Pablo Neruda Was No Mad King

Pablo Neruda oppression poem mustard gas

How could we
leave you at the shore
or forget you
or the image of those little boats.
Everything carries me to you.
Well, now,
you know that some,
if little, search your isles,
but murder changes things.
You were born like this,
thrown into a Chilean mess,
Born to this fight
and given to that death
that only the very best get,
assassinated,
martyred.

There is meaning in this,
when the mustard gas hit the vein
and every nerve lit
as fire, metal ranges,
and gasoline pored over monks.

That is,
we too were born into this mess,
even the Americans.
I am sorry to inform you
you died to one of them;
Operation Condor they said,
at least that’s who green lit
the monstrous bird
that took you from the world.

You can rest now,
your job is done, it’s ours
now, so to speak,
it’s our job too as poets and people free
to speak against the dying light.

Here am I,
undeserving,
I take up the call.

Pablo Nerdua was no Mad King,
but advisor to the President-
a fact,
that history repeats
If good men do nothing
to stop the march
of oppressive regimes.


I have a few favorite poets and I count Pablo Neruda among them. His poem Enigmas I first saw in a movie called Mind Walk (on you tube, now) and it was an experience. He is and forever will be a beautiful poet and for him to meet such a violent, wrong, and immoral death for me is heartbreaking. Yet, this poem is about more than that. Sometimes, just sometimes heartbreak has to take a back seat. This is one of those times. He may have been assassinated, may have been treated as something to be rid of, his death, the truth, may have been covered up for years, but the body has been exhumed and with Pablo the truth came bubbling to the surface. He was murder by those that wanted to destabilize the region. Hundreds of years ago the powers that be might have been able to throw a French man, The Mad King, in an insane asylum for leading the people for the people of his country, Chile, but not today. The truth must ring out.

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