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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.
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)
“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.
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.
That color vileness painted on my face
When coming back my duke to me I saw
His new squeezing inside much more took place.
He heedful stopped as man hearing to draw;
Because his eye could not reach much far more
Through the black air and too for the fog flaw.
“At end we have to win this battle bore”,
Started him, ”Unless…. Someone offered aid.
Oh how late is other reaching this shore!”.
I saw clearly well how he had to fade
His speech at start when he reminded then on,
Telling different words respect he made;
But not less frightening gave his speech gone,
Because I bethought the truncated say
Probably the worst unwilled sentence con.
“In this hard bottom of the mournful tray
Never is who descends from the first grade,
Which only for his pain no hope must pay?”.
I asked this question; and he “I’m afraid
It’s quite rare”, responded, “That among us
Be somebody who my same journey made.
It’s true that here I had one time to pass,
Conspired by that Eritòn cruel indeed
Who retrieved the spirits to their corpus.
It was recent that my flesh was naked freed,
When she allowed me enter through that wall
A Giuda’s circle’s soul to keep had need.
That’s the lowest and darkest place of all,
And the furthest one from the turning sky;
I know well the path; thus do not appall.
This swamp whose stench around is very high
Encircles the mournful town all around
Where to go without wrath now we can’t try”
And told me more, but memory I confound;
Because my eye attracted full my mind
Toward the tower burning top then bound,
Where toward one point were fastly aligned
Three hellish furies fully with blood stained,
Who had members and acts female defined,
And with greenest hydras looked like were chained;
Small snakes and sidewinders they had as hair,
So that their fierce temples were hard constrained.
And he, who well recognized their despair
Of the eternal weeping the wild queen,
“Look”, he told me, ”The wild Erinni scare.
This is Megera whose song is grim obscene;
Aletto is the one crying on the right hand;
Tesifon is in the middle”; and hushed serene.
With nails each one hers breast there wildly panned;
They stroke themselves by hands emitting cries,
So high that alarmed I held the poet grand.
“Medusa will make him of stone in guise”,
All of them were telling while looking down;
“Teseo’s assault we did not yet chastise”.
“Turn back your face and cover it facedown;
Because if Gorgon shows and then you see,
You could never go back to upper town”.
So spoke my master; and exactly he
Turned me back, and did not hold my hands,
Before that with his hands I covered me.
Oh you who have a mind which understands,
Admire the doctrine which is hidden here
Under the veiling of strange verses stands.
And was just coming up with waves’ smear
A din of noisy sound, so full of scare
That both sides were then trembling as for fear,
Not so different from strongly blowing air
Vehemently coming from opposite heats,
Which hits the wood and no defense aware
Breaks the branches, strongly strikes and out beats;
Full of powder goes on and full of pride,
Wild animals and shepherds to flee hits.
He moved to me and told: ”Your sight now guide
Up there toward that very old dirt grime
And look closely where that smoke is more wide.”
As frogs which seeing forward on time
The adverse snake in water away flee
Until each one is hidden in the slime,
I saw more than thousand souls very stray
To escape from one front to them whose pace
Was moving on the Stix in dry foot way.
He removed that sticky air from his face,
Roughly moving oft ahead his left hand;
And only looked jaded of that disgrace.
I perceived that from heavens he was planned,
And I turned to the master; and he made sign
To keep me quiet and bow to his command.
Oh how much to disdain looked to incline!
He reached the door and with a little rod
Opened it, which made no flak to resign.
“Oh by heavens expelled, folks dirty sod”
He started on the horrendous threshold then,
“From where does come this hubris of your squad?
Why do you kick against that will, you men,
To which nobody can cut off the end,
And many times hurted you in this fen?
What does it profit against fate contend?
Your Cerberus, if you remember, still
Now has goiter and chin to amend”
He then moved his pace toward the road ill,
And didn’t speak to us, as to appear
A man who aims to perform a strict will
More urgent than the one of people here;
And then we moved on feet above that ground,
Safer after the saint words and no fear.
