Fernando Rendón (Colombia, 1951)
Fernando Rendón (Colombia, 1951)
There is not a poem
There is not a poem
There is no music that calls me to you
That reaches you
There is not a melody that makes your spirit travel
There is not a poem
There is no music that feeds you
That touches you
The songs for you were not enough
No archaic song embraced you
My poor love of love songs
No heritage was accorded to you
The gods did not hurl blazes of flowers at you
They did not make descend unto you all the red gold of the universe
The gold of the legendary music
All the heady sound of the leaves in the wind
Shaping the universe of beings that embrace you
In the intertwinement of all time
My love without songs
The unwary Margarita cried terrified when she dipped her foot in a gelatinous swamp
that called her by her name.
She was howling for eight endless hours while she carried an invisible child.
It rained and the only one of her words you could understand was hell.
The wind and the spring, jurors, condemned in silence her executioners.
The trees jumped cursing and then fell back to their roots.
Pain twisted and turned eroding the edge of the waters.
Faraway: the age of earth.
The nerves were pinched by the stem of the poppies. And we waited between patience
Maddened vegetables, as in nightmares we could not run.
After the supreme effort, we hardly kept life on the last step of human ridiculousness: a
The next day the battered body, the wings more vigorous than ever.
When we set out on the grueling march from the Apocalypse of the Shadow of Man,
among the yells of the warriors, under a panic sky that mortally wounded all of our
hopes, all our desires.
When we renounced ourselves to load our hope on the back of the brother, fleeing to the
margins of delirium where you can no longer see the cities of hell.
When we knew that the doors of Spring would open and would not open only to us, that
we would miss without fail the Shadow of Man, which we had loved since the
beginning, when there was no death in the flowery prairies and the quagmires had not
yet emerged from the human mind.
To return then, again, to undo in the heart the knot of our sweet wounded country, the
nothingness of our lost dream of a life shared floating.
The gay shadows of the macaws, sheltered in the shadows of the treetops, chatter about
the hullabaloo of the shadows of the apes. The shadow of the frond dances on the
shadow of a jaguar. A violent sun is the only refuge of the salamander. Shadows of slow
clouds on shadows crouching down, shadows that haunt other shadows that are afraid.
The shadow of a man eludes the shadow of another man.
The sea of shadows of the man arriving swoops on the shadow of the man that was. The
always sleepless, the astonished one howls. It is night upon the brook of light, that flows
into the pupil of the Shadow of Man, sticking the shadow to the light.
What good is it for a man, his shadow on the desert? The shadow of a tree weighs more
than the shadow of a man. In the desert, the shadow of the sunstruck knows that
paradise is a true shadow.
“The stones shall cry.”
Stone, talisman that chose its princes, bone of the presence and the beginning, I
recognize your sacred spirit.
Our ancestors dug in the stone of the enchantments, went into the stone house of the
spells, where the invisible life speaks.
A prehistoric clock of light, the shadow turns round the stone, which listens to the
heartbeats of man.
The lyre of Anphion raised the floating stones of Thebes. Voices that surged from the
stone go about the labyrinth of the ear.
Descended from the stone of the sun and drowned in shadows, the man no longer listens
to the stone that sings.
Lapidaries reveal secret transformations of the solids, new emanations from the urge of
dawn, from the heart of the stone that the lightning inhabited one day, before a shoreless
water emerged under the floating light, forging the interweaving of flowers and animals
to make a mother country of the wood.
Delegates of the centuries arranged to meet around the ruined table, and at cards – with
contrary sentiments – they play the destiny of the kingdoms of life.
The magician has made himself invisible. The lovers have a good star even though they
are trapped. It is the Devil with the cards of the crown and death who has engendered
anxiety in the game. Outside, the tower is still crumbling down. Not one civilization
could have raised itself up without the obstinate vision of madness.
Time advances toward its end. The players look at each other, hostile. There is a mortal
struggle for, at cards – with contrary sentiments – they play the destiny of the kingdoms
And the emperor and death again take all the chips by the side of their owner.
However there are reserves left. Nature sings its deposits. The moon becomes bigger.
The hanged man smiles, always invulnerable. The trial goes on transforming the solar
province into a universe without restrictions. The constellations descend near the heads
of the players.
Poetry takes out the events from the sleeve of its tunic. The world thus understands it.
And it gets ready to purify itself for the demanding activity of resurrection.
Lying like pieces of wood, the red bark wrinkled, some rotting buffaloes melting on the
But also due to an inexplicable act of fate, lying like mushrooms in the grass we explore
all millennia, we run away from prehistoric beasts, we fought all the wars, we are
millions of beings stretching under the arch of eternity, while dragon and longing
engage in combat in the clouds.
The sun calls and to hesitate is to die. Fly, fly beautiful swan of desire, everything
can be achieved.
Walking on the white dew, take your shoes off: the age of a man is that of his look at
the legendary wood.
You will always have reasons
You will draw out the sword
like an angel
And when you have unsheathed it
you already are a demon
The beast is the cage
The future comes to us like a caterpillar joy is not eager
The past is a dormouse that snores with few beautiful dreams
Hope is a white phoenix
And my eagerness is a scarlet gazelle hunted down by the king’s
This zoo is a city of cages in each door padlocks and
rusty locks in every window bars and eyes
In the corners apes that deny being related to Darwin night
panthers with fire eyes crocodiles that cry as if
regretting falling in love boas with the appetite of bishops and bankers
macaws with the colors of poetry hyenas that laugh reluctantly
before the tarnished day
lions that lose their dignity and their mane hieroglyphical tigers
men looking into their eyes into the infinite eyes of the animals
and many jailers chained to their irons
When you grow up help us open all the cages.
To the children
I inhabit a zone of light rays and revelations. The oracle still speaks. I for my part do not
listen to it. I do not follow its warnings.
I refused to be initiated. I never repeated aloud what I heard from the mouth of the
torment. I fought against the angel. Because they chained the human spirit to the abyss,
I looked down on religions. Because of the devastating massacres that without respite
brought down the naked certainty in life, I put myself on guard against the nature of the
states. Because I saw thousands fall, I knew that the pact of human indifference
No doubt this is the time of the end, they proclaim, something as formidable as its
emergence: the sinking of the continents.
I endure the pressure of the darkness forged by the human imagination in the rapture of
an age already without a heaven. I already know I will be invisible. And even though a
while ago a flash of lighting unloaded its anger of white roots, filling my log cabin with
dense energies, I will unflinchingly turn a deaf ear to the oracle, for I will still love the
men that suffer and the peoples that resist, I will hear the sweet voices of the stones and
the trees that call us to the return, the secret language of the birds of the first day to
which the states and the gods have been deaf for many centuries.
Translated by Nicolás Suescún