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The day was going off, and the brown air
To the terrestrial animals gave rest
For their labors; and only me was there
Just ready to withstand the war at best
Both of the journey and of the torment,
Which by my mind will be rightly expressed.
O muse, o high genius, help my intent;
O mind which tried to write the things I saw
Here of noblesse you will show the extent.
I then began: ”Poet , that guide me and draw,
Look at my virtue if it has the power,
Before I try the high step with no flaw.
You affirm that Silvio’s father not this hour,
While he was living, to immortal place
Just went, and was with senses free to scour.
But, if of any evil the adverse base
Favored him, accounting the high effect
Which had to come from him, it was the case
Well worthy looking to any mind perfect;
So he was of alma Rome and its domain
In the empyrean heaven father elect:
Both city and man, for real truth sustain,
Were then chosen: Rome as the saint ground
Where of Peter’s successor must remain.
This going for praising him made it sound,
Things were achieved which allowed after then
His victory and the Pope’s mantle round.
Later on went the elected Bard just when
Had to give strength to the true belief
Which is the principle to salvage men.
But me, why should I come? Who gives motif?
I’m not Aeneas, and nor Paul I am;
On this is mine and others’ disbelief.
Because, if to come there I do not stem,
I fear that coming will prove I’m insane
You’re sage; that I don’t reason you should pram”
And as who wants what then has to restrain
Following new thoughts with proposal change
So that all things have to begin again,
Similarly I did it in that obscure range
Because, by thinking, I rapidly succeeded
In the way which at start was to derange.
“If your words I have correctly heeded”,
Answered the shadow of that noble man,
“Your mind to dastardliness has ceded;
Which many times man hardly overran
So that diverts him from any honored deed,
As when see vicious beasts wrongly you can.
From this alarm in order to be freed,
I’ll tell you why I came and what I heard
In the prime question to follow your need.
I was within the ones suspended herd,
When nice and blessed woman called out me,
Such as to ask hers commands I preferred.
Much more than stars hers eyes were bright to see;
Then to talk she started gentle and low,
With angelic voice, in hers language free:
“O gracious soul from Mantua shiny glow,
Whose worldwide fame power to stand has still
And long time shall last as the world will go,
The friend of mine, and not of venture skill,
In the desert space is hardly entrapped
So that he is giving up for scare thrill;
And I fear for him to be already flapped,
That the rescue from mine might be too late,
As far of him from heavens I have kept.
Now you must go there, and with your speech straight
And giving him what needed to survive,
Help him, I will be free of anguish weight.
I am Beatrice and your step I drive;
I come from where I want be back again;
Love, making me speaking, made me revive.
When I will be in front of my Lord main
Often I shall praise to him your valid soul”
She then got silent, and I had to explain:
“O woman full of virtue , who is sole
To fill for human beings any empty space
Of heaven, which of less rim has its bowl,
I like so much whatever is your trace
That obey, if it were, it would be late;
You have only to open me your case.
But tell me the reason why you took the rate
To descend down here in this dark center
From the wide site which you dearly wait”
“Since your knowledge wants so deep to enter,
Will tell you in brief” , she answered then,
“Why I don’t fear to bring here my mentor.
We can be afraid of things but only when
Show to be aggressive to others much;
If not, don’t fear, they cannot hurt the men.
I am a Lord’s construction, thanks God ,such,
As your wretchedness cannot now me hurt
Nor flame of this hot burning can me touch.
Heavenly woman to tears must convert
This very hard task where you I send,
Compelling her a judgment to divert.
She pleaded Lucia helpful commend
And told her: - Now your faithful man help needs
From you, and him I warmly recommend-
Lucia, opposing any misdeeds,
Moved, and rapid came where I was
With ancient Rachele already sitting.
She told:- Beatrice, true God’s laud and luz,
Why don’t you help the one who loved much you,
The vulgar herd so leaving for this cause?
Aren’t you hearing his painful tears undue,
Neither you see with death how hard his fight
Goes on the flood on which sea never flew?
Nobody in the world was rapid quite
To have a gain or a risk to escape
As I was, after such words I heard right,
I came down here from my blessed agape
Trusting your honest speaking good indeed
Honoring you and those who caught your shape-.
After these words to me wanted to cede
Hers shiny eyes than moved weeping with tears
Which pulled me to come with greater speed.
And I came here then following hers cares:
I took you off from facing up that beast
Which you to climb the hill impeded airs.
So: what happens? Why, why aren’t you released,
Why such cowardice in your heart admit,
Why your courage and baldness are not pieced,
As on three blessed women you can commit
Who care take of you in the heaven court,
And so much good I’m talking to transmit?
Like little flowers in the night chill fort
Are bent and closed, after white sun light,
Suddenly all open their stems are sort,
Similar I did with my tired virtue slight,
And so good boldness in my heart then came,
That I started speaking as I was all right:
“Oh indeed piteous and helpful dame!
And you that soon accepted hers request
With the true words which proffered in my name!
You have my heart with such desire stressed
So much to join you according your talk,
That my previous purpose I reassessed.
Since we have the same will, then start to walk:
You leader, you lord and you master main”.
So I told; when pace started to unlock,
The path I entered savage and arcane.
“Through me you enter the city of woe
Trough me you enter the eternal pain
Through me you go to people lost below.
Justice inspired my highest factor reign;
I was created by act of divine,
Supreme wisdom and the first love as main.
Of all created things the first is mine
Unless eternal, and I eternal last.
Who enters here must any hope resign”.
These words in color of obscure contrast
I written saw on top of a big door;
So I: “Master, their meanings me harass”
And he to me, as guy with a shrewd core
“Here you must abandon any bad mind;
Of any cowardice must die the bore.
We reached the place I told you, so remind,
Where you shall see the people full of pain
Who good of intellect have lost behind”.
And when his hand on mine put to remain
With happy face, giving consolation,
Told me deep secrets in a fashion plain.