We entered there freely and with no bound;
And I, having desire of looking more
The condition that fort tightens around,
As I was in, my eye turned to explore:
And I see everywhere a country wide,
Full of pain and of vicious torment sore.
As at Arli, where Rhone stagnant is tied,
As at Pola, to the Carnaro close
Which Italy ends and wets its coast side,
The graves make ragged all the site at most
So there in everywhere and part just made,
Except a bitter way was shown by those;
Because between the graves high flames stayed,
So that they were in full completely lit,
That fused iron would not require more grade.
Were all open the covers of any pit,
And so much mournful laments then came out,
That plain was dreary people to emit.
And I: “Master, of people tell me about
Who, buried in those arks now we there see,
With mournful sighing we can hear to shout?
And he: “Here the heresy-arks must be
With followers, of any sect, and much
More than you think in tombs are with no plea.
Similar is buried with being such,
And their penalties are hot more or less”
And when he turned right to go in touch,
We passed through the borders of that sad mess.
as the PROPHETS of profits, WE lead and WE’re fair
while WE’re living the life of the poor BILLIONAIRE
– silver yachts, pearly castles, cash (plenty to spare) –
with the world on OUR backs... ah! the burdens WE bear!
being HAVES (not the have-nots) as nature decrees
means WE’re certainly the better (they’re vermin on sleaze).
if they pray for a lift in their dark fantasies,
WE just kick ’em downstairs, get ’em off of their knees.
yes, WE offer great jobs (much too busy OURSELVES!)
for maintaining the toilets, restacking the shelves,
and WE teach ’em to fear god and play with the elves,
thus dispelling ideas where the dark demon delves.
though they build mighty bridges, twin towers and more,
peddle pizzas and popcorn, sell guns door-to-door,
still they gotta have BOSSES to tell ’em the score
else WE’d never be needed, WE’d thrive nevermore.
when OUR profits are plunging, they do their part too
for they dine on the dole! yes, no hullabaloo!
soon OUR fortunes redouble, rebound and accrue –
since WE fare well without ’em, WE bid ’em adieu.
’stead of wishing for welfare and standing in queues
or parading with pickets (look! holes in their shoes!),
they’d be better off scabbing to save union dues
... while WE whistle and warble, they’re singing the blues.
whether heros or hoboes, like spiders and lice
they just crawl all around us in life’s paradise,
but WE’re patient, big hearted and oft sacrifice,
spewing charity, kindness (though each has its price).
if they’re beaten or punctured or suffer assault,
are unhealthy or crippled or walk with a halt,
or retarded or helpless, it’s all their own fault –
just like US they should worship the DOLLAR exalt!
protesters and loud mouths, you’ll find ’em aplenty
some older, some younger, the worst not yet twenty.
they’re shameless and brazen (unwashed, soiled and scenty)
impugning the prestige of brave COGNOSCENTI.
if they’ve got clashing colors (or shades in between)
or opposing beliefs in the hidden unseen,
well, WE’ll always exploit it, deflecting their spleen,
for with god on each side, would WE dare intervene?
WE promote many methods to keep ’em in chains –
daily rags and the tube spin OUR circus campaigns
“to pretend you’ve a voice”, an announcement explains,
“you can vote and decide on which ONE of US reigns”.
OUR policemen protect US, they stay on the ball
(they arrest ’em, no questions per law’s protocol,
and then jam ’em in jail with their backs to the wall) –
if you’ve lucre for lawyers there’s justice for all.
down the ROYAL road of justice WE march all alone
– WE condemn their defiance, set ways to atone –
since WE’re sinless, unsullied, WE cast the first stone
(while WE cloak REGAL fetor with eau de cologne).
politicians, bald bankers, grand idols galore,
attend meetings, fete banquets in which they explore
how to rid US of rodents (the weak and the poor) –
well, just round up the riff-raff, dispatch ’em to war!
ah! OUR wars are.... well, just...... just a thing of the past
........... and the present............... and future... WE sure make them last!
if they frown as they gaze (armageddon!) aghast,
then WE smile back with pleasure, OUR treasures amassed.
useless ranting and raving (in rags, when they’re clad),
leads to losing their teeth (my! their gums are... egad!).
