The Kingdom Poems. Starting Poem: The Beginning of Knowledge

Valantis ran like mad across the street;

His eyes got wet like a fountain stream.

He felt a vicious pain on the soles of his feet;

It seemed difficulties were crushing his dream.

 

The student raised his head and closed his eyes;

He didn’t listen to the footsteps of people passing by.

He opened them again, staring at the sky;

Thinking the question that came out from his mind.

 

Suddenly, a middle-aged man came outside,

the pouring rain was splashing the house roofs and some traffic cones

He grabbed the young man arm and took him inside,

offered him a cup of Guarapo of Malojillo with a plate of scones.

 

After a long while, the student saw that strange man,

he was staring at him while putting a book by his side.

“You’ve been searching knowledge in the wrong place” he began

“It’s time for me to teach you where it really resides

 

The student sat down on a chair that was next to him;

Valantis felt Maracay was its home by the very first time.

The teacher opened his mouth and began to speak,

the first of many parables that changed his life.

 

The Kingdom Poems

My first four poems Thank You, Thank You, Shipwrecked, Gran Sabana and The Colors of My Nation were pieces of pavement that led me to this saga of poetry books I am writing. The saga of poems is called The Kingdom Poems and they talk about parables that a teacher tells a depressed student he found in a street corner in the city of Maracay located in Aragua State, Venezuela.

From that moment, the parables (in form of poetry) begin to enter the student’s mind and, little by little, he starts to understand and comprehend a hodgepodge of stories that depicts the story of an unknown kingdom the student ignores.

What kingdom?

This is the question that the reader has to find out in these series of poems that will slowly reveal the I will publish this Monday.

 

Fourth Sidewest Short Story: An Incredible and Breathtaking Manor

We stood there thunderstruck.

Vinicio led us to the living room. The delicate smell of roses and Welsh daffodils was everywhere. We could observe with extreme detail the fabric of the beige velvet sofas and the Canadian oak furniture that were placed throughout the whole room. My friend wanted to sit down but I glared at her intently for a second. She rapidly obeyed and stood there quietly. I was very obsessed with the etiquette behavior and protocol manners that I couldn’t stand an embarrassment in front of the richest man of the whole Guárico state.

The Llanero landowner walked past us and guided us to what it seemed another huge room. I could spot a huge stainless steel industrial kitchen. When we got to the room I stopped at the very entrance completely stunned and speechless. The room was definitely the hugest kitchen I have ever seen in my entire life: there were huge windows at both sides of the room. The windowpanes were Italian made and the shutters were made of oak wood. Obviously, the oaks were Canadian. I know this because I am an interior designer and carpenter. The tiles were Indian and the fabric of the chair cushions were Egyptian. The lamp that hanged at the very center of the immaculate oak wood ceiling was precious: it was made of pure Swarovski crystal. The larder was so huge that occupied the whole south wall of the kitchen room. My friend opened it without permission and I had to bite my tongue to not scold her. There were lots of cans and boxes full of Venezuelan food: Ovomaltinas, Maizoritos, San Joaquin Panelitas, Savoy Chocolates, Flips, Dulce de Leche boxes, and other stuff. As a high class woman, this profession helped me maintaining my status and therefore gave me a chance to experience, enjoy and see the most beautiful places of the whole country.

I was beginning to wonder if this man was single. There was no wife or woman in that place to be seen. Since we entered the manor and saw the gigantic garden and walked upon the glass pathway that went straight to the entrance of the manor I didn’t see or spot his wife anywhere. That was weird but I supposed his wife was busy or perhaps at work. But nobody works on Sunday unless she had a huge business to attend. There was no maid in the kitchen at that moment and that made me feel a little odd. I have visited manors before and I have never seen one without maids. Rich people have maids doing the chores for them, aren’t they?

Vinicio made us seat down on the pine wood armchairs that were place around a big marble island and he, in a couple of minutes, placed a huge plate of Venezuelan grapes, bananas, Chilean apples and gig yellow mangoes from San Carlos, Cojedes State. Lilian took her fork at once and despite kicking her left ankle to let her know her lack of manners I couldn’t help watching her stuffing herself with a bunch of grapes. Whatever. I delicately took my fork and began peeling my mango slowly.

