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Sunday, February 28, 2010


by Richard Ilnicki

Pablo Neruda once said,
“I explain a few things.”
Who wouldn't sit at his feet
and hang on every word
and swallow his explanations?
This man, this revered poet,
this king of clay to the world
threaded filaments of gold into his poetry
to make rich men out of poor men
and queens out of female peasants.
His verse, more fecund than the good earth,
poured life-bearing fruit into our hungry hearts.
He could remove the ache better than a doctor.

Pablo Neruda's most excellent Chilean voice
would bring stars down for us to touch,
reverse the trajectory of planets,
calm a raging sea,
control thunder and lightning,
bring down dictators!
bloom flowers, dry eyes, plant hope,
and so many other marvelous things,
but this one thing he would not do;
he would not cause an earthquake
because he loved to laugh and to hear laughter.
Remember when he said,
“Deprive me of bread, if you want,
deprive me of air, but
don't deprive me of your laughter.”

There are some things
even the great Pablo Neruda can not explain.

Richard Ilnicki is husband, father, grandfather, health club manager/personal trainer whose best friend, besides his wife, is his dog Jimmy.