There sighing, tears, cries of desperation
Were filling all the air empty of light,
So I had to cry with desolation.
Strange sounds, screeches with horrible insight,
Painfulness words, furious rage tones,
High and hoarse voices, and sounds to incite
Were doing much noise, which there high intones
Throughout that turbid air for endless time,
As when swirl wind moves sand and little stones.
And since I had so wrong my own head prime,
I told: “Master, what is the noise I hear?
Which is the people here bummed in such grime?”.
And he to me: “This forlorn way of here
Assume the dreary souls of those men past
Who with no blot or laud a life had mere.
Among that evil choir are badly classed
Of angels who neither became barely rebels
Nor faithful to God, with selfishness vast.
Heaven to shun less beauty them dispels,
Nor can welcome them the deepest hell,
Since for no sinner are of glory wells”.
And I: “Master, what is so hardly fell
To make indeed them strongly to complain?”.
He answered: “Few words to you I will spell.
For these of death the prospect is in vain,
And their blind living is so badly low,
So that of any doom have envious brain.
Of their renown worldwide there is no show;
Compassion and true justice them despise:
Don’t care for them, look simply and go low”.
And I, looking, saw a flag of big size
Which run whirling around at such a speed,
That looked to me to stop unworthy guise;
And back was followed by a crowd indeed
Of people, which I would never believe
That so far a large amount was death’s deed.
After who he was I reached to conceive
I saw and knew the shadow of the one
Who mean refused his great role to receive.
At once my understanding was thus done
That it was the sect of those captives here,
Not pleasing God and his enemies none.
These evil-born who had never life clear,
Had naked bodies and strongly harassed too
By blowflies and wasps which were flying near.
So doing blood was streaming their cheeks through,
Which, mixed with tears, fell to ground at their feet
Where it was picked up by pesky worms not few.
And since I looked back for a view complete,
I saw people nearby a large stream;
So I told: ”Master, you now me repeat
So that I know who are and for what theme
They have to look ready forthwith to pass,
As I descry in this light lack extreme”
And he to me: “Clear will be things at last
When our steps walking we shall bring to rest
At the sad bank of Acheronte vast”.
With shameful eyes low looking at my chest,
Because I feared by speaking to bore him,
Silent to the river I was at best.
And came us towards of a boat aboard
An old man, white for his ancient hair,
Shouting: “ Woe unto you, oh souls abhorred!
You have no hope to see the heaven air
I come to bring you to the other bank
In the eternal dark, warm and cold scare.
And you right there, of living souls your rank,
Divide your path from these ones who are dead”.
But when he saw I was not moving flank,
Told me: “Different ways, and ports instead
You have to reach, not here, to freely pass
A lighter vessel conveniently will lead”.
My guide to him: “Charon, don’t you harass:
So is the will up there where is the sway
To reach the will, and put no more contrasts”
After the fleecy chicks calm had to stay
To the old pilot of the livid slew,
Who flames round his eyes had to display.
But those souls, which were weary and naked too,
Forthwith turned pale and started to chatter
When heard the meaning of words so askew.
Blasphemed God and their relatives latter,
The human beings, where, when and the seed
Of their seed pearl and of newborn scatter.
They then all joined and came compelled to cede,
Bitterly weeping, at the wicked bank
Deserved by any man of God’s fear freed.
Charon demon, has ember’s eyes with swank,
Moving to them, is now collecting all;
With paddle beats whoever sits or sank.
As leaves which faded drop down during fall
One after the other, until the bough
Sees all his spoils fallen to ground to stall
So the wrong seeds that Adam could endow
Themselves throw from beach one by one,
His nod follow as a bird to call now.
So they above the obscure wave just run,
And before they the other bank descend
Another new swarm on this side is done.
“My dear son”, then told me the master friend,
“The wretches ones who die in God’s disgrace
From any country here come to their end;
The river crossing are ready to face,
Because divine justice now them spurs
So that their fear deep desire must displace.
Here no a good spirit ever occurs;
So, then if Charon is to complain with you,
You ought to catch well what his speech incurs”.
And when he ceased, the land obscure to view
Trembled so loud, that owing to my freight
My mind of lather still perceives the dew.
The tearful ground created a wind rate,
Which suddenly flashed a vermilion light
Winning my senses knocking down my state;
And I fell down as man who sleeps at night.
The great poem by the italian poet Dante is the DIVINA COMMEDIA
I have tried to translate in english a few verses of the first canto of INFERNO (HELL).
It was a very difficult task.
The result below was obtained with hard work and
probably is far away from the original spirit of our greatest poet.
The italian rhymes are of 11 syllables as requested by italian terza rima. In english language several verses sound well with 10 syllables, few with 9 or 11. I assume that in english there is no fixed rule for syllables in terza rima and I simply try to obtain a good sound of verses resembling the original italian poem.
I continue to translate and to add new verses until the characters reach the limit.
I submit to soupers expecting their sincere comments and criticism
CANTO I Inferno Original italian
When half the journey of my life was crossed Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita
I found myself within a forest dark Mi ritrovai per una selva oscura
Since the correct way was harshly lost. Ché la diritta via era smarrita
Oh, it's so hard to say and to remark Ahi quanto a dir qual era è cosa dura
How strong and savage was the forest core Esta selva selvaggia e aspra e forte
That now again I am of fear stark! Che nel pensier rinova la paura!
So amara it is that death is lightly more; Tant'è amara che poco è più morte;
But to describe the sake that there I found Ma per trattar del ben ch'i' vi trovai,
I shall relate what I saw before. Dirò de l'altre cose ch'i' v'ho scorte.
How there I went surely I confound Io non so ben ridir com'i' v'intrai,
Since of slumber I was full so much Tant'era pien di sonno a quel punto
That I abandoned any pattern sound. Che la verace via abbandonai.
