Monday, December 05, 2011

Guernica


(I went to El Museo de Reina Sofia in Madrid yesterday, and saw Picasso's "Guernica" for the first time and it really got to me. More on that later, but here's the initial reaction.)

there's a lump that swells within me
as I curse pablo picasso
his enormous wall-sized canvas
and his melancholy paint
for the longer that I stand here
life fades deep beneath the shadows
of the mothers' helpless screaming
and the death that lies in wait

they are running toward freedom
but I don't think that they'll make it
all the candle light and horse shoes
and the bodies on the floor
say a prayer for dying mothers,
and their lifeless little babies
curse a God that says he loves us
just to give us up to war

And in my darkest moments,
I am there in Guernica
I am flailing as they cut me
cut me deep into my chest
with my arms outstretched to heaven
I will never see the morning
for the dark has overtaken
my inheritance is death

now I'm heading for the exit
with a heavy heart inside me
as the night has executed
the magnificent sunset
I can see it all so clearly
all the bodies that surround me
and the rush to flee the slaughter
that we've now come to expect

Now all I can seem to think of
are the bullets I must purchase
and the weapons I will brandish
when the next war comes along
not for justice, not for riches
not for peace nor for salvation
as I'm writing down the lyrics
to my war cry anthem song

you can call me a surrealist,
but this scene that I have painted
with my blood and my intention
can't be closer to the truth
let me touch the rim of heaven
as I'm crying for an answer
you have promised us solution
so, we wait to see it through

in the meantime, I can feel
waves of doubt that swell within me
as the factories are churning
out the instruments of war
we are counting down the hours
or just waiting for the insult
to set off annihilation
that we have been waiting for

and more grave than the destruction
of these silly human conflicts
is the darkness from within me
that my hands are covered by
for no matter how I'm running
from this imminent destruction
I can never find deliverance
from the civil war inside

dearest lord, I see the sunrise
though I'm not sure I have earned it
and I breathe the air around me
though I can't afford the loan
so, if you control the pieces
that have grabbed Pablo Picasso,
please come settle this monsoon
that pulses paltry in soul

and maybe when it's over
we can take this giant painting
this grave stage of Guernica
with its melancholy paint
and watch in joyful chorus
as you change the strokes and pallet
we will lay it down so softly
to its warm eternal grave

3 comments:

Peach said...

There must be death and pain in order for there to be redemption.

I guess I've been coming face to face with the Problem of Pain a lot these days, so hearing about how you experienced this dark moment because of this man's art actually made me glad. Maybe he, too, had come face to face with the Problem of Pain and this was his expression of it. Sometimes there are no answers, and God seems absent. It's just time to soak in darkness and wait for Light to show His face. I think that's healthy. Those moments create doubt, which breeds questioning, which leads to answers and birth security in Truth.

Very nice, Mondo. You basically just communicated with a man that died almost 40 years ago. The artist got his message across and created a chain reaction of art. How spiritual.

La Familia Castañeda said...

This brought tears. beautiful.

La Familia Castañeda said...

This brought tears. Beautiful