WE’re unselfish, indulgent, WE’d never be mad
if they drowned in the sounds of themselves feeling sad.
as the paupers are princes in midnight’s domain,
they have pipe dreams to lose, certainly nothing to gain
if they’re hoping OUR fortunes will wither and wane –
for “WE’re here by god’s will” as WE often explain.
yes, they wish to be US, with OUR wisdom and grace,
keeping up with ol’ CROESUS, maintaining the pace.
but perverseness or rancor? they’ll see not a trace –
for WE hold ’em at bay with a fist in the face.
WE’re la CRÈME de la CRÈME, yes! the proud UPPER CRUST,
and OUR clothes are the finest, OUR hair never mussed –
WE imbue ’em with piety, duty and trust
and they’re fed bread and water (if feed ’em WE must).
but they’re thieving, aggrieved, want a piece of OUR PIE
and request WE endure ’em, see EYE to black eye.
since they live in OUR land where OUR strict rules apply,
they must feast on the crumbs that may fall from the sky.
though OUR largesse and bounty WE don’t mean to flaunt,
yet the pittance WE pay ’em they surely can vaunt –
salty peanuts and pretzels (what more could they want?)
thereby keeping their kiddies so healthily gaunt.
yes, there’s room for the rabble (the back of the bus)
’cause WE treat ’em like equals, so what’s all the fuss?
all can rise to the top (yes! it’s always been thus),
to the suites in OUR penthouse (to sweep up and dust).
while OUR CHILDREN have tutors, the finest of schools
(being bred for the forefront, THEY’re nobody’s fools),
the ol’ school of hard knocks teaches: “follow the rules”,
building brawn ’stead of brains and broad backs strong as mules’.
and to keep ’em in line (to ensure WE prevail)
WE now monitor phone calls and read all their mail
(civil rights? what a notion! at best a detail!)
and if worse comes to worst...... well...... guantanamo jail!
WE’ve OUR quandaries and questions and headaches full blown
(like deciding design and decor of OUR thrones...
whether diamonds or rubies... to ivory WE’re prone) –
when WE deign to appease ’em, WE chuck ’em some bones.
now you know all OUR problems, OUR pains and travails,
– like preparing foreclosures, evictions and sales –
but WE’ve no need for worries or gnawed fingernails,
’cause WE’re sailing OUR yachts through tempestuous gales
(with them bailing OUR banks when OUR stock market fails)
sipping daiquiri sours, champagne, ginger ales...
(one of the two Delphic commands of Apollo)
For years before the narrow windows of my senses
Trying to pierce the nebulous world of outer reality,
Hoping to find GOD,
One year was following the other but I was:
I was lost in the tenebrous world of materiality’s
While the true essence of things, evasive
Persistently escaped the grasp of my confused
Unable to see behind the impenetrable veil
And disappointed with reason’s constant
My impatient voice towards the starry heavens I lifted,
Where are Thee, oh LORD?
For I have been seeking for Thee so many years now,
But I have found Thee not!
I have kept my eyes wide-open in order to see,
As many colors of Thy creation as possible,
And not even for a moment have I shut them,
For fear I missed Thy resplendent light,
But I saw Thee not!
I have kept my ears wide-open in order to hear
As many sounds of Thy creation as possible,
And not even for a second have I covered them up
For fear I missed Thy sacred voice,
But I heard Thee not!
I have kept my hands extended in order to touch
As many things of Thy creation as possible
And not even for a minute have I held them back,
For fear I missed Thy spiritual touch
But I touched Thee not!
I have kept my nostrils wide-open in order to scent
As many perfumes of Thy creation as possible
And not even for an instant have I held my breath
For fear I missed Thy holy aroma
But I scent Thee not!
I have become a famed gourmet in order to taste
As many delicacies of Thy creation as possible
And not even for an hour have I withheld my appetite
For fear I missed Thy heavenly feast
But I tasted Thee not!
Then, the thunderous voice of the Lord,
Coming deep down from the twilight of time,
Tearing the eternal heavens apart
Answered me and said:
Dear innocent child of Mine; hasn’t time taught you,
That I am neither to be seen by eyes
Nor to be heard by ears?