But with a hill foot when I got in touch, Ma poi ch'i' fui al piè d'un colle giunto,
There where the valley was close to end Là dove terminava quella valle
Which to my heart gave a fear clutch, Che m'avea di paura il cor compunto,
I looked up and saw its abrupt trend Guardai in alto e vidi le sue spalle
Already dressed by the planet rays Vestite già de' raggi del pianeta
Which the path to everybody always fend. Che mena dritto altrui per ogne calle.
So my fears were calmed in some ways, Allor fu la paura un poco queta,
Which in the lake of my heart had lasted Che nel lago del cor m'era durata
During the night I spent in so much haze. La notte ch'i' passai con tanta pieta.
And similar to one with lena labored, E come quei che con lena affannata,
Got out of open sea reaching the shore, Uscito fuor del pelago a la riva,
Looks the perilous water behind his head, Si volge a l'acqua perigliosa e guata,
Just so my soul, which was fleeing more, Così l'animo mio, ch'ancor fuggiva,
Looked behind to behold the pass Si volse a retro a rimirar lo passo
Which no living person ever left before. Che non lasciò già mai persona viva.
After a while to rest the body harass, Poi ch'èi posato un poco il corpo lasso,
The way resumed along the desert slope Ripresi via per la piaggia diserta,
So that was always lower my foot fast. Sì che 'l piè fermo sempre era 'l più basso.
Here, when I started with the rise to cope, Ed ecco, quasi al cominciar de l'erta,
Sudden a very rapid panther light, Una lonza leggera e presta molto,
Coated with spotted fur and little hope; Che di pel macolato era coverta;
Which didn’t leave apart from my front sight, E non mi si partia dinanzi al volto,
Or better so forbidding my path line, Anzi 'mpediva tanto il mio cammino,
That more than once I gave up to go right. Ch'i' fui per ritornar più volte vòlto.
It was the time for morning starting shine, Temp'era dal principio del mattino,
And sun was rising moving with those stars E 'l sol montava 'n sù con quelle stelle
Which joined it when the love divine Ch'eran con lui quando l'amor divino
Moved for the first those full of beauty jars; Mosse di prima quelle cose belle;
So that I had more reasons to hope the best Sì ch'a bene sperar m'era cagione
About that beast whose pelt had many scars di quella fiera a la gaetta pelle
The hour of time and the season blessed; L'ora del tempo e la dolce stagione;
But not enough to forbid the fright Ma non sì che paura non mi desse
After my eyes a fierce lion guessed. La vista che m'apparve d'un leone.
This looked like against me pounced right Questi parea che contra me venisse
With ravenous hunger and head up high, Con la test'alta e con rabbiosa fame,
So that surrounding air looked to excite. Sì che parea che l'aere ne tremesse.
And a lupa, which greedy coming by Ed una lupa, che di tutte brame
Burdened looked as only skin and bones, Sembiava carca ne la sua magrezza,
And many people already made to sigh, E molte genti fé già viver grame,
This put on me indeed so heavy stones Questa mi porse tanto di gravezza
With the scare created by the appearance, Con la paura ch'uscia di sua vista,
That I lost the hope to reach the upper zones. Ch'io perdei la speranza de l'altezza.
And such as guy acquiring with decision,
And comes the time which brings him then to lose,
So that his thoughts with sorrow find collision;
Similar the peaceless beast with strong abuse
Coming against me direct bit by bit
Constrained me with shadow to confuse.
(No enough space left.
Continues in the next part.
The last rows of original italian will be repeated there)
Set upon the new world stage within the burning fires of hell. Silently posed factions of the elite, suppress the true inherit of Mother Earth. The meek children bending over for millennium, taken spankings of bare bottoms, pelted slavery.
Upon entry to rule, the open stage of smoked mirrors began to reflect back upon the podium of lies. Taught by scholars from university books of political science. Fearful of leadership matching mirrored images, of false pretense, babbling rhetoric. The stirring masses of discontented, individualistic, thought of as dead - enders, trouble makers, and rebel rousers, rallied aimlessly.
With super hero, Captain Do Gooder, bleeding helpless on the floor of Wall Street. Weary lost hope combatants mustered courage, and accepted destiny. To this point, someone shouted against the wind of change. Felt by all who sensed the importance.
"To death do us part of the purpose to which we, the united, stand for justice".
The chant began, as Captain Do Gooder was dragged away, and cuffed, once bleeding helpless on the floor of Wall Street.
Damn the torpedoes. Damn the torpedoes.
Captain Do Gooder, fallen, bruised ego matching skinned knees, lays helpless. Who will save them now.
Second glances from high rise penthouses. Serving champagne and caviar. Brought iron clenched hands once hidden, to draw the stage curtain down.
With Captain Do Gooder nowhere to be found. The voice that came from pain of pupil. Born within broken dreams of promised lands. Realized nothing was coming cheap on this occupation.
The dusty streets found Captain Do Gooder aimlessly stepping against the winds of change, down Wall Street. The well-intentioned, arrested and broken spirited, lost hope of recycling any salvage rights taken from them by Metro.
Was this the end of the well thought out, pushed down occupation.
Was this the beginning, of the underground faction. Where was senior generation X hiding. Only Captain Do Gooder and the well-intentioned, world stage occupiers, hold the key to that Pandora's box of hope.
The peoples across the oceans were already springing far ahead in their own, more brutal campaign. For they had no cushion on which they were raised to kneel against. Tyranny ran over them. A lesson yet not felt, or learnt, or taught, in the new world. No chance of city mayors issuing eviction notices. Bullets, tanks and bombs were of the order. Brought down the line, traced back to the ones our United Nations to this day, refuse to acknowledge.
While leaders there home internet shop, and pump out the lies. Everyone dies.
In the heart of the continent of center, where unto which as mankind sprang forth, for its first and ever conquest.
The lights kept dim, to obscure the violent cleansing. A facade to disguise once moreover, the brutal tyranny for which the greed of the elite, control the dimmer switch. Diamonds and oil fuel the fire of war and oppression, on this stage of greed and guilt. Too far away, and too many distractions upon center stage for one to see or care. Thought and looked upon by most as racially motivated. The origins of all mankind, to be left, far too far, behind. The true forsaken people. Why is man unkind.
