March 13, 2008

Once Upon a Time _ Jorge Rebelo (1995)

Filed under: poetry — newritings @ 11:39 pm

Once upon a time
there was a man
who wanted to fly.

Just that: to fly –
but not by plane
nor by ballon!
He wanted wings
like the condor in the tale,
to spread them, lazily,
and mimicking the mischiefs of the wind
to rise in the air, in space, in the infinite,
to rise and fly to heaven.
It was one of his dreams,
in fact, just a mania.

But listen to this: so ardent
was his desire, so intense was his will
that wings began to sprout.

From then on every day
he would fly –
not far at first,
but later, more confident
further away.
And from heaven the distance would draw shorter.

He envisioned heaven
not with a god who is the boss of everything.
(He was so tired of being bossed around!)
He envisioned heaven like a large village
where destinies idyllically cross,
nature is treated with love
and rain always fall at the right time,
children are not lost to the streets,
everyone works, bread is plenty,
wealth is shared with justice
– and other utopias that came to his mind.

One day he flew and never came back.
Did he arrive? No-one knows.
What is known
is that other men also sprouted wings
and they are already a big crowd
demanding heaven.

And people say
that the rulers
are uneasy.


  1. […] The poems included in this edition are: Do you know me?, Once Upon a Time (1995), A Poem still to be written (1975), Brother from the West (1972), We are Fighters of FRELIMO […]

    Pingback by More poems of resistance from Mozambique « newritings — March 15, 2008 @ 12:12 am | Reply

  2. I dint get it… what happened to the man????? And do the writer mean by saying that some other man too got the wings???? I am seriously not geting it , could you please explain????

    Comment by Shipra — November 2, 2009 @ 4:21 am | Reply

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