A Day in April
The smoke of a Great Fire
Stoked with fat, and glory, talk.
In the cold break of day
Was a country awash only in grief.
Trembling hands was the nation
Desperately searching newspaper columns
For the squandered joy of its pastures.
Long since have all been shaking their heads
At the arson of such neglect.
A house fire run amuck
In a different time and of an ignorance
None now could ever possibly imagine.
But in my own time I've trodden mud roads
Past ancient cliff statues and bazaars of silk
Because the dialect of men today
Still sounds like fire.
I've had conversations in portuguese
With pacific men of long memory
Beside their villages of smoking palms.
Each year, on a day in April, we blow the embers awake
And tell stories to each other
Don't get too close
To getting dusty ashes on your hands.
We turn our faces to the dawn
In gratitude of faraway lessons
Content safe in our houses
Of tindered national thatch.