Poem to ward off hate

Image: Unknown artist (Russia)


Manifesto against the letter-ammunition and the word-weapon that make everyday life a battle ground for empty souls

For Sofia, at that time, a sixteen-month-old granddaughter who already communicated through kisses and caresses. Eight years old today, full of caresses and kisses, so be it always.



what word is this
that hurts beyond the mouth
that bites, shreds
and without any science
turns into junk
all possible consciousness

what word is this
so badly said
that would be beneficial
(if it was well said)
like the same hand
that changes from slap and punch
for gentle affection emotion

what word is this
that screams, frightens
and make the dialogue
a narcissistic monologue
from a friendly people
a strange enemy

what word is this
that drives away
transforms a peace dialogue square
in battle storm
war monologues
and leave it in the body
the shrapnel letters
exploded from a mouth-grenade

what word is this
that I use in everyday life
and that I don't know
what damage does it cause
because she doesn't let me see anything
beyond my own nose

what word is this
that I use without knowing
that's a poison dart
a sour candy
that comes out skewed
penetrates deep through the ear
without going through the heart
turns the head of who there
friend brother known unknown
exposes gut fallacies and fears
because we don't want to show
what we are,
what we would like to be

what word is this
that all the time
use as a threat
to fight against bad luck
virtue fortune
Machiavellianly constructed
and make me a fake strong

this speech though
poorly created
doesn't change anything
Why do I keep like this
always face to face
without escaping from me

what word is this
that when I realize
exposes me to emptiness
inwardly empty
a body in wasteland



I want to remove the word war from my speech
since I still can't get her out of life
I want to remove the word fight from my speech
because I still can't get her out of the life that plagues others
I want to remove the word weapon from my speech
since I cannot yet wrest it from the murderous hand
I want to remove the word machine gun from my speech
since I still can't get her out of the front line
I want to remove the word army from my speech
since I cannot yet and still exclude it from the nation empires
I want to remove the word soldier from my speech
since I still can't turn it into a loose bird
I want to remove the word rifle from my speech
since I still can't get it out of the blind eye of the rabid
I want to remove the word grenade from my speech
since I can't yet bury it in quicksand
I want to remove the word revolver from my speech
since I cannot yet remove it from cowardly minds and insane fingers
I want to remove the word trench from my speech
since I still cannot transform it into a garden of good flavors and odors

I want to use it in my speech
only everything that is calm and true
and especially
that does not destroy
neither mine nor yours
brotherhood soul

I want to use it in my speech
this yes and always
instead of intrepid and painful torpedoes
smooth, simple and clear arguments



I want to take some words out of my life
since I can't delete them from the dictionary
because I can't get them out of the heads of the unwary

I want to remove the word angry bullet from my speech
and transform it into an ever sweet food

because the bullet that nests and lodges
inflicts a bloody wound
both in the animated body
as in thought

I speak in bullet metaphor
like any weaponry
because they are single letters
that at a given moment
deconstruct a head
and with a simple sentence
destroy any wisdom



you have to take care of the letters
and season them with aromas
to turn them into perfume
or tasty flavors
of those eaten in family
blood or not my blood
without being bloodless

I want to play with the letters
and with them create words
sensible, true, possible
such as peace, love, affection, solidarity,
and use them at will
without fear or shame
and try to get them little by little
move away calmly and gently
hate, anger, envy, malice

let's put sand and clay letters together
and create words bricks and walls
and build new homes
so that we can all fit
in our every moment
when we are big or small
but we are
and consciously

let's go together lettering seeds
and create gardens, flowerbeds, orchards, forests
and create food
those who have lunch and dinner
to dream intensely at night
and celebrate a new day

let's go together lyrics musical notes
and sing in chorus the joy of smiling

let's join letters
and build words
and then
be able to look
after the storm
a rainbow
on a horizon to come

the alphabet is ours
the letters are there
and the words...

we just lack science, courage and conscience
to reconstruct maybe the same words
for a new our dictionary
that peacefully humanizes
for nights and mornings
all our speech today tomorrow day after day

*Fernando Rios is a journalist, poet and artist.


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