So..........will Captain Do Gooder raise the bar to which drinks for the house, and all around, will quench the thirst felt by ninety nine percent of the people............mother knows best.
Yet, still, self-inflicted roadblocks of appointed destiny, drop kicked long days past. Faint light shining far ahead, within the tunnel of hell, brought up to land. Firm above the depths to which it sprang. The truth of world order.
Wait......what do we see......do our closed eyes deceive our cries........................................
We see Captain Do Gooder catching second wind.
She breathes deep now and all can hear her war cry, no longer whimpering softly. As in past tense situations, given way to dazed and confused wall street *****es.
She builds momentum, as our brothers and sisters lay dying and bleeding. On the streets of some not so distant for telling, of what's to be, will never not be coming full steam ahead and plowing through the hidden agenda. One step beyond the line drawn in the sand of time, we thought would never be crossed. Give way thoughtless future tellers, and takers. Still holding firm with paper cuts, deep into the hands who printed and prepared such slave papers, kept by the elite bankers.
Captain Do Gooder returns renewed and refreshed. Our true Mother.
Captain Do Gooder feels strong, as bruised knees and scraped hands heal.
Brush of destiny sweepstakes, allots winnings of earth shaking, volcano erupting, tsunami tidal waves, with bonus draws of worldwide chaos. Future draws are to be held with worldwide winners. Grand prize, dead oceans rising.
The next generation have no fear digest writes the next chapter.
Hold the press down firmly wall street backbiting backbenchers. Drawn into the crossfire, on her mark, place the x on the next general who dares not fall into civil disobedience.
Captain Do Gooder has grown teeth, and she is biting down hard against the line to pipe riches, spoiled from her lands. Stolen from the first pilgrimage, fifteen thousand years old, lost empire.
How dare you steal from, and pollute the minds of her children. Yet old enough to drink and drug and die in war. How dare all of us.
Meanwhile back at the ranch. Captain Do Gooder hugs tight that tree of life, to which sprang all this elbow rubbing and diversion. Wall street huddles in her corner, painted red to match the lengths to which an end will surely bring to it.
Painted red for all to see.
The end to friendly letter writing, give peace a chance, make love not war, generation taking a bow, and snow birding it, to false sense of security land. Like the ostrich with its head in the sand.
“I am certain that I have been here as I am now a thousand times before and
I hope to return a thousand times after.” GOETHE
Once upon a time,
The Lord of spiritual consciousness was sitting peacefully on His blissful throne
Ceaselessly contemplating upon His equilibrium
T’ was the era of no moon, no sun, no stars, no earth, no oceans, no rivers
Just a motionless, timeless and deathless entity it was happy with His existence
Suddenly the thought of sacred motion was felt deep down in his essence
Seeking the chaos to be stirred from its core outwardly
Consequently separating the light from the darkness and all the other elements
That constitute the Cosmos
Thus giving birth immediately to old mighty time
When Time: This wizard of celestial art found himself alive
His expert hands stretched in advance, wanting to create
For that the plastic energy he took, that was everywhere around
And skillfully and patiently the Cosmos carved according to the Logos
Creating thus, the nebulae, the galaxies, the stars and all the other planets
Then God looked at times creation and marveled with its beauty
But as there was no life to be seen in all of this creation
The thought of desire was born in God to inhabit every place
For that out of himself he cut myriads blazing souls
Which like shooting stars he sent downwards to animate nature,
In this way, to manifestation’s cosmic sphere, the souls were beamed
Radiating their luminosity to reality’s lower planes
Bringing with them the sacred principles to denser forms of life
As they were passing from the spiritual, the mental and the astral
And finally materializing, themselves on the physical solid plane
Where life began on earth, with God’s will and grace!
Each soul an ambassador was and is of God’s will and grace
A ray of divinity, a guardian of the Holy Law
Each with a specific mission: to learn or rather to remember
How to find the way of return throughout space and time
And with the divine, again, to be seen in perfect equilibrium
The day I was born, as every man alive,
I found my immortal self bound to the wheel of time
That around eternity’s circumference took me, in very heavy chains
Asking to follow obediently the unswerving path of fate:
This endless trip of return where the only constant thing is change
Since then I have died once and many times after
But death's dark palaces to hold me were unable
As my soul’s perpetual desire to follow my destiny
Brought me back to this ephemeral world of fleeting dreams
With a new body, new hopes, new goals but always with the
Thus I journeyed back and forth the plains of oblivion
Choosing the best conditions I could, according to my karma
Trying to find endlessly the golden middle way
That unmistakably between the extremes is only to be found
But since from the river of forgetfulness each time I was drinking
I was obliged, unfortunately, to start over again
So, I was born once a king and another was I born a beggar
And in turns I was born a coward, a hero, a holy man, a vicious man,
A Christian, a Muslim, an atheist, an idolater a strong man and a woman
And healthy and sick I was born and intelligent and witless
And was I born to love so much the things I once detested
And to hate passionately the things I once held dear
And I was born once to laugh and another just to cry
And I drunk successively from joy’s cup and that of sorrow’s
And was born to make friends out of my enemies
And enemies out of my brothers
And was born to realize the impossible dreams and fail the very easy
And I was born to slay and to be slain alternatively for thousands of years
Thus I lived continuously the extremes of both good and evil
Striving to find endlessly the balance in my soul
Through the wisdom that was endowed upon me by the Great Spirit
That like a beacon, luminous, to guide me waits
To my supreme destiny that GOD for me has traced
So, as was passing from life unto death, from darkness unto light
With a speed determined by me, I don’t put on GOD the blame,
All my lessons have I learned through trial and error
Up to the very last reincarnation, in body’s mortal temple
Now free, AT LAST, from all earthly desires and every karmic blame
Radiating with holiness and glowing with grace
My immortal soul, HER divine wings unfolds and soars upwards the heavens
White light blazing in perfect equilibrium
And pure now to her glorious creator returns and with
11 DECEMBER 2013
“A little while and my longing shall gather dust and foam for another body.
