Poetry’s Not Dead and other poems

    Poetry’s Not Dead and other poems

    Poetry’s Not Dead

    I’ve seen it on the underpass

    In a winter’s dealer night,

    Knifed by moribund moonbeams,

    The spray on the fuliginous wall

    Proclaiming poetry’s not dead.

    I wonder if they know what that means

    At the end of the inner tracks,

    Where the heart synapses fade away,

    At the bottom of the soul pit

    Where the nameless feeling rests inert.

    I’ve seen it on the underpass,

    I’ve seen it on stone, wood and flesh;

    I’ve seen it in a warrior’s glare,

    I’ve seen it in a woman’s flare,

    Poetry’s not dead.

    I wonder if they know what that means

    For those hurt by the undoing of life,

    For the failed strategies of heaven,

    For the runaway lips on whoring street,

    For the bruised knuckles of the spirit.

    I’ve seen it on the underpass,

    I’ve seen it on the roaring sky,

    Poetry’s not dead.

    I wonder if they know what that means

    To the moon’s desires as a whole,

    To the wonders of humanity below,

    To the smoke that rises unstructured,

    To the shape of dreams floating above,

    Feeding the common hope,

    Untying the hanging rope.

    Road of Words

    On a late afternoon,

    Under sick skies of bronze,

    I pogo-danced

    Barefoot and alone

    On the road of words,

    With the strength of a blacksmith

    And my dark eyes burning

    With the furnaces glow.

    For my gods have deserted me,

    Wildfires are burning horizons

    In the east,

    And I’m eager to reach

    The endless tides of peaceful seas

    In the west.

    And there,

    By the mouth of our baptismal river,

    Have a rest from being known

    For something I am not,

    And daydream about you,

    Far away

    From that stinking swamp

    Where I carried

    The whispers of murder

    In a machine gun,

    With muddy water to my waist

    And dirty magazines on my mind.

    For my friends kissed me,

    Like Judas did,

    I was backstabbed

    With sheer disdain.

    I was hanged on the tree of love

    And I was left there to die;

    But I never learnt how to spell

    The word goodbye.

    And all I requested her,

    When she was lying

    On her lover’s bed,

    Was to open her arms to life

    And spread her legs to love,

    Because she was not dead yet,

    Nor she was death.

    And though we longed

    To be loved on the road of words,

    Paved with the soliloquies

    From the past seekers,

    We took a detour

    And we marched up the mountain

    By the old forest trail,

    Where we walked around

    The burnt out ruins

    Of the stone round houses

    And search for the lost meanings

    Of our forefathers’ language.

    Poetics of Time

    She left me a note in the night sky

    Codified on a dance of stars,

    To be read right to left

    Starting from the chimney

    Of the old abandoned textile mill,

    Then upside down

    Following the traces of the moon

    Across the Milky Way gospel,

    Punctuated by the fading fire

    Of the tangential city lights.

    She left a note in the night sky

    Just to let me know

    That seasons have no meaning

    In the realm of poetry.

    I’ve read it following the paths

    Of faraway dead suns,

    To learn that if space is the blank page

    And matter is the dark ink,

    Time is the entire language

    With which everything was scribed.

    She left me a note in the night sky

    And I inhaled what she said,

    The poetics of time running away

    Like fast cars passing by,

    Relativity of clocks on display.

    These days I don’t care anymore

    For the hours fading away,

    Past, present and future

    On the palm of my hand,

    I crushed them all into a fistful of love.


    Utopia attended without a formal invitation

    The assembly of your human reason.

    It was announced as a beam of light

    Breaking the veil of some dense cogitation

    And it reflected the morning on the still water

    Of the untouched well.

    Utopia forced you to reach out your hand

    Before a sudden fall victimised your brother.

    And among the winds of famine and the fury of order

    Showed you the world you could build,

    Breaking the path full of mines,

    The path that goes from the fist to the hand palm.

    Utopia found you on a tired afternoon among ruins,

    Watching the poignant emptiness with a voided look.

    It introduced you to the son of the primordial father

    And challenged you to love the daughter of the original mother,

    Scattering on your dream the dawn of the impossible

    And demanding you to rise up more than a bare man.

    The Decay of Youth

    The lights went on inside the lacquered doors,

    As the starry sky rose over the waters

    And summer scents swirled around the pines,

    Fireflies in the hot evening summer breeze

    Announced the Orchids’ demise,

    Waning by the old stone wall covered with aged ivy.

    It all started there! –

    The decay of youth on a perfect night.

    I poured myself a glass of Absinthe,

    Listening to the poetry spoken in every word

    Of my poetic brothers and sisters,

    The joyful laughs and murmured confidences.

    Some of them were discussing sorrow and happiness,

    Some were ghost dancing by the ivory piano,

    Some were talking in badly angled corners,

    Some were in love next to the golden bannister,

    And some of them were running from everything.

    We hugged and we kissed on the nocturne blue sofa,

    We recited, we loved, we drank and we fucked.

    We gave each other punk haircuts,

    We became gods for a moment,

    We ended up servants for a lifetime.

    And we praised the eternal and endless snake

    Penetrating our world – mad with passion and refusal.

    But it has always been clear to my road companion

    That faking our age was not an option.

    He had a serious soul condition

    And he looked like a Moor in Gibraltar centuries ago,

    Staring at sunsets feeling incomplete.

    So he drank, he drank to deceive his own lies,

    To see if there was something at the end of his sobriety.

