Reading Mirrored reflections by
By Salil | Issue No.2 Journeys | |

Mirrored reflections

reviewed by Ben Antão

TM Mirrored Reflections
It’s interesting to note that many professional doctors today find time and energy to dabble in fiction and poetry as if after a long day in the intensive care unit the doctor needs to unwind with his imagination exploring the subtleties and mysteries of love through the medium of poetry.

Such a doctor is António Gomes, 68, a cardiologist at The Mount Sinai Medical Centre in New York, who has now come out with a collection of poems titled Mirrored Reflections published in Goa, India. I say now because three years ago he’d published a novel The Sting of Peppercorns (2010), a story about spices and romance unfolding in the author’s village of Loutolim in Goa.

In this latest poetic effort, António lays bare his soul and his heart for the entire world to see, a brave move that only a deeply conscious and confident man would care to make. The collection is laid out in four parts—Stars, Stripes and Ragas, In Flight, Loving You, and On Angel’s Wings—a total of sixty poems spanning five decades of his lived experiences in his home state of Goa and elsewhere in Europe, North and South America.

He blends beautifully both prose and poetry to create snapshots of his travels, to reflect on love and its myriad nuances, to pay tribute to his family and friends, and to allow the reader an inside look into hospital rooms harboring patients of many diseases. This is indeed a bold poetic adventure the poet has undertaken and printed as a record for posterity.

António evokes his fond memories of Aldona, his mother’s village, and Loutolim, his father’s place, with undisguised pride and sentiment. In The Boys of Aldona he narrates the legend of St. Thomas, the patron saint of the church. I could relate to this story as I had visited the church in January 2004 in the company of my younger friend Cecil Pinto, a native of the village.

By far the most poetic flights of fancy and imagination are devoted to the section on love.

Here are three samples:

1. From Loving You

When lips touch petals, thorns and leaves,

Run down the bark and curl beneath the stem,

Loving what it tastes: rosemary, sage, lavender.

2. From Back in Time

She walked: a river by my side

I floated: a boat on her bosom

We loved to remake the world

Two indistinguishable shadows

Reflecting on walls of glass as one

3. From A Parting Phone Call

They can’t look into each other’s eyes.

This is a trans-Atlantic phone call.

Words are like bullets —

They make no sense, they sting,

They kill, what little is left.

As this issue of Tambdi Mati is devoted to the theme of Journeys, it only proper to include in this review a few snapshots in verse that António has penned around his world travels.

From Algarve:

Far beyond — the waves splash

On this coast of Al-Gharb —

The Land Beyond the West

Its rocky coast the sea possessed

Cliffs and caverns dispossessed

Flaming red in the summer sunset


From A Bullfight in Madrid:

The Matador: tall, slick

Poised for the kill,

With grunts and yells:

‘Hey Toooro’

The Bull charges at the red again,

Again at the red

The matador veers to his side

‘Ole! Ole! Ole! Ole!

From City in a Valley

Caracas: city in this valley

Of rolling green mountains

Ventured into the city to

Buy trinkets for friends,

A pendant for my daughter

In a bullet proof Cadillac

And an armed guard;


Found shops closed, shut,

For fear of armed robbers.

This, the fate of many cities

Of South America.


From Machu Picchu:

As I walked across the ridge

Over a bend in the mountain

A stone path, a patch of jungle,

My heart sheared by this landscape

Mind morphed and merged

In this earth, this city of layered

Stone, of clarified emptiness

Where the condor swooped down

On mountain walls, snow-draped

Peaks, to rest, carved on stone,

Sun-drenched gold, where once,

High priests officiated sacrifices,

Blood spilled for the Inca gods.

In this volume of poetry, says Dr Isabel Santa Rita Vás, playwright, retired university teacher, and author of Frescoes in the Womb: Six plays from Goa, “ Dr António Gomes invites the reader to an imaginative journey in finely crafted verse that traverses numerous stages of life, contrasting moods, diverse continents, and singular moments in personal history.”

Grace Schulman, professor of English at Baruch College of City University of New York, says, “His scenes are at once concrete and mysterious, such as the Arabian Sea’s underwater secrets, ancient tides carrying scarabs of amber and lapis lazuli.”

