March 2020

Back to Issue 7

In a black sea of sighs

By Ross Jackson


one of Pessoa’s personas

overspent on saudade

so sad, looking up

brooding on the black 


you’re lost in the backdrop 

like that little plane          an epileptic 

flickering to the right side 

of the moon


you wish to stay stuck 

on your little isthmus of yearning 

though what you’ve missed 

you’ve already missed

and can’t undo 


as one of Pessoa’s personas

you pretend 

you’re uplifted 

in a genius way


looking up, whilst

brooding on the black 

it’s what you do




Fernando Pessoa wrote poems in English and Portuguese. He was an early modernist

who used a mournful lyric in the voices of a collection of imaginary poets.