Indeed, the sky was overcast that day.
And in monsieur Arnaud’s backyard,
Henrietta, the cleverest chicken was
to traverse on a journey hitherto unknown.
dans la maison, the aroma of ground spices was wafting in the air,
sans the meat; la prescient Henrietta,
gazed at the sky one last time,
before her life would end in a cauldron of hot water.
Oblivious to Henrietta’s plight,
the pássaros from Amazon gleefully glided
on the vast canvas, creating a million design
of murmurations, for the passersby to marvel at their collective conscience.
Henrietta’s plead for help reached the ears of an uncommon starling
and no sooner the thought waves crept into her tiny mind,
than a rush of energy spread across her body, commanding
a swift action to save the chicken’s life pronto.
En masse the birds flew, past the rotunda,
past the river Seine, past le palais Versailles,
past the retributions of the country folks
and Combray priests to reach the backyard of Monsieur Arnaud.
In one scoop, they lifted Henrietta up in the air,
and flew into a distant land where freedom
would be savoured finally by our dear Henrietta.
Stories such as these are told to children even today while
hoisted on mother’s hips, and being fed a handful of oat pudding.
Yearn people must to eat less meat;
The river bodies and the fish that swims in its
womb shall be merrier than ever.
Clouds will stay afloat longer and shield the rivers and the fish
from the scathing heat that showers from the brash Sun.
Grass will grow taller and country rabbits will play hide and seek
with the occasional hunters that scutter about the vast meadows at dusk.
Cows and sheep will mow the lawn gracefully and yield nutritious milk
that would dribble from many a country child in ruas pequeno no Pernambuco.
Stars will shine longer and moon will remain brighter.
A new world could thus be born.
Where men and women would live in harmony.
Writers such as I are mere conveyors,
for we pluck and impregnate the words onto a paper or a file.
Are those words really ours? I wonder at times. Are the words also like Henrietta, waiting to be saved?
Those words belong to Chico Buarque and Machado de Assis equally, as much as they belong to me.
Night descends obediently, an occasional roar of the engine on the highway
nearby breaks the silence now and again;
the bipeds wait for the day to begin, to see the light, to hear the birds, to reinforce themselves that they are not alone and forgotten.