Confucius

Many people think … they know me. So I’ve decided that the time has come for me to step forward with the truth.

You see … I have a medical condition. I have a very good memory, I can remember all the names, but I cannot tell which one is mine…

It may seem like it, but I’m not here to make a confession of sorts. I’m here to share a story.

So I sat down one evening to write. The room was warm and cozy. On the table, my pen was scribbling the beginning of a story I’ve already written before. Soon enough, as it often happens, I fell asleep. And dreamed. In that dream, I heard a story. And the name of the story was: Confucius. Here it goes:

Once upon a time or, twice… I don’t remember, there was a lovely princess who lived locked in a tower, guarded by her stepmother, obviously… And high up there, higher than the highest clouds, there was a tini tiny window, that trapped a ray of sunshine into the small room where our princess lived. Now, what made her special, besides her beauty, was that her hair grew really fast and really long. Yet the stepmother was envious of her long hair. The old woman wanted herself to have the longest hair in the kingdom. So every day the stepmother would ask: “Mirror mirror on the wall, what’s the longest hair of all?“ And whenever the answer was her stepdaughter’s, she would go and cut down the girls’ hair. Day by day passed like that, until one day, actually, one night, when the stepmother died, suffocated in the length of her own hair, leaving our princess alone, locked in her room at the top of the tower.

She left her hair grow long, so very long,
To catch at least one lover, attracted to her song.
Who’d climb up to the window on her hair,
And save her from a life she couldn’t bear.

But who could know how long would take
For a brave prince a trip to make
To climb up to the window on her hair,
And save her from a live she couldn’t bear.

So she decided to sleep and wait,
And leave her hair fall down as bait.
She took some tea, fell down asleep
But didn’t plan to nap so deep.
And her pure song without a score
Turned to a loud and rhythmic snore.

And she slept, and slept, she slept the sleep of beauty, and dreamt the dreams of freedom. For hours, days, and years.

In the meanwhile, far, far away, in the country of Neverland there was born a child who refused to grow up. And because he didn’t want to grow up, he grew forward instead, his back curving as a hunchback. The princess had already slept for too long hidden in the tower when our guy turned into a handsome 25 year-old, well, save for his hunchback. He didn’t have any friends, so he was really surprised when at his birthday he received a bag from an unknown sender. Yet even more surprising than the bag itself was its content: an old rusty lamp, a Persian carpet, a pair of lady’s shoes, a shiny knight’s armor, and a brand new horse. Don’t ask me how the horse fit in the bag cos’ I have no idea.

He tries the shoes and they don’t match.
They’re lady’s shoes, yeah, that’s the catch.
He doesn’t know, o poor hunchback.
And puts them slowly in the sack.

Then takes the armor, puts it on,
And plans to leave before the dawn.

The horse is ready, breathing fire,
The guy says go, the horse: yes, sire!

They ride along, and chase the sky,
To Neverland, they say goodbye,
They ride along, with wind behind,
Through sunny days, one of a kind.
They ride through deserts, storms, and rain,
With sadness, fear, joy and pain.

Until one day, one of a kind,
Our mighty tower they do find.
They hear music from up there,
A clear theme that fills the air,
It’s not a song without a score,
but just a loud and rhythmic snore.

He sees her hair, it’s grown so long,
And tries to climb, he’s not so strong,
And then annoyed, for such an ending,
He tries a trick, rather mind-bending.

He takes the magic carpet, jumps on it,
And flies up there, and there… and there … and there… he sees … Her.

For a minute he freezes at the sight of her beauty. He wakes her up. it takes about 5 minutes for her to figure out what is going on because, we’ll she’s been asleep for years, even decades. She’s now much older than him, yet, having slept through most of it, she lived less than he did. Time freezes when beauty sleeps, so she still had the face of a child and the mind of a young princess.

He tries the shoes and they do match,
They’re lady shoes, yeah that’s the catch
Hmm … Cinderella … is that your name?”

I’ve seen the mirror on the wall,
Snow white, you’re honestly too tall.”

You slept so long,
I heard the song,
Hey Sleeping Beauty is that you?”

Your hair grew, down from the sky,
You are Rapunzel, oh … oh my!”

And then she looked at him bemused:

Those lady shoes were perfect fit, are you the Prince?
Came all the way from Neverland, you Peter Pan?
I see a Hunch sits on your Back, from Notre-Dame?
A flying carpet you have brought, you Aladdin?”

It’s so confusing, who are you?”

In that moment, the two looked at each other confused and answered, both at the same time … “I have … a very good memory. I can remember all the names … but I cannot tell … which one is mine…”

Suddenly the guy remembers that in his bag there was the magic lamp. He didn’t have any use for it yet. Now was the time! He rubs it 3 times, and then the grand spirit of the lamp comes out, filling the small room where they were. And then the guy and the girl looked up to the spirit of the lamp and said: “My dear genie… we have one wish, but one wish … we grew up … with sooo many stories. With so many wonderful people around us. We learned to speak as they spoke, to act as they acted, to think as they thought. We learned all their names, but … we forgot ours… My dear genie, what is my name?”

