The Seaman’s Death

On “Island Funeral”, egg tempera and oil on hardboard, by N. C. Wyeth, 1939.

They were worth a lot, the five years that the painter kept in his  

memory and heart the scene of a maritime funeral procession,

that took place on September 11th 1934, in Teel’s Island.    

It had been a lapse of time in which he honed and trained his brush,

until 1939, enabling the birth of this masterpiece.

In true, like some others, he had not seen, but heard about,

the transport to the island for burial of a 96 years’ lobsterman,

a remarkable event, remembered long afterward.

The man, one that his family was the name of the island,

where he was born and had lived all his entire existence.

In a bird’s eye perspective, both grave and lyric, we see the collision,

also the coexistence of two worlds, the sea the man had much loved

and the mainland with so hard a hillside to be climbed.

The sea was liquid and bright to honor him in this day,

the earth, substance and shadow, ready for his rest.   

This poem and all others at this blog, authored by Edilson Afonso Ferreira ©

Published in The Ekphrastic Review, Oct 05 2022.

Lost Remembrance

We crossed over deserts, meadows, mountains,

travelled by rivers and seas, Arctics and Antarctics,

planted vines, bridges and ports, raised sheep and sons.   

We built churches, cathedrals, palaces and poor hovels.  

We lit fire into dark nights and hope into sore souls,

 have also made mad things we prefer never to remember.

We threw roads and rails, telegraphs, cities, skyscrapers,

even an audacious tower, at Babel, when, our history tells,  

You promptly restrained us.

Your sons became grandsons, great-grandsons, at last, us,

adoptive sons who every day attempt to remember

what was like one face that it has been said

we had been patterned from.

First published in Whispers, December 04, 2015.

Published in Dead Snakes, February 29, 2016.

Published in West Ward Quarterly, Winter 2017.

Parented by War

-There are bad things that turn into good-

My father was the youngest of thirteen siblings.

The family had long been up to twelve children.

At the end of the First World War,

his parents’ satisfaction was immense, none

of them had been summoned to the front.

And they rejoiced and celebrated so much,

that, on the rapture of the moment,

and in advanced age, came to be conceived

their thirteenth son,  

the one who came to be my progenitor.

The years passed and my father, now adult,

was dating my future mother, led calm

and peaceful one life.

They loved each other, but couldn’t think

of getting married so soon.  

They had to settle for life first.

Then the Second War broke out,  

and he saw his companions going to fight.

But married people were exempt,

he went to the bank and got a loan,  

and my mother’s father helped him

with such an extreme goodwill.

They were quickly married,

and, in a while, I arrived in this world,

firstling of a much-loved union.

We are children of war,

father, by the end of one;

me, by the beginning of another. 

Unshakable Certainty

I have been looking for other places to pray to the Creator.

I have prayed in churches, cathedrals, small chapels,

synagogues, mosques, palaces and castles,

also poor hovels, humble inns.

On the streets and roads,

walking or travelling,

I rise my voice and my thoughts,

knowing how much I bother Him.

Truly and unfortunately, most of what I asked  

has not been carried out.

I believe that instead He has answered

to what I unconsciously really need,

just He perceives, nobody else, mainly me.

I must recognize this has been the best

for the run of my life.

To be coherent with so reconnaissance,

I intend to never more pray again,  

anywhere, anytime.

I am putting myself entirely into His hands,

fearless and unreservedly accepting  

He guides, leads, and acts for me forever.

This poem and all others at this blog, authored by Edilson Afonso Ferreira ©

An Approaching Sound

On “Return of the Dove, Oil on Canvas, 1851, by John Everett Millais”

Genesis 8.11 – “And the dove came in to him in the evening; and, lo, in her mouth was an olive pluckt off: so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth”

We pretend having our life,

even world’s life, always under control,

from past generations to present days.

Sometimes we feel close to that certainty,

and it is good that this should happen,

giving us some encouragement on the route.  

We work with the mind and the heart,

science and desire, on outlining the future,

which we anticipate promising and happy.

Skirting around life’s corners, every so often,

we are faced with frightening facts,    

perhaps echoes of ancient Greek tragedies,

poor of hope in the human renaissance.  

Wars, revolutions, tyrannies and persecutions,

born on the drumming of soulless men,

have delayed landing in the promised land,

where milk and honey spur and light reigns,

preventing all evil once sown.

A land we have not yet arrived to,

but we heard an approaching sound   

of the beating of the wings of the dove

we released in our present generation.

The one that is bringing in its beak

the green branch of the tree of peace

and entire fraternal human feelings

Published in Ekphrastic Review, Dec 20, 2020