    And I always carried him home,

    I always cleaned up his mess,

    But I could never figure out what he meant

    When he said he would meet his fate

    On the day my heart betrayed all he believed in.

    Now our highway came to an end

    And we felt like a pair of worn out shoes

    Left behind on some old lover’s apartment.

    You never go back for something

    That you wore on the road,

    At least we knew that much by then.

    So we posed for eternity one last time,

    After exchanging so many whys and why nots,

    Just to find that nothing really matters in the end,

    Because we never possessed the reasons for

    Why young hearts were naïve enough to believe

    That a poem could change reality.

    And in the morning brightness

    I saw your ghost under the door frame,

    Sent from a day yet to be born,

    Conceived on a waltzing bed

    On the other side of dreaming.

    And your fiery smile lighted up the room

    Like fireworks on some nonstop festivities,

    Beckoning me home,

    Whispering me across Spain,

    Carried by the mesa scorching wind,

    “Don’t be late, my street poet,

    You know that life it’s just time fading away.”

    You Have My Word

    You have my word;

    You have this word of mine,

    This word forged

    In the beginning of the world

    By the fires of the gods.

    And here you have it now;

    Take this word,

    Savour it on the tongue,

    Feel the taste of the syllables,

    Frame it to your breath

    And release it from the lips,

    To elucidate the significance

    Of all that I meant to say

    Throughout a lifetime

    Of silent complicity.

    You have my word;

    You have this sacred word

    Written in indecipherable dialect

    Of love turned into flesh.

    Here it is as it was

    Before you were born.

    Disregard the divine verb,

    Don’t make that mistake.

    React only to this word,

    That is pure in its nature,

    And it was spoken to you

    In the instant before time,

    Alone in its endless existence,

    Fecund of all that I gave you,

    Root of this love I have for you.

    Declaration of Independency

    I proclaim my independency

    From the swirling flags

    Of this world in decay.

    On this present day

    I’m border blind,

    I can’t even read a map properly.

    But I miss the poetic tribe of yesterday,

    Those that with stained souls

    Wrote with gallows humour

    And died of thirst on the road.

    I proclaim my independency

    From churches and faiths.

    I stand up before the gods

    Like a pagan runaway.

    I never get down on my knees

    Because I love like the trees,

    Proudly standing on my roots,

    Aiming for the sky

    With my unsoiled children,

    The dancing leaves.

    I proclaim my independency

    From the rotten philosophies

    Ruling over the nations

    Under the burning sun

    And the muddy crawls

    They have enforced on their sons.

    For I am not a dry horizon

    And I deny the verbal and written lies

    Passed from generation to generation

    As the almighty true.

    I proclaim my independency

    From everything and everyone

    That gives me an identity

    As a man and a poet.

    And among the stones,

    Older than our time,

    I stand in the dark

    Of a moonless night

    Letting go of my humanity

    To become a piece of immortality.

    Streets of Stone

    I will beg on these streets of stone

    For one more night in the stronghold of your shoulders,

    Until the heavens catch on fire with the demise of the sun;

    For I am the man who closed down the book of Revelation

    When the dawn watered down the promise left behind.

    For whom but she would I challenge my loneliness?

    She held in her tiny hands my rootless soul,

    Centuries of wandering renegade by a single gesture;

    I will stand on these streets of stone

    Until the heavens light up with the stars in tune.

    And who are we at the end of the years, dear?

    How many gods did we conjure for this love?

    In the meadow, lying among your forget-me-nots,

    I left myself be under the languish of the suns

    As the night carved the word infinite in me.

    I will be the undying man on these streets of stone

    Until the heavens are ploughed with light.

    Here are my flesh and my only thought,

    The ultimate custom that consecrated me;

    Give them a home in you, love of my time.

    Poetic Nomads

    I was born out of static;

    She was born out of tune.

    We felt in love under a lyrical moon

    Down on the docks packed with winos pissing in the dirty river.

    She gave me an eyelash for good luck

    And together we took the windy road to level the cerulean skies.

    We picked up a fight with a prose craftsman

    On the streets of Salamanca

    When we were fairly young.

    He had the wisdom of a thousand philosophers,

    We were just drunk.

    We knifed him with a sharp verse

    And shattered to pieces all his fancy sentences.

    That’s when we first heard the ancient bards singing.

    Later we were initiated into the Holy Church of Carnal Love

    By the art of an infinite kiss on an Iberian plateau.

    Then we were blessed by the light tamer.

    He intercepted a single beam,

    Made it dance before our eyes,

    Taught us the ways of immortality.

    We became poetic nomads,

    We roamed the lands barefoot

    From the coasts of the west to the steppes of the east.

    We made love in Florence,

    Put to shame the Renaissance.

    Then we had dreams of steam,

    An ethereal bloodstream of love’s eternal theme.

    We slept by the side of the tracks

    That stretched from the past to the future.

    Halfway in our journey we felt like Omsk,

    A Cossack song lost in translation.

    But we were aiming for a Vladivostok death,

    To stare at an endless ocean on the other side of life

    And feel the peaceful waves moving inside us.

    Because we were added up moments of being

    And we mastered the talent of love

    The day we spat out the hate we were forced to devour.

    Much later we mended the broken strings of mankind

    With duct tape made of beauty words.

    Yes, we were happy and we never apologised for that.


    If you enjoyed  Luiz Canha Machado’s poetry , you may like Canadian poet Alyssa Cooper.


    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here