 

After finishing our succulent meal, we resumed our tour and Vinicio headed us to another huge room. We walked past the living room and turned left. We past a beautiful stone archway, walked through a wide corridor and I instantly saw two huge crystal rolling doors at the very end. Our guest slid them open and we instantly saw what it looked like a study room.  A gigantic three floor library caught my attention instantly. There were hundreds and hundreds of books at the four corners of the room. A huge pine table was placed at the very center and in the very center of the right wall there was an exquisite black marble chimney. There was firewood there which made me laugh since no one had a chimney in Guárico since it wasn’t the custom of the people here in Los Llanos area. I know this because I went to San Fernando de Apure, Calabozo, San Juan de Los Morros, Barinitas, Achaguas, Sabaneta, Barinas, and Valle de la Pascua and no mansion or house there ever needed a chimney like that to get warm.

I stood there motionless. This man was definitely single. I was beginning to conclude that due to the lack of house service. No maid, housekeeper or even a babysitter was present there. Babysitter! This man had no children! I could sense it! If he had no wife then not having children was a crystal clear answer. However, I didn’t believe for a second that this man lived here by himself. He was a man…I mean…he had needs. A rich man like him surely had at least rooms available for any female stranger he wanted to please. I mean…come on! He was not a monk.

After flicking through the pages of an interesting poetry book of Andres Bello, I grabbed Lilian’s left arm and continued walking this time to another corridor that led us to another archway. I could spot a pathway that definitely headed to a huge garden. When my eyes saw the splendid araguaney trees, mockingbirds and mamón trees I sighed heavily wondering how big that manor was.

We sat down in three rigid but precious pine wood stalls that were located on the very left of the garden. We drank lemonade and ate palmeritas with jalea de mango with great delight. I was having a wonderful time with my friend and I was beginning to make plans for another visit. This time, of course, I was going alone. I needed to dress in a certain way to impress this man and make him mine. If I had to act, I had to do it quickly.

After what it seemed hours, my future husband stood up and guided us to a stony pathway that lay before us on our right. Vinicio opened a small fence door and led us to the widest stable I have ever put my eyes upon: there were approximately fifteen horses that stared at us boringly. He helped us choosing our horses and we rapidly began riding forward to a huge space of land. I didn’t ride with him because I didn’t want to look like a cheap woman in front of Lilian. She shouldn’t know anything about my plan. Nothing.

I was an expert at riding horses and very soon I left them behind. It took me some minutes to realize I was far from them. I scolded myself for being adventurous and bad mannered. I turned round and began my way back marveling at the huge place: I enjoyed watching the high araguaney trees, the majestic samanes, the tiny but smart squirrels that wandered around, the small lake on my left and a very skinny girl running like mad with a huge chicken on her left hand…

I stared at her at once. She was definitely scared…she ran like a torpedo and her hands were burning. I could sense she was bearing the pain since she was barely holding the chicken…The girl began weeping slowly but she continued…

I rapidly whipped my horse and I began to ride towards her. The horse was fast but I was amazed by the incredible velocity of the little girl. However, I couldn’t catch her as I wanted since she got into a hole that was hidden behind a huge barn that stood proudly on a hill.

I decided to stop my horse and rapidly got down, tied the animal to the nearest tree I found and began walking towards the hill. The huge doors of the barn were locked up but when I went round it I saw the hole. It was wide open.

I felt the urgency to go away but something inside of me made me want to enter…I didn’t want to bother Julie and I needed to have a word with Vinicio about a tiny dirty girl stealing food in his own property…

I got inside and took me a while to finally find the entrance…there was an iron ladder placed there…I descended…

I stood there thunderstruck.

The stinking and disgusting smell of urine and vomit was everywhere. I could observe with extreme detail the damaged and destroyed fabric of a blue velvet sofa and a huge barrel full of spit alongside it. There were more than fifteen women there including the housekeeper, the maid, the babysitter, and his wife. All of them were dirty, pale, skinny and weak. Some of them were eating what it looked like a rancid piece of bread and a stinky and stick piece of white cheese. Ants and some worms were walking upon the feet of some women. His wife looked at me and shrugged boringly. The other women whispered to each other and continued working.

