“I will die in Paris with a hard dirty rain,
on a day I now remember,
I will die in Paris – and I don’t run –
maybe a Thursday, like today, in autumn.”
César Vallejo, Black Stone on a White Stone
Poem at the End
Watching the news now
i know i will surely die
in a cold warehouse
erected by army engineers
between my place of work
and my own bedroom.
i will die
like all our homeless died,
in long lines
of suffering humanity
as if not enough of us
down the centuries of human ignominy.
i will die as we all die
cursing the day of my birth
this world i accidently
in my flight
of infinite possibility.
i will die
an old man in my mind
but young in this vision that
has haunted me,
this vision of a world and a place
sheltered by angels
whose wings willingly embrace
an enormity of suffering
and whose warms hearts
all these foolish children
in times of war.
séamas carraher 2 April – 12 April, 2020
From séamas carraher’s email to the editor;
[…] Anyway: yes, I am isolated here but continue to work (as few shifts as possible). I work
with homeless street drinkers so it is not so safe (so I wrote my epitaph, which I will attach below,*
more on impulse and remembering Vallejo when I saw the pictures online than any particular forbidding).
The work is frustrating though as our people/residents really have little concern for illness due to their
enormous suffering and addictions… It offers a challenge to one’s compassion.[…]
Note César Vallejo’s poem translated by Clayton Eshleman, Grove Press, 1968 edition.