That I am not to be touched by hands
Nor to be scent by nostrils?
That I am not to be tasted by palates
But I am only to be felt by enraptured hearts?
Trembling and puzzled, in a shaky timid voice,
I dared ask:
How could this be done, oh Lord?
For I am so weak and ignorant, I do not know
And the compassionate voice of the Lord answered me
Don’t call yourself weak and ignorant for
I have endowed you with power and knowledge
You have only to unearth this incalculable treasure
Hidden deep down in your soul and you will be
In touch with Me, with eternity, with the universal law,
With the light, with the truth and every single existence,
But first you have to listen carefully to what I command:
Close your eyes for they cannot see Me
And cover your ears for they cannot hear Me
Pull back your hands for they cannot touch Me
And hold your breath for it cannot scent Me
Shut your mouth for it cannot taste me
And stand completely still in order for you
To sense Me
At once I rushed to Obey His divine command, so:
I closed my eyes and saw no more
And covered my ears and heard no more
I pull back my hands and touched no more
And held my breath and scent no more
I shut my mouth and tasted no more
And stood dead still for a moment,
Just for a moment alone!
I felt His ethereal presence enveloping my heart
And I saw His celestial light caressing my mind
And I heard His heavenly voice calling to my spirit
And I touched His angelic essence with my elated thought
And I scent His seraphic aroma with my sacred, now, breath
And I tasted His rapturous divinity with my blissful soul.
Then, immendiatly, the gates of revelation opened their
And in a magnificent lofty parade, in front of my soul’s
The mysteries of life, one by one, were unveiled to the last
Thus making everything known.
And now my enraptured self, jubilant before the eternal truth,
In ecstasy exclaims:
Thank you, oh Lord for showing me Thy blessed Essence,
Thank Thee, for I know Thee now!
And the Lord enigmatically smiled at me and with His
Divine thought tenderly declared:
No my loving child, you only know YOURSELF!
© Demetrios Trifiatis
I tell, to follow, that long trait before
We reached the back foot of the tower tall,
Our eyes went up to the top core
For two little flames we saw install,
And another responding from so far
That barely I perceived being so small.
And I turned my face to the full sense star:
I told: “What does this mean? and what reply
Gives then the other flame? And those who are?”
And he: “Above the dirty waves and by
You can perceive already what to expect,
If the fume of the swamp does not deny”.
Rope never pushed an arrow to eject
Which faster and thin too rushed out through air
As I saw a shorty boat well direct
Through water toward us with no compare,
Under the drive of just one only oar,
Who shouted: “Now you arrived soul unfair!”
“Flegiàs, Flegiàs, useless is shouting your”
Told then my lord, “It’s only this time now:
Once crossed the marsh you’ll never see us more”
Like the one who listens a great false vow
Which he undergoes, and regrets then,
So was Flegiàs owing rage to allow.
My guide entered now the boat on the fen,
And then he let me enter after him;
So it looked fully loaded once again .
After my guide and I were on wood grim,
Cutting across just goes the ancient bow
The water even more than used to trim.
While we were running in the deadly flow,
In front of me then came a muddy man,
Who told me: “Who are you coming here now?”
And I: “If I come, to remain don’t plan;
But who are you, so unsightly to see?”.
Answered: “You see that I just grieve for ban”.
And I to him; “With mourn and of tears sea,
You damned spirit, now you can stay on still;
I know you, even though dirty you be”.
Then he aimed both hands to the board until,
So that my mindful master then pushed him,
Telling: “Get off from here, stay there, damned will!”
And then with arms he cuddled my neck rim;
Kissed my face, and told me: “Disdainful core,
Blessed woman who gave you birth with vim!
That guy was a person proud in his life yore;
Kindness you don’t find recalling his acts:
So his soul is here angry as before.
Plenty of people up like king enacts
And here after as swine in mire shall stay
Leaving of themselves just horrible facts!”.
And I: “Master, I would have happy play
If I see him to plunge into this slush
Before that from this lake we get away”.
