الظهيرة نلتقي    بخيمتها سرا على أصدق الوعد

O Morning breeze, go tell the gazelles of Najd
   that, “I’m true to the vow you know of”
And if what she says is true and she
   has for me the desperate longing I have
for her, then in the heat of noon we’ll meet
   in her tent secretly, with the most sincere promise