A little while, a moment of rest upon the wind and another woman shall bear me”
* This poem because of its length I was unable to post it in one piece for I was not a
member for life at that time therefore I published it in two parts as: “CREATION” and as “REINCARNATION.” Here is the entire poem as it was originally written.
Now, my friends know that apart from my epigrams I write... long poems as well!
Quelle vicende vissi fino in fondo.
Quando mi riappropriai della mia vita
Se questo è un uomo chiesi a tutto il mondo.”
Those events I lived through and through.
When I again impropriated of my life
If this is a man I asked all the world.
La sua voce non era ancor svanita
Quando i miei occhi lucidi di pianto
Non vider la sua immagine, sparita.
His voice had not yet vanished
When my eyes shining with tears
Did not see his image, disappeared.
Ed ecco fra le nebbie appar d’incanto
Un uomo che un bastone in mano serra
Il corpo avvolto nel suo bianco manto.
And now within the fogs appears by magic
A man holding a stick in his hand
His body wrapped in a white mantle.
“Mi chiamo Charles. Nacqui in Inghilterra
Studiai a lungo piante ed animali
Nei luoghi più sperduti della Terra.
”My name is Charles. Born in England
Long I studied plants and animals
In the most remote places of the earth.
Così scoprii che i vivi sono tali
Seguendo una complessa evoluzione
Che seleziona gli organi ottimali.”
So I discovered that living beings are such
Following a complex evolution
Which selects the organs at their best.
A lui risposi: “Ho la sensazione
Che troppo in breve tempo sia accaduto
Per aver sì perfetta selezione.”
I answered him: ” I have the impression
That in a too short time, all this has happened
To obtain a selection that’s so perfect”
“Nel breve tempo mio non ho potuto
Capire a fondo quello che implicava
Non abbastanza avendo riflettuto.
”In my not long time I was not able
To deeply gather what was implied
Not enough having on the thing reflected.
Ma la cosa importante mi sembrava
Che fosse il caso a governar gli eventi
Contro l’idea di un fine che creava.”
But it looked to me at most important
That had fortuity to drive the events
Against conception of a creating end.”
Mentre seguivo lui con occhi attenti
Vidi venir stendendo la sua mano
Un abissino che mi disse: “Senti.
While I was following him with watchful eyes
I saw to come holding out his hand
An Abyssinian telling me: “Listen.
Sono Bikila Abebe l’africano
Vinsi correndo a Roma a piedi nudi
Inseguito dagli altri a lungo invano.
I am Bikila Abebe the african
I won in Rome running barefoot
Chased from others long in vain.
Tornato in patria vissi tempi crudi
Incolpevole tratto alla prigione,
E venni offeso con percosse rudi.”
Back homeland I had hard times
Innocent stretched into prison,
And I was offended with beatings rough.”
Non feci in tempo a coglier l’occasione
Di parlare con lui scomparso tosto
Nelle nebbie del sogno in confusione.
I had no time to seize the opportunity
To talk with him, disappeared straightway.
Poi poco a poco un viso prende posto
Nella mente emergendo come scoria
Dal ferro fuso ed a lui mi accosto.
Then little by little a face takes place
In my mind emerging as were slag
From molten iron and I approach him.
“Mi chiamo Lenin: ebbi breve storia
Dopo che feci la rivoluzione
Di cui nel tempo resterà memoria.
”My name is Lenin: I had short story
After performing the revolution
Whose memory will last long time.
Dopo di me un uomo col baffone
Impose la sua legge sanguinaria
Colpendo a morte ogni opposizione.
Right after me a man with big mustache
Imposed hardly his bloody law
Hitting to death any opposition.
Si dimostrò così velleitaria
L’idea di un mondo giusto e d’uguaglianza
Fondato sulla forza proletaria.
Unrealistic then was demonstrated
The conception of a world right and egalitarian
Based on the proletarian force.
Egli alla guida si pose con iattanza
D’un governo feroce e repressivo
Basato sulle armi e l’arroganza.”
He with arrogance took the head
Of a government fierce and repressive
Based on weapons and haughtiness.”
Mi apparve poi come se fosse vivo
Un indio dall’aspetto assai dolente
Le cui vicende di sapere ambivo.
Appeared then as if he was alive
An indium man looking very sad
Whose events I wanted to know.
“Taino fui e vissi in occidente
Finché non venne un uomo da lontano
Che ricercava il nuovo continente.
“Taino I was and I lived in west
Until a man came from far away
Looking for a novel continent”
Con amicizia lo accogliemmo invano
Malanni ed alcol ebber sopravvento
Uccidendoci in massa per sua mano.”
Friendly we welcomed him in vain
Ailments and alcohol took over
Killing us in mass through his hand.”
Mentre parlava venne un forte vento
Che mi portò lontano turbinando.
E tosto a meditar mi misi intento.
Whil he was talking a strong wind came
Which swirling brought me far away
And soon I started to ponder
Sugli incontri del sogno ripensando
Che l’umana virtù vien spesso offesa
Da chi solo potere va cercando.
Thinking again about the meetings in the dream
That human virtue is offended often
By people only searching for power.
Ma che sempre la fiamma resta accesa
Di chi la vita dona agli ideali
Credendo che in tal modo sia ben spesa.
But that always the flame is turned on
Of people who gives life to ideals
Believing that so it is well spent.
Vincendo forze avverse e tutti i mali
Che affliggon l’egoismo della gente
Volando in alto del genio sulle ali.
Winning adverse forces and all evils
Afflicting selfishness of people
Soaring on the genius’ wings.
