Magazine article World Literature Today

The Square

Magazine article World Literature Today

The Square

Article excerpt

Who are these people marching at noontide?

Why do we hear these beating drums?

What are the pigeons looking for on fluttering banners?

What are the scattered words that stain the air?

Sweat soaks the square

Shadows the faces in the haze of smoke

And a boy

a sobbing boy

breaks his heart

locks up the future in his fist

transforming it into resistance

In this square

the paving stones inhale

thousands of breaths

thousands of breaths remain

take root

stir up a storm as backdrop

Winter's cruel when

the wind whistles laments and solitudes

In the flames all hopes burnt to cinders

and graffiti on the walls the longings

No angel brought the widow bread

Her throat is an open sepulchre

We sink into the mud without a savior

Our mother resigned to a ruined life

Her heart a broken vessel

We seek the code

"They told us we would conquer with submission

We submitted and found ashes"

In false prosperity they laid their traps

They taught us injustice

Now thrown down dead

Forgotten we are broken vases

Let not our enemies rejoice over us

neither let them wink with the eye

nor open their mouth wide against us

and say, Aha, our eyes have seen it

O nothing that created me

into nothing I return

And I shall be like a tree

planted by the rivers of water

I am like the chaff which the wind driveth away

My grave was dug

by treachery

Today a beggar

I spread my hand upon the emptiness

How doth the city sit solitary

How is she become as a widow

How is she become a vassal

The sombre nation

suffocating in the smog

Narcissus is beauty

at cafés a whore

her flesh decayed

in gaudy makeup

Sweat soaks the square

Shadows the faces in the haze of smoke

They return return again

George and Paul and Stratis

Terror is lightning

a thunder that oppresses

They return return again

with punches and with kicks

with faces bloodied

Nick and Luke and Costas

and it's October seedtime

everything written in verse

like a witness or a testimony

on record players and on paper

Day is breaking

Let's wait for the Reaper

Who are these people marching at noontide? …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.