And he to me: “Before ending our rush
To reach the bank, you full sated will be:
You must enjoy along your wish to hush”.
After short while the torture I could see
Performed by people lying in that mire,
To God much praise and thanks go still from me.
All screamed: “To Filippo Argenti dire!”;
And the Florentine spirit queer indeed
In his own body flesh sunk his teeth spire.
Here we left him, and no more words I need;
But in my ears I felt a beating pain,
Which made me cross eyes forward as my deed.
The good master told: “My dear, get again,
Now the city called Dite is getting close
With grievous citizens, many restrained”
And I: “ Master, its towers already shows
There in the valley distinctly I see,
Vermillion like from fire just arose
Now”. And he: “the eternal fire sea
Which is burning inside makes them so red,
As in this base hell you can see to be”
We then inside the deep ditches were led
Which corrugate that disconsolate land:
And looked of iron made the walls ahead.
Not without moving around a turn grand,
We reached a place then where the helmsman strong
“Get out”, shouted: “Here is the entry stand”.
I saw more than thousand coming along
As poured from above, who with nasty huff
Told: “Who is this one of the living band
Who goes around the kingdom of deads gruff?”
And my sage master then motioned to me
He aimed to them speak secretly enough.
Then they reduced a bit their disagree
And told: “Come you alone, and he must go
Being in this reign entered of scare free.
He must get back alone the street so fow:
Let him try, if able: you remain here,
Who guided him in this land without glow”.
Think, reader, how much I had then to fear
While hearing the sound of those words so damn,
Because I thought I couldn’t be back clear.
“Oh dear guide, for seven times saved I am
By your help giving assurance to me
In high distress I encountered as a dram,
Don’t abandon me”, I told, “without lee;
And if to pass it is denied beyond,
Let us find our path backward to fast flee”
And that lord who guided me there so fond,
Told me: “Don’t be afraid, because our stride
Nobody can stop: from so high gets bond.
But wait me here now, and your spirit tied
Encourage strongly and feed with hope good,
Since I will not leave you in this world bide”.
So went away, and abandoned I stood,
My sweet father then leaving me in doubt,
So yes and no to fight in me then could.
I did not hear what he to them gave out;
But he did not remain with them long time,
To observe that all in turn left the bout.
Closed the doors those people faulty of crime
Against my lord breast, who remained outside
And came back to me so slow as to climb.
The eyes to ground and lashes had to hide
Any pride, and telling sighs in between:
“Who the sorrow houses now me denied!
And to me “You, if I am not serene,
Don’t dismay, since I shall the battle win,
No matter which against us be the screen.
This arrogance of their not new has been;
They used it for a door secret much less,
Which without any lock is still therein.
On that you saw of dead write the impress:
And on this side descends the terrain steep,
Then passing through the circles with no stress,
So for him the ground be open to sweep”
Mary was a virgin girl:
With big dreams and aspirations!
An angel came to visit her:
With honor and salutations!
Troubled by his sayings:
She did not know what to think!
The angel said to Mary:
My dear, no need to shrink!
Mary you are favored,
Blessed among all women!
Ye shall bring forth a child:
A Son whom God is given!
You shall call his name JESUS!
To his kingdom there’s no end!
He will reign forever:
And from heaven he will descend!
Mary said to the angel,
How shall this come to be?
I have not known a man,
And with that he did agree!
With God’s nothing impossible,
So Mary did reply:
Behold I am God’s servant,
And his will I won’t deny!
To be so compliant;
Is just amazing in itself!
The disgrace of an unwed mother:
Could knock Mary off the shelf!
Her fiancé’ may leave her;
And her family may disown!
But Mary did not worry:
About who may cast a stone!
Seeing that she was chosen:
One might think her life was smooth.
But oh’ the lovely Mary:
Needed God to gently soothe!
From the birth of our Lord Jesus:
To the time he was crucified:
Her journey was very bumpy:
And many tears she softly cried!
Starting with a quest:
From Nazareth to Bethlehem!
A summons to pay taxes,
They set out, both of them! (Joseph and Mary)
Now Mary was great with child,
And her time would soon arrive.
