Ποιειν Και Πραττειν - create and do

On Waterline

Medellin, Columbia and Fernando Rendon


On Waterline

When did we begin our bloody march from the Apocalypse of Shadow of Man, among the cries of the warriors, under a panic sky that mortally wounded all our hopes and desires.

When did we renounce ourselves to throw our lot on the brother’s back, fleeing to the margins of delirium where the cities of hell can no longer be seen.

When did we know that the doors of spring would open and not open for us alone, that we would punctually miss Shadow of Man, whom we had loved since the beginning, when there was no death in the meadows in bloom and the bogs had not yet issued from the human mind.

Again, then, to return, to undo in the heart the knot of our sweet wounded country, the nothingness of our lost dream of a life shared on waterline.


The happy shadows of the macaws, sheltered in shadow in the treetops, chatter above the racket of the apes’ shadows. The shadow of the foliage dances above the shadow of the jaguar. A violent sun is the salamander’s only shelter. Shadows of slow clouds over crouching shadows, stalking shadows over fearful shadows. A man’s shadow eludes another man’s shadow.

The arriving man’s sea of shadows swoops down on the shadow of the man who was. The always sleepless, the astonished one ululates. It is night over the brook of light, which flows into the pupil of Shadow of Man, joining shadow to brightness.


What use is his shadow in the desert to man? A tree’s shadow weighs more than a man’s. In the desert, the shadow of the sunstruck knows that paradise is a real shade.


“The stones will scream”.

Stone, talisman that chose the princes, bone of presence and beginning, I recognize your sacred spirit.

Our forebears dug in the stone of charms, entered the stone house of spells, where invisible life speaks.

Prehistoric sundial, the shadow circles the stone, which listens to the heartbeats of man.

Amphion’s lyre roused the floating stones of Thebes. Voices sprouting from the stone travel along the ear’s labyrinth.

Descended from the sun stone and flooded in shadow, man no longer listens to the singing stone.


Lapidary, they reveal secret transformations of the solids, new emanations of the dawn’s pulse, of the heart of stone once inhabited by lightning, before shoreless water emerged under the floating light, forging a web of flowers and animals, to make a homeland out of the forest.



Lying like logs, our red bark wrinkled, we are as buffaloes who rotting melt on the green meadow.

But due to an inexplicable random act, lying like mushrooms on the grass, we explore all the millennia, flee from prehistoric beasts, fight all the wars, are millions of beings stretching under the arc of eternity, while dragon and yearning fight in the clouds.

The sun calls us and to hesitate is to die. Fly, fly, beauteous swan of desire, everything can be achieved.

Walking on the white dew, remove your shoes: the age of man is that of his gaze upon the legendary forest.


Tasks of Enkiddu

You, Cro-Magnon safely arrived at our desert ages, do not belong only in Hittite clay tablets. Live still in the spirits of vegetation.

In the cages today men and beasts swarm around. Dismantle, then, as before, the pieces of the traps. Fill in the ditches. Storm the huntsmen’s shelters to mix the dampness in their gunpowder and break their daggers’ blood-dyed blades.

Come drink with the herds and the birds, come repeat in the market squares and the fields the tune that reminds one of time’s root.

Be again irreducible among us, in a unique land without the oppression of Uruk. Leap over the boundaries, reflect in your gaze the fertile promise, the wild liberty, the full dominion of earthly vigor, of celestial vigor.


From Prometheid



Delegates from the centuries have rendezvoused around the ruined table, and at cards (with mixed feelings) they stake the destiny of life’s kingdoms.

The wizard has made himself invisible. The lovers have a lucky star, even if they are cornered. It’s the devil with the crown and death trump who has engendered anxiety in the game. Outside, the tower is still crumbling. No civilization could have been built without the stubborn vision of madness.

Time progresses towards its end. The players give each other hostile looks. There is a mortal struggle, because at cards (with mixed feelings) they stake the destiny of life’s kingdoms.

And the emperor and death again take all the chips beside their owner.

Still, there are reserves. Nature calls its deposits. The moon waxes. The hanged man smiles, always invulnerable. The trial continues, transforming the solar province into an unhindered universe. Constellations descend near the heads of the players.

Poetry extracts events from the sleeve of its tunic. So the world understands it. And it prepares to purify itself for the demanding activity of resurrection.



You will always have reasons

You will take out your sword

like an angel

And when you have unsheathed it

you're already a demon


There Exists No Poem

There exists no poem

There is no music that calls you

That reaches you

There is no melody that makes your spirit travel


There exists no poem

There is no music that nourishes you

That touches you

There were not enough songs for you

No archaic song embraced you

My beloved poor in love songs

No inheritance fell to you

The gods didn’t throw flower blazes at you

Didn’t make all the universe’s red gold descend on you

The gold of legendary music

All the inebriating sound of leaves in the wind

Making up the universe of beings that embrace you

In the warp and woof of all times


My songless beloved


Fernando Rendón was born in Medellín (Colombia), in 1951. He has published the poetry books Contrahistoria, Bajo otros soles, Canción en los Campos de Marte, Los motivos del salmón, La cuestión radiante (Venezuela, Egypt, Costa Rica) La Question radiante (Francia), The Way of Salmon (United States), La Rama Roja (Cuba), En flotación (Colombia) and Poesía (Italia) He has founded the poetry magazine Prometeo (1982).In 1991 he and a team founded The International Poetry Festival of Medellin. The Foundation Right Livelihood Award with its headquarters in Stockholm has officially announced at September 28, 2006, that a jury formed by ten international personalities has decided to grant the 2006 Alternative Nobel Prize to the International Poetry Festival of Medellín, “in recognition of its courage and hope in times of despair”, among 73 candidates of 40 nations, activists for truth, peace and social justice. Web:


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