quinta-feira, 4 de maio de 2017

Como ajudar as crianças em tempos de guerra

                          - Denise Duhamel

Mister Rogers recomenda dizer às crianças americanas
que a tristeza faz parte.  Apresente então para elas o globo
em lugar do mapa ordinário,  para  mostrar e dizer
quão longe realmente fica o Oriente Médio.  Enfatize que
assistir meteorologia da TV Saudita não quer dizer
que se chega lá de carro. Enfatize para elas o que
seu presidente lhes garante:  que toda vida é preciosa,
a de uma criança iraquiana igual à do soldado americano.
Diga isto para seus filhos, acreditando ou não
nas palavras dele.  Fale para as crianças que seus pais
sejam civis ou soldados, as amam, seja qual for
o chão que habitam. Considere descrever para elas
a guerra como ela é,
mas se sua filha joga Nintendo, não lhe sirva
sangue em lugar de leite no cereal matinal.  Se seu filho
anda numa gangue perigosa, então deixe que ele
te explique a guerra.  Aos pequeninhos, sugira
que levem seus jogos de química para a areia do parquinho.
Se você ensina arte, explique eventos atuais
com bonecos de papel.  Uma corrente de homens de cartolina vermelha:
George Bush, Dick Cheney, Sadam Hussein, et cetera.
Peça para os aluninhos que amassem um dos bonecos,
que lhe deem o nome Noriega. Que o joguem num copo de papel
que representa a cadeia.  Nesse momento pode fazer perguntas
para que percebam o quanto um boneco se parece
com o outro.  Peça para cada criançinha
escolher um que seja seu favorito.
É esse que devem retalhar, os pedaços mais minúsculos
que suas tesourinhas permitam.
Talvez alguns aluninhos se inquietem, se polvilhando uns
aos outros com os pedaçinhos cor carmim.   Permita isso:
confete, carnificina, neve vermelha, bombas.

Versão:  Miriam Adelman

quarta-feira, 3 de maio de 2017

How to Help Children Through Wartime

How to Help Children Through Wartime

                           - Denise Duhamel

Mister Rogers says to tell your American young
it's OK to be sad.  Present them a globe
rather than a flat map to show-and-tell
how far away the Middle East really is.  Stress
that the TV Saudi weather report
doesn´t mean the country is within driving distance.  Stress
that their U.S. president assures them that all life is precious,
an Iraqi child's equal to that of an American soldier.
Tell your children this, whether or not
you yourself believe him.  Tell children that parents,
be they civilian or soldier, love them regardless
of what soil they're on.  Consider letting children know
what the war is really like,
but if your daughter has Nintendo, do not pour blood
instead of milk on her Cheerios.   If your son
is in a dangerous gang, let him explain
war to you instead.  Encourage all elementary schoolers
to take their chemistry sets to the sandbox.
If you teach art, explain current events
with paper dolls.  A strand of red construction paper men:
George Bush, Dick Cheney, Sadam Hussein, et cetera.
Have students crumple up one doll and name him
Noriega. They may throw him in a Dixie cup
that represents a jail. Then you may ask questions
that lead students to notice the resemblance
of one paper man to the next.  Have each of the children
pick a doll who represents their favorite.
Instruct them to cut that man up into the teeniest pieces
their safety paper scissors will permit.
Members of the class may begin to get restless, to sprinkle
each other with the crimson bits.  Allow this:
confetti, bloodshed, red snow, bombs.

sábado, 21 de janeiro de 2017


fiz as perguntas necessárias.
a solidão é uma cerejeira, e o fruto,
possível.  como você, amo as vozes
da rua, mas já se calaram. na labuta
 diária contra a toxina lenta,  imagem
que procura espelho.  não é  mais a minha
beleza, nem a tua. o tempo se encarregou disso,
as nuvens dos desastres nucleares, ou
o perfurar abrupto de armas comuns.
as pessoas com seus pequenos potes
de veneno, também.  é com o mínimo
que nos contentamos:  o pão ainda fresquinho,
uma ameixa que conseguimos colher, a cabeça
do cachorro contra minhas canelas. talvez
continuemos.  mas não são mais
os barcos que se afundam.

quarta-feira, 21 de dezembro de 2016

fair play

you give me this, i give you
that. it should be simple and
without much sentiment. such
are the tacit rules of human
exchange for times like this
one: an evening roll in the hay, au
bord de la marne, where it is late into
autumn and steam rises gently off the
bodies of the munching bovines, the mud-
crusted ponies. i take off my old
lady mask - as diane once said-
and slip easily out of my street
worn jeans. i sleep all night in
your branches. it is warm there,
despite the snowflakes falling
around us. which of us paid
for dinner at the country
inn?  was it momentary shelter,
altar of encounter?   did nothing
flicker in the heart, beyond
basic calculation, the thought
that one place is as good
or perhaps better
than another?

sábado, 17 de dezembro de 2016


sometimes there is something you need to do
just once.  walking along a channel in the winter sun
and watching the reflections go from blue to brown to
a momentary green, no one catching your eye but a wind
sweeping by briskly to remind you, it is just this once. you
think of Rilke and how he admonished us to never believe
the lie of holding on or having forever.  you pride yourself
on how close you get. the freest of spirits in the crowd,
how you can hold a hand so close to your heart, or your
parts, in the deep blue of one single night, and then raise your
glass to the freedom of roads and journeys. but then once again
in the specter of morning and the rough waves of finitude,  you
are  wondering again,  just how to hang on.

on the road

they come to you in all their beauty,  empty handed as any refugee or
or the haggard  beggar almost braving the winter.  they wear bells and bracelets  and sing like
no one else, wailing and laughing their tales with their faux gypsy eyes, you a gulley
of warmth who smells of  cinnamon,  of  lilies of the valley in springtime or some other respite.
although you too have slept in wind-weathered tents, on beaten earth floors, have
crossed borders with the wrong papers or coins,  ridden your silky haltered pony
through a chain of islands where none have ever seen such a girl, so milky-legged
and fearless, it doesn´t quite tally the same. how to look at these sweet boys, right in the belly of the eye, take them, believing for a moment what they have seen or said.  & then move on. 


the train leaving longueville runs backwards
over red plastic,  past ripped out tracks and there
is some emergency  that keeps  slowing us
down.  the empty metal bellies of furnace,
of industrial choke are gone for now but
we know it is thanks to them we could get
this far.  a band of deer i was too slow to capture
are gone now too,  their fresh tracks  pressed
through a light snow receding,  like all paths crossed
 too quickly,  leaving  no more than  memory and its
 sweet, severed limbs.