The title is a tautology implying that the poet’s reflections are as seen in the mirror of his mind, a past remembered. The cover is that of a sail mast sketched by Vamona Navelcar, a distinguished Goan artist and friend of the poet.

Published by Goa 1556, the book (ISBN 978-93-80739-649) is available at major bookstores in Goa and on

It’s priced $19.95 US.


Ben Antão is a veteran journalist, a teacher and author who lives in Toronto, Canada. He writes both fiction and non-fiction and has published five novels and several short stories. He holds an MA (English) from the University of Bombay and B.Ed from the University of Toronto. He has been president of the Canadian Authors Association, Toronto Branch.

0 comments so far — Join the discussion
Issue No.2 Journeys


Editorial: Journeys

“Everything is a journey,” was a reaction to my choice of the theme ‘Journeys’ for this issue of Tambdi Mati. Inevitably so, since life is a moving-on. And since Joseph Campbell reminds us of the Hero’s Journey, we may for a moment believe, immodestly, that we are in congenial company. People in Goa are used [...]

Quest for my lost Ithacas

Not all those who wander are lost. ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring During my childhood days in paradisiacal Goa, I had no toys to play with, nor were there any children’s books to quench my thirst for stories, but there were imaginary journeys while walking from Carona to the Portuguese primary school [...]

The child is father of the man

Papa, what’s the shape of a journey? Shape? Yes, is a journey straight? Yes, it could be. Like a line. But a journey starts at one place and ends at another, right? Yes, son. In Maths class they told us a line has no beginning and no end. It extends infinitely in both directions. Alright, [...]

The dogs catch their first sight of the sea.

Wagging tales, memorable journeys

Man's best friend also makes for an interesting travel companion ... just don't forget the leashes!

Face-to-face after 38 years

“You can’t stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.” That was A.A. Milne writing in one of his Winnie-the-Pooh books in the late 1920s. Well, after almost four decades of exchanging hundreds of letters and scores of greeting cards via airmail and then with [...]

Journeys in my life

A life’s journey through scientific research, academia, poetry and art.


Wetting new sands

The journey to being an 'ocean artist.'

Burning bridges … a simple task?

Guns, bibles and gold

I knew nothing about American Indians except the little I had gauged from watching John Wayne Westerns and Disney’s Pocahontas, where the American Indian is portrayed as a villain or as a vessel of some spiritual charm.

Map us a market!

The Mario Miranda Chair Visiting Research Professor at Goa University turns his incredible eye on the Mapusa Market.

No choice but this

A road accident crashes into the world of a family -- a play in three Acts.


Stepping into the world of photography – foolhardy or courageous?

As a toddler I was so fascinated with photography that the camera even smelt good! A cousin from Canada would regularly visit my family in Goa with a lovely SLR camera. He noticed my keen interest in his camera, and let me hold it in my unsteady hands. Through this viewfinder I caught my first [...]

Travel to Chimbel with books

As a young reader, I took many journeys with books. The journeys were both with books as luggage in the physical sense and book ideas within my head, an internal luggage so to speak. I carried books to the bottom of the garden where we had seats under a mango tree; I journeyed to the [...]

In science-fiction mode

The youngest science-fiction writer in India talks about his flights of fancy.

The chosen race

Bernadette Gomes, Willy Goes, Daegal Godinho at work and play.


The curator of cans

Lobster pâté. It was only a small tin. But that was the first thing Vit took from the grocery store. It wasn’t really stealing...



Waiting for daybreak

I take a train into my brain


Flowers of Firmiana Colorata

Sterculia — the vendor of saris

A spectacular weaving of finery.

Tree Memories

I collect so many seeds for my stories, and they are somewhere in the subconscious, but when the cuckoo gives a call I get inspired to write.

15°34'36.42"N  073°51'42.84"E

GPS Trees

Pinpointing trees in Goa - a continuing photo essay.



Earth and heaven in conversation

A look at the life and times of artist-scholar, Dr. Jose Pereira.


Of melodies and journeys

In conversation with singers who see themselves as ‘PortuGoesas’.


Mirrored reflections

Filomena’s journeys

Excerpts from the recently released book.



An inappropriate suitcase enters the garden of eden

Traveling to the largest river island doesn't require the largest suitcase, Vivek discovers.