segunda-feira, 11 de dezembro de 2017

Rebirth

It was a night like many others, when the sky is dark and thick like old blood. The timeless stars roamed the vast void, now and again clouded by heavy, doom-laden clouds. It was July, and the president, like Caesar, feared for knives cloaked in praises and honeyed words.

Alberto Casares had been elected by the people - the poor, prejudiced, mobish and sacred people - to bring back a forgotten age of greatness, one that had been rekindled in their imagination by this shaper of words, a former bard tuned politician turned messiah. He brightened their wretched lives with tales of heroes and kings of old, great man and women who shared their blood and soil, who lived still in them.

He talked of the voice in the blood, the thick, dark, sky-like blood of liberators and tyrants, knights and knaves, saints and whores. To a people used to hearing about the "economy", it sounded like a thunder in the empty void of time. He tore the thread, stopped the march of History, and put black boots and golden cloaks back on the streets. Fear and Glory once again prowled the late vigils of the night, and invaded the dreams of the corrupt and weak.

Alberto Casares was a warrior poet.

But neither warriors nor poets are meant for the throne. They must die in battle, become martyrs for the cause, and live in Eternity the life that was denied to them; lest they fade slowly and are consumed by the perpetual procession of the hours and days. Casares was no simple-minded prophet, however, and this settled his doom. He ruled well, kept people fed, got the "economy" back on track, and looked magnanimous on posters. Straw mattresses were now filled with the white feathers of swans and covered with the softest silk. And even though life had never been better, the people were not content.

Against the backdrop of star-lit vastness, a candle lamp glowed over a stack of papers. Contracts, executive orders, subpoenas. The unseen world of bureaucracy, hidden behind the flair, gold, and bone-white smiles. He stared at them, hunched over them, while he dreamed of kings, set himself up to their measure, and found himself wanting. Why, he thought, why did it go so wrong?

Down below from the star-gazed stars gazing down lay the city, its many beds laden with those many bodies and minds, and inside the thick blood, dreaming of glory promised but never delivered. With a new fire building up inside they dreamed of kings, yet found they had a president; of swords, yet carried guns; of dragons, yet worried about Mondays; of God, yet found only ephemeral flesh.

And between snores they cursed their ruler.

When awake, things went on as usual. Life always goes on as usual. But how long would this fire be contained?, the president thought. How long will they still go on about as usual, while the world freezes in conformity? I promised them fire, he thought, so why can I not deliver the flame and brighten up the night?

It must be stated that he tried, hard, to make the world what he would like it to be. He did not read any political treatise, but the old epics, and sang no song whose words he could understand. He wore a suit, but always over a hairshirt. He shaved, but not like a bureaucrat, but like a legionnaire. And he slept, but little, always on the floor, always hungry, always on edge. He worked at all hours, for even his dreams where his people's. He was the living ideal he aspired them to look up to.
And yet, coals where the fire should be. How to rekindle them?

He gazed at the stars, the same stars that his ancestors gazed upon, dead like them, but more alive than anyone breathing down below. He read, sang, and dreamed of kings and emulated them, but had he been thinking like them? What would they do in a situation such as this? Declare war against an enemy, to awaken the numbed will of his people? Design and build great projects, walls and bridges? What about the largest temple in the world, dotted with the sculptures depicting the great men of ages past?

And as he pondered those things, his mind’s eye was captured by Ulisses. King, sailor, adventurer, avenger. Old, cruel, beautiful and industrious Ulisses, sleeping on the floor with goats, working the rig with his men, facing certain doom with trembling and passion, for he did not value his own life so muh that he’d risk not living it for the sake of a longer stay on Earth.

And from him and like men Greece flowed.

Alberto Casares looked down to his city. And he looked down on his city.

He thought of the men and women down there. The fire burning in their hearts, as they slept under silk sheets. Their hearts, hard and wanting, resting on soft matresses. The ancient skies called out to them, but they shut them out with well-cared-for roofs.

The fault was not Alberto Casares’s. The fault was Alberto Casares's people’s.

He ruled well, kept people fed, got the economy back on track. The people joined a golden age of comfort, with its pleasures, with its sins. They grew as soft as that age, and weak, entitled, spoiled.

He gave them a Golden Age when they needed a Dark Age.

The president understood his failure. He should have been a simple-minded prophet, an utter  fool even. He should have crashed the economy, made his people starve and sleep on the hard floor under the endless, timeless, star-like gaze of their ancestors. Then they would remember.

Had he been a martyr, his people would be better off. So, what about a million martyrs?, he thought.

Trembling, he reached for the lamp that lit unworthy, dead words. He raised it to the sky, with a libation, and let it fall and then rise, to cover himself, his city, the world.

sábado, 14 de outubro de 2017

Baroness in bloom

A fresh silk flower, her scent floundering
-- the fiery sweet fumes of frothing youth --
the saintly whore saunters, on two feet soaring,
our seeing eyes searing, deep lust summoning.

Her white skin, wan -- in my dreams, warm --,
in waves of gold walloing -- our eyes wavering --
does her hale hair a halo make,
or horns for souls hanging, beckoning of Hell...

Barging comes the bedlam, the basting heat
of blue eyes like battalions -- the gaze of bayonets.
Barely barred souls are laid bare,
the surrendered beach beholds the conquering baroness.

terça-feira, 26 de setembro de 2017

The search for love

The vast blue sphere of Earth I walked alone
and saw mankind strewn across the world.
From multitudes of folk, both high and low,
the passioned hearts of man I saw unfurled

And man and women both were wont to love:
in every cranny, under every stone,
did every hand seek after its own glove;
In every heart had love her fitting throne.

But the bridal chamber’s doors were often shut,
for love is rare (though love of love is not)
And grew on the tracks the grass, on it no rut:
The rider never comes, the heart’s distraught.

The truth do see though, to despair do not run:
and know that a loving heart is itself the Sun.

sexta-feira, 22 de setembro de 2017

A lâmina do tempo

Busco-te, mas não nas pontes altas,
sobre rios violentos, rumorosos.
Não quero o leito de lençóis aquosos:
Tu, Ligéia, a ânsia em mim não exaltas.

Busco-te, mas não no gélido fio
da lâmina de aço sobre vermelho.
Não que me falte, p’ra ferir, o brio,
nem me assuste no corpo mais um talho.

Mas é que me incomoda tanto alarde,
nem parece que a empreitada o demande.
Quero tu, que lentamente devoras

não no breve ato, coragem covarde,
que é fuga vil de mal tão grande,
mas na pálida sucessão das horas.