-¡Ah! ¡The second one this year! ¡Sorry for my daughter! ¡She haven’t eaten in a week! ¡You better hurry up! ¡He must be cooking an nice omelet for you!- said the woman who was his wife grabbing an axe -¡Hurry up and get to the study room now foolish girl! ¡You will get warm in a minute!-

I just turned round and rapidly got up the ladder. I was weeping angrily. I just wanted to take Lilian and get out of that manor.

And I knew the reason why he had a chimney.

The Colors of My Nation

Don’t judge me by my voice tune

Cause the colors of my nation

Are found in every deed I pursue

You won’t find patriotic inspiration

In the language I speak

Cause the colors of my nation

Are found in a heart that’s meek

 

Listen to me and please try to understand

Deeds speak louder than empty words

When I help beggars and blind people stand

This is not about race or political background

Deeds yell louder than public discourses

Every time I lift a needy child from the ground

 

Don’t judge me by my hair and shape

Cause the colors of my nation

Are found in every poor child I save

You won’t find comprehension

By the clothes I wear everyday

Cause the colors of my nation

Are found in the things I do today

 

Open your eyes and please try to realize

Deeds speak louder than empty promises

When I give children a reason to be alive

This is not about denominations and religion

Deeds yell louder than hypocrite sermons

Every time I wake up to fulfill my mission

 

 

Sidewest Third Short Story: The Mother’s Monument

 

She instantly felt loved by the first time.

He stared at her with great detail. Alania felt she was being scanned but she did not care. Since she sat down with him in front of a blue fountain her whole life seemed to be changing. She just had deceptions after deceptions in her hometown and doubted she would find the man she wanted in Coro. However, a business group from a distant country came visiting the state of Falcón and made their stay in the capital for six weeks. That is what Cadmon told her while they were talking happily that late evening.

The Mother’s Monument, a place she used to go when she was a teenager, was the perfect spot for that sudden date. Many people from Coro usually came there to spend the day of part of the evening before going home to sleep or drink. Mothers brought their children to play and the famous desert hidden in an entrance in Médanos National Park was the perfect invitation of a wild adventure if she ended up marrying him. Yes. She would marry him without a doubt!

However, my friend had a problem. She wanted a man to give her the life she desired. She hated her life and wanted to experience a different environment. I told her not to drop school but she did because her abusive brat boyfriend told her to. After experiencing lots of injuries and physical abuse, she managed to run away from the shanty she was living in with just her comb and a towel. The police did the rest; they seized him and finally locked him up in prison for a long time.

She was free but there she was again. She seemed not to learn the lesson. She was enamored of a man she barely knew. She had the illusion of getting married since she was a child. Her father met her mother in this same place, in front of that fountain and promised her eternal love. However, her mother was treated like an animal and the childhood of my friend was a living hell. Her father died when she was ten years old due to a heart attack and her mother was there happy and free. They began to live their life alone but very soon they were quarreling. Alania couldn’t stand it anymore and she departed home leaving her mother alone. From that moment, she began her messy life, trying to hook men after men until I met her. She went to my church and I began to advise her. We spent some marvelous seven years so far seeking the Lord.

The foreign man took her hand and look at her with vivid eyes. Alania giggled and she began to tell him the very same thing she told others. When we were in church, my friend began changing her pursuit of lazy and problematic men to church men. She began changing her values and behavior but not her obsession. She began pursuing men after men in different congregations but she got no answer from them. Most of them were interested in another kind of woman and she was not the one. She tried to show them she was worthy of love but they wouldn’t budge in their decision. After a couple of years, angry and tired of weeping and getting depressed for unrequited love she left the church one day and began dating an abusive man. And I say dating because it was the first time she was holding hands with someone. However, the things I told you before happened and she was alone again.

Until she saw these group of people two days ago in front of a local eatery in Independencia Avenue and she began to follow them. She met Mr. Cadmon in that tiny restaurant and they began a good friendship. However, I noticed something different that night I went with her: He seemed to be genuinely interested in her. I could see that my friend was being cherished by the first time.

However, her obsession got too far and these two days they were practically talking and talking. Not only she held hands with him but he even kissed her. Yes. And I could see my friend was happy but for me kissing a woman in the very first days of dating was a red flag for me. However, he seemed to be educated, polite and very handsome but the kissing part was the thing that irritated me.