By the lamppost at night
with the pale moon shining bright
but obscured by the fog
I saw her in the harbor
standing where my boat lay moored
but she knew that
her azure eyes beckoned me to come
smoke from the cigarette in her hand
trailing upward and blending with the mist
and the gold braid around her wrist
I remembered my gift
I stood transfixed
if only for a moment
then I walked to her slowly
and tipped my fedora
and the little joke we shared in love
I asked,"Where have you been all my life?"
Waiting for you, she said
I laughed at her resentfully and said
You left me here from this place
without a note, without a trace
I scoured old haunts, you weren't there
you left as if you didn't care
Remember our walks along the shore
your favorite drink,that special place
in the cafe by the window
where the sun would shine on your hair
and leaving a golden glint
like it did on my boat
when it was in full sail
Then one day you went away
our love became a mystery
that was never solved
now your'e here and I ask you why
There was a war, she said
I lost this guy and you came along
to fill the void and share my sorrow
I loved you, Jake, your silly hat
the way you tipped it, the boat , the cat
who begged for fish after each catch
she paused and lit another smoke .
took a puff and exhaled and said
Then one day , he showed up , his name was Clive
the guy I mentioned had survived
and left his tags with a guy who died
and he became an MIA
he was hiding out in Mandalay
involved in something, he wouldn't say
but he wanted me there, he promised me fame
I was a singer, you know
and all the dough that I could want
or all I could take
I just had to know how to play the game
Then I thought of you Jake
and what we had
and I told him , No
He got mean, Jake
and threatened to expose me
for what I really was
and I couldn't bear for you to hear
my sordid past, my constant fear
we're both alike, you and me, he said
We'll take what the world has to give
and grab it by the throat
or I’ll destroy you if you don’t
As time went by,it didn't take long
to see he was singing a different song
His lies and schemes, the other dolls
I lost my respect and I didn't care
I had to get out, I needed a plan
to rid myself of this rotten man
There was this guy, Buck
who ran the bar, he pitied the plight
that I was in, he hated Clive as much as I
I told him I watched Clive at the end of each night
the cash he hid in a special place
no doubt to leave in a hurry in case things got hot
he would check to see how much was stashed
if it was worth the dare, we would split down the middle
and make our departure at the crack of dawn
I knew a Burmese captain who owned a scow
who asked no questions for a fee
he'd have some cabins for you and me
Just before closing , I feigned getting ill
and called for Clive to aid me somehow
to stay awhile and give me a pill
and while he was there, Buck went to that spot
took the cash and lit out that night to wait for me.
at a pre destined place
My bag was packed in another room
I told Clive I would rest and join him soon
But as soon as he left, I slipped out
to the back, grabbed a cab
headed for freedom away from that man
thinking of you and to make things right
She paused for a moment and put out her smoke
and I thought I saw a drop of blood
form on the corner of her mouth
she quickly wiped her hand across her face
and continued her story at a slower pace
I arrived at the pier where the scow lay docked
took one look behind me and looked at the clock
of the building where we were to meet
checked my watch that matched the time
I saw a jeep pull up and he saw me
two grips in his hand and a smile on his face
he said, I got his dough, I'll leave his jeep
It's the least I can do for that miserable creep
I said there's no time to waste
just show me the dough
we'll split down the middle and get ready to go
he said, "Oh"
I'm ready to go but my plans have changed
I'm traveling alone
but I'll leave just enough to change your luck
this one's for you and this one's for Buck
I suspected as much and I scowled as he grinned
but his mouth shaped an O as he looked down below
the knife in his stomach pulsed blood from his guts
too late I saw his gun come up as he fell
I fell a pain in my side and clutched my coat
I picked up the bags
and summoned up strength to get onto the boat
I looked at the captain and said
There's double the price
if we can get away soon
get up some steam
and head for Rangoon
the captain patched me up
as good as he could
with the aid of some rum and a smoldering wood
to cauterize the wound
I knew it was wrong to take his life
but I was prepared to kill him
to end this strife
as a precaution, I took the knife
that we used to cut bait with
a long time ago
the knife stirred up memories
that you and I had
that pressed my decision to leave that cad
but the wound didn't heal, the lead lay impacted
I was resigned to my fate to see you once more
before it's too late... and here you are
She collapsed in my arms and I held her tight
with tears in my eyes , her audible sighs
gasping for breath and leaning toward death
And before she expired, her hand on my face
Where have you been all life, babe
waiting for you, I cried
waiting for you
A tribute to the black and white movies and dialogue of the late 30’s and 40’s
© Ralph Sergi
Close your ears, close your eyes and pray to me
for, as close as this, you may never get to God.
What immortals have you hoped to see? What espirit
de corp have you longed for? Who will guide your earthly plod?
Kiss me for I have kissed the lips of Lestat,
nipped and pricked, punctured and sucked to husks,
occasionally with regret, but more often lust's ascot
what once was I, reveling in your taste, your musk.
As Louis, I beguile with tawdry tales surreal
visages of plantation nights, horror of the color green,
Letiche roaming creatures who our trails conceal,
the true demons whose glamour goes unseen.
Yes, I prayed for death, wrapped in the pain of lost kin
but, by God I never wished, I never wished for Him.
But, by God, I never wished, I never wished for Him.
Eternity alone is such a hollow thing, unripe,
never, ever, feeling full, a marrow-less bone, scrim-
shaw's sorry surface, a sperm-less whale to pipe.
Such as this was He, when him came to me that mid-
night, pleading, bleeding, ever feeding morbid life.
A cameo on cowry shell, with skin which bid
the touch of cheek on cheek to assuage my grief
to fill the brother-less gap the lack of wife.
This is how he lured me to the kill, the blood spilled
how fire and innocence flamed when he arrived.
Do not hate me for the fate his kiss instilled
Surely, a family is the normal thing to long for
alive or dead to long for an espirit de corp.
Alive or dead to long for an espirit de corp
crestfallen at the lack of hearth and home, pride
we hidden monsters kill what we adore, and more ...
leaving us in marble crypts with no warmth inside.
Then He saw her, the child beside the corpse of mother
half dead, the pox upon her face, amidst the tears
certainly to save her was His goal, what other?