With no place to deliver,
They would both have to contrive!
In a barn full of animals,
Hay, dung and fears!
Mary will now give birth,
In blood, sweat and tears!
Meanwhile, in a pasture,
Where some shepherds work a field!
Angel’s came a calling,
And our Savior is revealed!
Glory to God in the highest:
Angel’s sang, when baby breathed:
On earth, is peace, goodwill towards men!
The shepherds now perceived!
The angel’s ascend to heaven,
Yonder the shepherds go:
In her heart Mary pondered:
Of the things which God did show!
Just try to imagine:
Laying your baby in a trough?
And then fearing for his life,
While the king prowls and scoffs!
Well that is just what Mary did:
In that time and place:
When they had to run:
For baby Jesus, King Herod chased!
A king to rule over him:
He would not accept!
He killed every baby child:
As their mother’s wept!
I just cannot fathom:
What Mary must have felt.
Joy for her baby:
Yet, with grief she must have dealt!
Traveling home from Jerusalem:
After feast and celebration!
Mary lost her precious boy:
She could not find his location!
When he was discovered,
Frantic she did ask:
Son why did you leave us?
In sorrow we did bask
Every mother has known:
The fear of losing a child!
Mary was no different:
For three days her fear compiled!
I am sure there was weeping:
Praying with despair!
While Joseph tried to calm her:
With love and tender care!
She couldn’t apprehend:
What his life would turn out to be.
But, Mary as his mother:
Felt free to go and see!
She followed with his brothers:
And listen to him speak!
He spoke about family:
His family, he did critique!
Sisters and brothers:
And mothers we also see!
Are not bound together:
By a family tree!
From our Father in heaven;
Families are made!
Now, did Mary understand?
The price she had paid!
Mary’s little boy,
Was no longer her own!
He belongs to the people:
And as kin he is known!
Gripping at her heart strings:
Affliction had to arise:
As a mother of a son,
That might feel like my demise!
News of his capture:
Must have brought a scare!
How did Mary deal?
Did she run straight there?
When Jesus was beaten:
Did she watch all alone?
How did she refrain?
As he was whipped to the bone!
A crown of thorns:
They pressed upon his head!
He was dripping in blood:
His flesh was bright red!
Nails were deeply driven:
Through his hands and feet!
Crying out he said:
My God, why so discrete?
She stood by the cross:
And watch her baby die!
She pondered in her heart:
For the reason why!
Is it worth it?
Did Mary dare to ask?
For the love of God:
She must complete her task!
Yet, it pleased the Father:
For him to suffer!
To give his life:
To shed his blood:
Would only prove our WONDER!
JESUS gave it all:
Our sins to cover!
As my heart is wrenching:
I can’t help but wonder!
Did Mary even hear?
Those sounds of thunder!
The earth was shaking:
The rocks did rent!
The veil was torn:
And Mercy was sent!
With a broken heart:
Tear filled eyes!
Could Mary see?
Where his love lies!
Her baby boy:
Who brought some travail!
In the end:
Did definitely prevail!
Mary was chosen:
And highly favored!
And for our God,
She willingly labored!
She had troubles:
Plus sorrow and grief:
Yet, she pondered God’s word:
This fought off the thief!
The wonder of this woman:
Is most definitely overt!
And your wonder is also:
So please let me assert!
Three short days later!
And so did your favor!
God loves his creation:
A plan he has made!
He is not partial:
Nor, will he invade!
He leaves it to us:
To trust in his name:
So just like Mary:
Let his will take aim!
Now, ponder his word:
For it is real clear!
In Jesus we’re blessed:
Favored and dear!
We also have purpose:
Just like the Virgin Mary!
It is to share Jesus:
WONDERFUL WOMEN; don’t tarry!
No one can go to the Father:
Except through the Son!
And God uses his children:
To get the job done:
So if you refuse,
To share his love!
The world won’t know:
This Rock from above!
He is personal:
Yet, he is for all!
Proclaim his love:
It’s your curtain call!
Go into all the world:
And share his good news!
Mary’s child has risen:
It’s your turn to choose!
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