The spirit of the lamp looked down, smiling, to the two beautiful … and confused … people in front of him, and answered: “I live to fulfill other people’s wishes. I have a very good memory. I can remember all the names, but I cannot tell which one is mine. So how do you expect me to tell you what your name is? But one thing I can tell you: the best story that you can tell … the best story you can be … is not somebody else’s. It’s yours!”

It was morning … or evening, when I woke up from my dream… I don’t remember. I have a very good memory! I can remember all the names, but somehow, I couldn’t tell which one was mine. That day I remembered my name. And it wasn’t Confucius anymore.

There is one thing you can try. On a random day, at a random time, go to one of your friends and tell them, Congratulations! And unless they think you’re a bit random, and, off, all the time, they will come to you and ask: Congratulations, what for? Answer back: For everything! Congratulations for who you are, for what you represent! For your story, told, or untold. For your fights, and dreams! Congratulations … to every single one of you … for everything!

Song of a coin toss

Hanging on
the edge of a coin,
Lives a dwarf,
Waiting…
For it to flip,
Heads or tails.

On his left,
An old watch,
That counts only years,
And meters of beard.

When the needle points down,
The coin falls,
Without noise.

Waving mid-air,
A flapping beard,
Is singing a song,
That didn’t make it into a fairy tale.
Yet.

Flabber stew

And then … upon the bimble boe
A swinkin’ sankle throws a toe
The rabbot jams and rins the flack
A gon, a biddle, in the sack.

The angry one, the Jibble Joe,
The funny one, the Dapper Doe,
Zap down the zwig and watch the flare
And laugh and laugh not one to spare.

Thy digst the glab, they say: you flin!
You munchy plastbed on a spin!
How come the flabber flew for five,
The babber stew blee batter zive?

How could the grumpous franny crench
Fall down the hub of the new bench!
And fill the swamp that lie therein
With flabber babber stew between?

You’re cropling, swabling in the back,
Your face is pratling, down, and flack…
He stops, he thinks, the Jibble Joe,
He’s calm, he jokes, the Dapper Doe.

Those eyes once closed are kind and wet,
The shame is gone, and no more fret.
Twas’ loud and bloody … then it flew,
To fill the swamp with flabber stew.

And then … upon the bimble boe
A swinkin’ sankle throws a toe
The rabbot jams and rins the flack
A gon, a biddle, in the sack.

(inspired by the Jabberwocky, by Lewis Caroll)

Mirror

Was checking out the mirror,
That other day …
Or checking in,
It doesn’t matter …
For once you do it as I say
Things cannot get more slim
Nor fatter.

Was checking out the mirror every time,
And then turned back as guilty of a crime.
Felt proud to mark a smile on the list,
And leave with it suspended on my fist.

A piece of chalk,
Set off to talk.
Cascade of sand,
In the wrong hand.

And dry …
Like a hot summer’s sky.

They tell me: smile, with a cheese,
Like this: two muscles, just a squeeze,
But how do you make those eyes to light
For all who come by to stop at the sight.

And then, to the mirror, I turn my back.
The glass, calls for me, and I hear one crack.
I just want to look at the world all around,
The streets, and the markets, of people abound.

A smile on the run …
A child is now playing.
One toy, grab for fun!
Come old man, he’s saying.

He takes his car,
And rolls it on the sand.
I look bizarre,
He puts it in my hand.

Behind his smile, there grows a tiny tear,
I’m worried … What is wrong my dear?
His dad has died, was driving … boom and crash.
Left him to play … alone … in dust and trash.

He takes his car,
And rolls it on the sand.
I look bizarre,
He puts it in my hand.

He asks me: drive!
Stay safe, don’t crash!
And please arrive,
Bring hope in trash!

What? Me? Old man?

A piece of chalk,
Set off to talk.
Cascade of sand,
In the wrong hand.

And dry …
Like a hot summer’s sky.

It starts to rain,
I’m filled with pain.
The sun comes back,
I hear glass crack.
It leaves me with a crown,
A rainbow upside down.

And then it hit me, sudden, loud and strong,
The reason why his father crashed:
Was checking out the mirror for too long…

Was checking out the mirror, the other day,
No point in going there again,
For the best mirror that I have,
Is looking back at me.
And I would give the freedom of the skies,
To find myself reflected in your eyes.

Manifesto of independence from the weather

Beyond the green of grass,
a sea of gray …
the grim of grave
where lay his great grandfather.

Dressed like a groom,
his beard full grown,
a gray sign of time past.

The church clock beats midnight,
in Greenwhich time,
and sounds the gravest hour.

On top,
a lost sheep is grazing in the grass,
thinking in dreams of green.
The groom below,
the gray between,
the grave on top,
forgotten …

It’s green or gray,
groom or grandfather,
to grow, to grave,
the sheepless grass,
or grazing fast.