But now I think her savior - a most foul affair.
Claudia, the child eternal, bidding, unformed blight,
monster among monsters, her wee wicked formed unbudded
curdled, curling ever inward, a trickster charming night
stalker, dragging porcelain dollies by her side.
Daughter mine? Temptress, maker-killer, unformed bride
have you killed your father, dumped him in a swampy hide?
Have you killed your father, dumped Him in a swampy hide?
Years you've planned and plotted, Lestat to defy and I
absorbed in misspent fantasy with you; my fate allied.
Damned one, poisoner, death angel, do you deny
the desecration of the His unmoving vessel,
fed to the fishes, the bottom feeders, oh but He made do ...
absorbed recaste, laid in wait each hungry cell.
We fled the patricide, you and I sought others of
our kind. What gruesome, ill bred misfits the world held
and so hardening the unbeating heart ... beloved
to mankind we returned as if compelled.
To the core of life and lore to Paree, to the bloody stage
the Theatre des Vampires is home. Mockery's the rage.
The Theatre des Vampires is home. Mockery's the rage.
Do you see them now? Four hundred years and Armand
has not changed. See them lure the human meat upstage
with laughter. Reality's the rage and oh the blood coined.
"How gauche!" our petite Claudia sighs, the excess in
gore and waste. But, the coven has my Armand's grace.
For Claudia, Madeleine the doll maker dies, reborn
to mother the horrific woman 'neath this childish face.
A family formed again when Lestat steps in alive and
the coven lets the sun take Claudia and Madeleine.
I entombed, walled in, buried alive, if not for my Armand.
Their ashes, oh my dears, in death entwined.
I burned the lot of them within their caskets, burnt alive;
the curtain fell yet there was still Armand and I.
The curtain fell yet there was still Armand and I.
I could nor forget, would not forget, the fate of Claudia
of which he was no small part, it was a small lust easily untied.
Home was all I wanted, the damp, the swamp, the bougainvillea
sickened of my Old World haunts, all I wanted was home.
Never, never would I make another, a comfort I decline.
Let the modern age wonder where it is I roam;
penance unearned and ungiven in the shadows I hide.
I can not live, I can not breathe, death's my only company
my wife, my child, my brother, so many others. The living dead
is what we're called, Vampire, do you pity me?
Lestat "Do you see me? Your sight I dread!"
West coast, golden gates Baghdad by the bay
in the bars I linger where men are men, aren't they?
In the bars, I linger, where men are men, aren't they?
I find you here, or you find me? I bare my soul to
you of lessons learned, of men, of plays, ah cabarets.
"What do you do, what do you say, you writer you ...
two footed harridan of clay? You long for the eternal kiss
as if the bliss of life was so very little to pay.
Fool that you are ... not in life or death would you be grist
a waste you are, a mortal led so far astray.
No passion's left, no fond memories ... but her golden hair.
Perhaps, I'll take a taste of you, foolish fop, and sigh;
no immortal will I make. On the floor, I will leave you there
refuse beside the pages, the sordid tales as my reply.
As my lips close on your throat, heaven's absentee,
close your ears, close your eyes and pray to me.
Continues the translation of the great Dante's poem written 700 years ago,
probably the most important poetry ever written in the human story
When my mind returned back, after the stop
Due to pity for two brothers in law,
Which caused in sad confusion me to drop,
New torments and new too tormented flaw
I see around, as I move wherever
And as I look back, and with eyes I draw.
I am at the third circle, where forever
It rains, bloody, cold and heavy indeed
Bound and mood of it are changing never.
Large hailstone, dirty water and snow bead
In the gloomy air in great amount pours;
Smells bad the earth which then receives this feed.
Cerberus, cruel monster and grim corps,
With three throats he barks of a dog in guise
Above the guys which here submerged stores.
Greasy and grim his beard, red ruby eyes,
And belly large has, and harshly hooked hands;
Scratches the souls, flays and slashes those guys.
Makes them to scream as dogs the rain which lands;
One flank to other they in turn make screen;
Often the wretched trundle with no plans.
When Cerberus saw us, the worm obscene,
His mouths he opened fangs willing to show
No part of his body he had to lean.
And my guide rapid stretched then his hands low,
Picked up some soil, and with his fists full filled
It in eager throats he was prompt to throw.
Like a dog which barking covets the willed,
And becomes quiet after eating bite,
Since to devour it is focused and thrilled,
So made those dirty faces apt to fight
Of demon Cerberus, who growls with roars
To souls , who deafness would prefer to fright.
We walked on the spirits beaten corps
By heavy rain, and we were putting feet
On their pride which any person restores.
They all lying on ground in their defeat
Except one who to sit up, rapid rose
When he saw us while passing him to meet.
“Oh you that come within this hell so close”,
He told me, “Recognize me, if you know;
You were born, before my death you arose”.
And I to him: “the anguish you now show
Maybe is taking you out of my mind
So that it goes as I never you saw.
But tell me who you are in such unkind
Place you are held and suffer such a pain,
That, if any greater, no worse can find”
And he to me: “Your city, a full drain
Of envy that already slops the bag,
Held me during my peaceful life and plane.
You fellows named me Ciacco as a tag
For the gluttony indeed damned my sin,
As you can see, in this rain I drag.
And I sad soul am not alone here in,
Because all these in such a pain are held
For the same sin”. And then hushed with a grin.
I answered : “Ciacco, to see you felled
Weighs on me so much that it makes me cry;
But tell me, if you know, where are impelled
The people of city used to defy;
If anybody fair is there; and tell
Of such a great discord the reason why”.
And he to me: “After long fight and yell
Blood shall then flow, and after the wild side
Will expel others with offense as well.
After that correctly this will down slide
Within three suns, overcoming other
With the strength of guy who is now beside.
High will hold foreheads for long time rather,
Keeping the other under heavy weight
So that it will cry and strongly bother.
