Saturday, May 21, 2011


"The end of the world will be today"
advertise bus posters and radio programs
"The End of the World” is a phrase that reminds me of childhood
My grandmother, who was very devout and went to church every Sunday,
once told me that people were a little sick in the head
to think that the world would end in a punishment from God
saying, "it is what people will do that will end the world"
As I was a child I smiled without fully understanding that phrase,
but now I understand.

"The End of the World” is the whistling of bombs
falling slowly over a small town that
just celebrated a birth, a birthday and a wedding.
"The End of the World” is the dark street of panic
is the monster that haunts us
with the experience that we want to forget.

"The End of the World” is the cry of pleasure in love
is the cry of pain in childbirth
the silent cry of the father who lost his daughter
the farmer who lost his crop.
"The End of the World” is the celebration of the gods,
idols, commandments, stones, robes, flags, anthems,
political parties, penance, pistols, loans,
"The End of the World” is the gift of God for having sinned
or our own invention for wanting to be afraid.
"The End of the World” … "The End of the World” …

There are those who say that everything will begin in a remote village
in the mountains of Colombia,
others assert that it will begin at a place full of books
with people listening to a poem about the end of the world.

Confronting the eyes of faith, what can the poet do?
just keep reading while the ground shakes
and if is not shaking would it be a disappointment
after such a tremendous prediction
oh please help me to live at this very moment
"The end of the world”
by raising your right foot and letting it down hard on the floor
then do the same with the left
and repeat this operation eleven times
until you feel the earth tremble, then
Stop instantly and listen
… listen …
… listen the silence …
… the silence that remains after producing
"The end of the world."

First version of "Poema del Fin del Mundo"
Translated by Nina Serrano.
Poem read @ SF Public Library, the day of "The End of the World", May 21, 5:05pm

-peace and poetry-