Thursday, December 30, 2010


King is how they call me, though of a King
I don't really wear nor the bling not the grin.
I could be called instead
a springing fountain
or a Zen beggar,
leaving very much unchanged
the way the world spins.

Words don't stick nor bear resemblance
to the things they name
simply by blind chance.
But if I had to decide on the pertinence
of things to their names,
I would command, for instance,
the rain to be called happiness:

I wonder if it wouldn't fall less unruly
if only we made it wear a longer dress.
And the same if we renamed sadness
and called it smile, I can already fancy
that at the first glance at our clumsy faces
all sadness would be erased
by putting a laugh onto its face.

Yet, to be called King of anything,
even of the bums or the dumb,
is no small thing.
Frankly, it doesn't flatter me,
for I couldn't care less
if in the crowd I blunder about
as the prince or the beggar.

However, if you called me a fountain,
you wouldn't be completely mistaken,
because placed where I always lay down my head,
in the middle of a square,
I'm a fountain,
but one that spurts
words instead of water.

And if a beggar is not the whole,
it is in the least
a part of what I am,
since I have no roof of my own,
and so the number of walls
that give me shelter equals
the rims on the roads I roam.

Beggar or fountain
are common names,
they refer to classes,
not to individuals.
In the end, this is how I prefer to think of myself:

In an universe so full of beings,
proper names and numerous offspring
are just not feasible.
We are like sand, packed to such an extent,
that none can make out any longer
the shouts of the drowned amongst
an ocean awash with siren songs.

A tramp is, in brief, someone that seems
very much like anyone else, except that he kept
from turning into another thing
in a world of things,
things that used to be autonomous beings
as we dream we keep on being,
but by which we ended up enslaved.

And the path I walk on
is my sole’s mate
and shifting traveling companion.
We have both the aroma
of the warm moist earth.
And, like his, my destination
lies at a crossroads.

This little one, which strides by my side
sniffing the morning light,
is Diogenes, the dog.
I dubbed him so, tongue-in-cheek, but also
because he is by nature a dog,
not solely as a term of abuse
or a figure of usage,

and hence the name fits him by birthright
of one whose all occupation consists
in strolling all about.
In addition, I benefit only
from the company
of a backpack and a doorstep,
and those are all my so-called belongings.

But the stick I pick
up from the ground
and carry around as a stick
builds onto me,
for the better weather or the worse,
all that chatter from the birds
buzzing on the trees.

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