Two fair there are, and have no hearing mate;
Arrogance envy and avarice are
The three sparks which the hearts enkindled sate”.
Here put an end to crying words so far.
And I to him: “I want you teach me still
And that of your speaking give me a jar.
Farinata and Tegghiaio, who honor fill,
Jacopo Rusticucci, Arrigo, Mosca too
And the others who for good used their skill,
Tell me where are and how can see them through
Because a great desire I have to know
If own sweet heavens or hell gives them ado”
And he: “are within the most black souls low;
Many different faults brings them to deep:
You will see them down there if you far go.
But when to the sweet world again you keep,
I pray you that my mind have to recall:
I don’t speak more, no word from me can reap”.
The straight eyes to grim he twisted to stall;
Looked at me a bit and his head then bent:
Fell down with it as the others blind all.
And guide told me: “He will not have ascent
Until angelic trumpet shall bring sound,
When of the hostile power occur descent:
Each one shall then see his grave in the ground,
Shall keep his body then and shape again,
Shall hear the eternal roar to rebound”.
So we trespassed over that dirty drain
Made of shadows and of rain, with slow pace,
Touching a bit of future life the lane;
So I told: “Master, these torments we face
After the final verdict shall more grow,
Or will be less, or equal will retrace?
And he: “Back to your science have to go,
Which implies, as much as it is perfect,
That you feel the good, as well as the woe.
Although this people damn and also wrecked
A truly perfect status cannot get,
In other place not this is to expect”.
We walked that circle road for a bit,
Much more speaking than I can now recall;
We reached the point which to down grade admit:
Here we found Pluto, the enemy tall.
It is so hard to let go of love,
unpeels more gut more quickly
than reel or reeler ever lost
in all those years of lazy inches
in and out:
winding in and playing out,
hardly fishing, rarely catching
from the deepness out of sight,
hardly ever losing . . .
Blisters lust into the greedy thumb.
the startled brake lets go.
It dives full length into the never,
finds the limit of its leash,
pounds against its half-round prison,
at end of end of rope -
Got you, shrieks the reel and reeler
cranking in the give and take.
The line is taut,
the weight upon it heavy,
and waiting . . .
. . .waiting for adrenaline:
against the angry, smoldering thumb.
Caught to catcher,
fish to fisher:
let me go!
It tries too hard to turn to something else: away.
Away and bottom still beyond the knot,
the creature climbs toward the light,
her leap, an alchemy:
silver unto gold.
crinkled all about.
Million mile amnesia.
a flash of tooth,
then placid lips close over any sign of youth . . .
. . . as if the fish had never been.
-the fisher wonders:
The line is limp
as if . . .
for all the years of it,
nothing at its other end.
A flash of recognition:
she leaps another time,
not knowing if what held her holds.
Silver fish scales golden ladder
a sunbeam at a time,
and all the rungs of memory -
breaks air an instant.
The line has held
and as she leaps, it claims her,
a thunder clap.
Arrested in her flight,
she drops deadweight into the bucket sea-
fish to air to gold to water,
Of the gold,
an afterglow centered in the thumb.
Did it happen?
Was she really there?
Air turns to air once more,
the fisherman to memory,
pig-a-back the job at hand,
one slender monofilament insisting: no!
and memory, another plastic,
refusing to let go.
my pretty lovely,
so flying and so softly spun,
you seemed the air to me.
So high and free,
so very near the sun,
my tears dissolve the earth’s connection.
The line my hands are holding:
to limit freedom at its height,
impossible without restraint-
the line between us,
subtle and so gossamer.
There, it glinted,
there! So very real.
Real . . .
The hook is realer.
Tangerine transfusion from the fastened lip,
bleeds unreckoned into the larger blue.
The sea - as wide as weakness -
sucks the strength without a hunger.
Tired, the hooked,
and tiring even more,
the line grows stronger,
shortening toward the bobber boat.
I’ve got her, cries the fisherman,
raping at dead weight,
dragging mystery toward the kitchen
-on his mind is steak.
Slaughter, separate from supper,
passion with a knife,
the knife . . .
. . . the knife is ready
held tight between the skinless thumb,
and vendetta fingers -
five Sicilian brothers
waiting for their sister to come home.
The other hand around the rod
is closing on the lover’s throat.
The rod’s erect,
the reel is angry.
Come, my dear, come, come.
She hears the music of the end,
the bowstring whine of gut
still lean and taut from her weight alone,
hears the rhythm of the reel
and tries to run once more
-provoking lust to snatch still harder-
but can’t . . .
. . . is free at last
surrendered with the last of blood:
quicksilver nearing zero-
and two dollars worth of ice.
(a virgin: never dead before)
betrayed and penetrated,
(it’s time now to give in, enjoy)
rests her weight upon the line,
toward the bottom of the boat.
The whore! I see her in the water!
She gave me quite a fight.
The captain, ready with the gaff,
the lover, in his rented swivel chair,
seize her from the water.
The maiden’s heartbeat
is faint and futile as a final cry of rape.
Her breath is fear, yet sounds like passion
at the very end.
Her swoon is now complete.
Her swain is prickled with his heat.
His blood pounds within his thumb.
is left alone with her.
He ponders . . .
. . . while he does,
she pales and sheds her rainbow.
Her eyes turn glassy from the air,
She’s turned to meat.
He lusts at memory for a moment,
then dries the little sweat
and goes forward for a beer,
and band aids.
The captain’s seen it all before,
surgically removes the hook
and tidies up the gear.
He and the mate carry her to the ice
and lay her out within the cold.
The mate disinfects the deck
with sea water and a stiff brush.
Returning with his second beer,
a badge of gauze and Vaseline upon his thumb,
the lover is confused.
The deck, shipshape,
of scales and blood
it all might not have happened.
Then there would be hope.
The mate calls him to the ice chest
for the viewing,
opens it . .
I’ve lost her. There she is.
The smell . . . it must wash off !
Time to go home.
The sea is empty.
It is over.