Alania began asking him the usual petition: if he was willing to marry her and take her with him. Just like that. Surprisingly, and with a huge shock, the man agreed and even proposed to her in that very hour in front of the Mother’s Monument. She accepted and then they kissed passionately that evening. He told her he was going to deal with the arrangements of a possible wedding here in Coro and even told her he was going to marry her in the middle of the Médanos desert!

“Magda! He said yes!”  she told me after he left.

“Wow!”  I responded knowing her illusion was not a dream. The man was serious.

We got home very late and she slept in the couch of my house. After leaving her mother she ended up living with me and she helped me with the chores and housing stuff. It was a relief for me in many ways. She was happy, happy because she was promised a ring, a marriage and a new home out of the country. I felt jealous of her by the first time.

Three weeks passed by. She was living her life as usual but this time with a huge smile and a pack of illusions running through her head. I couldn’t keep up with her blissful happiness. Two days later, she got to my room saying she was bored and asked me if she could accompany me in that moment. I instantly agreed.

Before I knew it, she sat down next to me and began watching soap operas with me in the small living room of my place. After an hour or so, her phone buzzed. She pulled it out and she stared at her phone for a while. She was puzzled. After a while, she slowly handed her phone to me.

She told me to help her solve a riddle Cadmon sent her. She grinned at me. For two weeks I had to answer a couple of ridiculous riddles her boyfriend sent her just to have fun. What a way to keep her adrenaline up! And today was not the exception.  I put on my glasses, took her phone and began reading what looked like a very short riddle. I read it. At the beginning, I was racking my brains but after a while a nagging feeling reached my gut. The same internal feeling I had during these weeks was confirmed right now. The message was short and clear. It said the following:

Dear Alania. How are you darling? As always, I am sending you another riddle. Hope you can guess it this time! Here it goes: I am seated inside a swallow, watching the clouds and the mountains. I can spot from here the Mother’s Monument from above. This swallow is black, with beautiful silver wings and a nice red peak. The only difference is her body. It is hard and shines over the clouds. I see people like me within it with their heads watching the beautiful fountain. This swallow seems to fly away and I decided to follow her. Turning back is not part of her nature and I can’t fight that. We’re heading North. Up North.

I began to swallow the scone I was eating. My face turned pale.

“Magda. What do you think? Do you have the answer? How can you be seated inside a bird?”  Alania asked me cheeringly. I knew this was the perfect chance to take her with me to the church tomorrow. This was the opportunity for me to introduce her to my best friends. They are counselors.

Of course I knew the answer. It was so clear that it made me feel angry. A boiling anger was rising inside of me like fire. The riddle was very easy, in fact. How could she not grasp it? The answer was hidden there but it was clear and definitive.

Cadmon was inside a plane.

 

Gran Sabana

Your green body is being touched gently

By the feet of your family and loved crew

You take your time relaxing silently

While thousands of tickles fall on you like dew

 

Your family is heading to a great waterfall

Some lukewarm drops soak your short hair

Their footprints tattooed your horizontal green wall

They are following the sound of the air

 

Joyful and cheerful children of the South

Bump your wide chest with delicate pleasure

You want to speak but have no mouth

To tell them to continue their long venture

 

Suddenly, your chest is being pressed hard

Some strange feet are injuring your hairy forehead

Foreign feet devoid of flesh grip your earthly heart

The horrid pain goes directly to your bushy head

 

Soon mortal wounds stab you deep and wide

You have never experienced such rage before

This time your family is not by your side

You just can’t stand this harassment anymore

 

Suddenly some familiar drops bathe you softly

The sensation of wetness makes you feel old

But the texture is thick and it covers you slowly

Getting you warm and chasing away the cold

 

Sidewest Second Short Story: The Road to Nowhere

The man sat down and pressed play. Almost immediately, a voice came out.

Documental for the Police: beginning of recording number one. 

She is still driving.

I feel a tremendous pain in my arm the moment I woke up. I instantly realized we hadn’t arrived to Puerto La Cruz yet. Seeing the pavement makes me feel uneasy. ..We have been travelling for almost eight hours and impatience is getting the best of me but I felt relieved…so relieved that everything is ending well for her…

I am sure Gallum understood it. She wasn’t a doll to be used as a toy. She had dignity. I let him know that before I took my daughter out of that house. All I saw there were three things: beer, wine and bad acquaintances wandering around Sheilla. I had to find the way to get in and sort things out with Gallum. I told him my daughter had to go because she had an interview with the dean of Los Andes University in Mérida tomorrow evening.

