A Man Who Writes
for Raul Rivero
The perishability of bones is outlived by paper.
The faltering of the heart is resurged with ink.
How many words fill twenty years?
Can the portal in the door seize the world?
Oh brave soul whose mind enflames the page,
can our reading you, blast open the bars?
That old man in his ashy years is all fist
smashing against your brain cosmos.
What nation do your flowing words threaten?
Oh, free rivers of words cascading, rushing!
But you are shackled in a breathless box
waiting for other pens to pick the lock.
You are of your nation's earth, bursting forth,
armed with independent eyes and ears.
A sheet of newspaper can sail through concrete
and burn with words starring the roiling air.
Time for the old man to fall, fist first
and eighty free minds to walk out of tombs.
With your words, your companions in penalty
will be seen in their cells, their minds alive.
In the Church of Saint Rita, your wife and other wives
of the free minds imprisoned hold desperate mass,
beseeching the patron of the impossible: End
the suffering. The women dress in white for hope.
Soldiers follow them home, whispering threats
that stink the sweltering air that children breathe.
The ether of satellites transports the silent prayers
over the seas to the world built of words unshackled.   
Writers will do what they can so far from you
to pledge support, to write the keys of protest.
The world will be your new typewriter,
many fingers striking liberation, freedom.
Stones are no match for so many pounding fingers
creating earthquakes on instinct of sodality.
Soon the "encysted tribe" cased in isolation
under the aging island tyrant will feel the trembles.
They will awake in their cysts, hearing the keys.
The shadow of the fist will pass from the sun.
The walls will fall away from your cell of deep years.
All of you, sovereign souls, will speak in tongues.
You will feel the earth of your great-grandparents.
You will ink the fallen face and dance on the fist.
Prisons cannot hold the man who writes.
Oh, free rivers of words, cascading, rushing.

Poems by Virginia Walker

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Virginia S. Walker, PhD
P. O. Box 1032, Shelter Island Heights, NY 11965
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