Eduardo Cote Lamus

ESTORAQUES - Poem by Eduardo Cote Lamus

The wind that comes and the wind that goes
are actually unrelated to time.
The time in another place where the man
capable of his destiny drew the air,
the weapon of his dreams, and tilled
the earth to be wary of it.
That was in the land of men.
There a city fulfilled life,
if in greatness it is willed, above
the auspicious shining skies
where the power of all the gods
built empires, girded the brows
of hills, found the laws,
lived with the human, giving peerless
breath to victory.
That hill is the scion of the god's
noble thoughts. And if we watch
from the top of the highest year
we see the she-wolf feeding Romulus
and the city that emerged into the world
crowned with feats and temples.
True, the Palatine is different.
All history fits into the eyes
and so the ruins prove to us.
Thus we can see the stones
punctually arranged by Augustus
who also understood that poets
were the glory and honor of his government,
and was friend to Virgil, who sang
the land reform:
none other is the purpose of the Georgics
where furrows are still cool
and wheat still growing,
where the harvests are measured,
and the strength needed for the arm
that throws the seed,
the property, the law of vineyards
for wine to burst like light,
inebriating like light however red
its flame.
And there, too, was Horace,
the master of numerous meters,
who sharpened the epigram like an ax
and grew words like no one else.
The Palatine is inside time.
Its bulk is like a fist shaken at the sky,
in its ruins cursing for the old
days. The north wind beats against
its pride, and its skin, the prisoner of light,
catches fire every evening at sundown.
Matters are very different here.
The odd column, lone riverbeds,
earth like sunless shadow, shadows
like embers: trees do not exist. Only thirst
and a village that circles the square
to go to the graveyard or the waterless
river. On the other side walls
with a cross, and on the other side, too, crosses
where death dreams of the dead.
The wind that comes and the wind that goes
know something about all this: time does not.
Time is in Sumer, in Babylon,
in Thebes, in Nineveh, in Egypt, in Crete,
in the Parthenon, in the museums, in Xenophon,
in the walls, in ideas, in politics:
bones of civilization.
Here is a kingdom of earth and sandstone,
wonderfully thirsty.

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, April 24, 2018

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