It is all a lie, of course. I could not let him touch her by any means. I was his guardian and I could not perceive the idea of a drug addict like him touching Sheilla as if she belonged to him. My job was to protect her at all costs. Against all odds, I saved her from the lion’s mouth.  

And so we are beginning our way back to Puerto La Cruz. I was going to drive home, as usual, but Sheilla refused to be seated. She wanted to take the steering wheel and take the lead. I disagreed since she just got her license and she needed to be prepared but her temper tantrum won against my reasoning and I had no remedy than letting her drive my car.

Ha! She is nodding! She knows it’s true! Don´t be so sad! We are safe now! Don’t worry milady! I am recording this so I need to speak as if you are part of the story! Well…you get it!

Well, I continue…I spoke to her about the argument I had with Gallum. She was quiet and told me she understood my reasons. Honestly, I never expected her to support me that way. She explained to me that Gallum put cocaine in her beer and took her to his room. She then told me, with extreme detail, how Gallum raped her before I showed up. She was weeping while she told me that before we left that wretched house and I felt a hot fury within me…in less than a minute we started quarreling. I told her she was a naïve fool and she admitted it. She assured me she didn’t want to see him anymore. And I felt that was a done deal. I hope so.

Oh! I think I am going to stop recording! Sheilla wants to go to the bathroom! Great. We are pulling off here in the middle of the road. Whatever.  She is getting off the car. I will stop the recording…

Interrupted recording on progress…one…two…three…¡At last! Finally, after almost an hour seated here, she gets into the car. She says she feels better but I don’t think so. Anyway. I think she’s sick but I won’t start another argument with her. So, let’s continue.  

Wow…the road is beautiful. Wow! Sheilla is singing a song. I will shut my mouth…listen:

The air was calm…almost quiet like a mute whirlwind. And then I saw it: a scary roach was advancing through a rusty pipe in the middle of the dirty garden…I then felt a tremendous feeling within me that something uneasy was about to happen that noon. And I promise I have never felt so sure about it.

I am beginning to feel shivers down my spine. Wow. I think she must be a singer. Ha! She is laughing! At last! She is beginning to smile!

I think I am going to sleep. I am pretty worn out. My Gasshony says she has the control. Great! Well, I am going to sleep so I need to stop recording for now. I will continue later on. Goodbye! 

End of the recording number one. 

Dossier for the Police: Beginning of the recording number two. Ah! I forgot to mention it! My name is Harry Gasshony. 

She is still driving. 

I can’t believe it. We haven’t arrived to Puerto La Cruz yet. This is unbelievable!  

I am going to say something to Sheilla. Wait a second…

Wait a moment…if she’s joking again I swear I…What a brat little girl! She cannot do this to me. I hate when she teases me like that. She is expert at making me suffer.  ¿But why the car is still moving? What kind of joke is this? 

Oh my…her chest. Why is it not moving? Her heart is not…

NOOOO! SHEILLA! WAKE UP! WAKE UP! SHEILLA! YOU CAN’T DO THIS TO ME! TAKE OFF YOUR FOOT FROM THE THROTTLE! HOW DO I TURN THIS OFF? WHERE ARE THE BRAKES? SHEILLA! NO! NO! YOU CAN`T BE DEAD! YOU CAN´T! CAN SOMEBODY HELP ME? ¡HEEEELP! NOOOO! THE DOORS ARE LOCKED! WHERE ARE THE KEYS? WHAT IS THAT? ¡OH MY…! SHEILLA! WE’RE GOING DIRECTLY TO THE SEA…! SHEILLA! THE FENC…! NOOOOO!

The detective got up and pressed stop. He handed the recording machine to one of his officials. Then, the detective stared at the man called Gallum for a long minute. Then he showed him a water bottle. They found it in a bathroom in the middle of a deserted road. The same water bottle Sheilla drank when she went to the bathroom. The record was the confirmation. The DNA info confirmed this with her fingerprints.

Apart from that, the man was a rapist. They didn’t know that. The drug dealer and expert poisoning man knew jail was going to be his permanent home from now on.