Entry - MAG Poetry Prize 2011

I close my eyes and see no more

by Adriano Antonio Macedo Basto de Carvalho

I’ve seen innocence playing, and then learning, and then growing till it is no more;
Babies sleeping on undeserving laps of cataleptic and lifeless parents who can’t see an inch beyond themselves;
Souls crippled and mutilated by an almost perpetual chain of senseless, co-dependent, and self-seeking conduct.
However, in all honesty, I must absolve them all: man only wounds when wounded.
Man is perfectly imperfect.

I’ve seen youth squandered and consumed, as if it were perpetual and worthless;
Girls and boys, and boys, then girls, willingly falling into wells, and running madly into brick walls,
As if a florid garden awaited them, unaware that an abyss of emptiness and sadness lies ahead.
Fresh souls and drugged-up bodies will always wander, bemused and helpless, in a maze of their own making.
This youth is endless, and quite probably already dead.

I’ve seen men that believe in themselves transform into giants and soar,
Just to turn my face the other way and find the exact opposite motion:
Fear and doubt pounding down, with infinite weight, our brittle existence,
Leaving behind a trail of things undone, loves unloved, and unrealized dreams.
Will we never understand that the script we write is the play that follows?

I’ve seen man pitted against man, against nature, and against himself, in a never-ending cycle of sheer stupidity and sadism;
Enraged faces and frantic hands repeatedly stabbing their own child, their own brother, and their own flesh,
In an utterly comical and pointless attempt to soothe our inbuilt suffering.
Man is his biggest foe, his only foe:  the deepest scars are indisputably self-inflicted.
Pain is, consequently, inescapable.

I’ve seen a humanity that is not human: man’s wanting turned rotten, then dead;
Greed, uninhibited and hysterical, pushing man to his lowest denominator;
Blood filling the gaps of understanding, and as a sorry excuse to a twisted and self-serving morality,
Whilst peace lies agonizing, tortured, and raped.
Human tragedy is simply the making of our collective human un-conscience.

I’ve seen into the souls of Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Muslims, and Jews;
I reached deep into their chests, and, with my bare hands, ripped their bloodied, beating hearts out,
And I tell you – my sister, my brother– that they all look exactly the same.
We are all human, animal, chemical, and mineral alike.
Distinction is mental, psychological, and naught.

I’ve seen God Himself, compassionate and commanding, visibly invisible,
Yelling at me in languages I could not comprehend (certainly enraged at His own creation),
While I, on my knees, completely obedient, docile, and innocent, regurgitated endless mantras of fear, vain love, and inanity.
Fortunately, His yelling awakened me, and as I peeked into His eyes, caught a fleeting glance of my own Self.
We were not made in his image, he was made in Ours.

I’ve seen love and the hope of love give birth to a new life, to a new dream, and to a new meaning.
A love that conquers pain, past, and present is everything and holy:  this love is infinite.
Love, certainly illusory, is truly all and more than all.
In the end, all things considered, love is our only escape.
Now, having seen all, I close my eyes and see no more: I am Love.

Added: 29.04.2011

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