from The Shepherd


There was a man
                  a man
                  a man.

After his era
There will always be the memory
The version of a terrible legend.

[‘There was' - ‘Era' is repeated in the poem:.. - it is like the start of story, but not quite the full ‘era uma vez' which is ‘once upon a time'; ‘era' = ‘there was' but also ‘[it] was'‘[he] was']


There was a shepherd who had shepherded
The great promise.   [pastoreara .. promessa alliteration]

The shepherd who had invoked
The horizon and the astrolabe's needle. [..ara ending in l. 1 and 3 rhyme]

There was a shepherd and his bundle of desert. [trouxa - bundle of clothes; package; also: a fool, sucker]

A shepherd
and his litany of fall and of nothing.


Of the party there was the inextinguishable memory.
There was the tie [ie necktie] of dementia on the Equator.
There was the air blocking the pores of the houses.


Ogun did not know.
Elsewhere someone was sleeping.
Palaces were waltzing in Kampala and Alexandria.

[Ogun / Ogum is a warrior deity in Yoruba / Haitian / Afro-Brazilian religion]


Mouths fall from branches
- unfortunate fruit -  [ill-omened / unfortunate / unlucky]
and here are the vultures panting

Here they are fervently curved  [keenly / fervently / jealously]
over a carpet of dreams

Here is dripping into their skulls
a diadem of gale and of darkness.

Here are the ashes of the clock, the crumbs of the tray.

The shepherd scatters the seed of death
in the pores of his kingdom
and no rage
drum smoke news
exorcises the bustle of the harvest.

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