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Monday, 18 July 2011

We will all meet as one, when the word can eventually overpower the gun

Why is it that I only hear
About the great men amongst us
upon the day
of their slaughter.

Beings who actually
Seemed to understand what it meant
To be
God damned human.

To talk about them
In the past tense
Is pain enough
I don’t need metaphor.

I am angry today
Because murder has stolen
From our mist another
Diamond soul.

Our world seems to spin
On an axis of pain

Some, try to see further
Than the circumference
beyond the difference
of our scattered ways

why are they repeatedly stolen from the world

add another name to list

Facundo Cabral
Juliano Mer Khamis
John Lennon
Martin Luther King

A list that seems to stretch back
to the beginning
of time
a list that reaches out towards tomorrow
As if death needs the angels for his own arsenal

The streets of Argentina tear
For the troubadour who
Sang for the soul
and is now
abruptly still.

The tongue can be silenced
But the song can not
Be murdered.

Today I also feel as if
I’m not from here of there
Or from anywhere.

© Joshua Baumgarten

Final farewell for Argentine folk singer Cabral
Joshua Baumgarten is an ex-pat New Yorker living in Holland. He organises the Irrational Library evenings - nights of poetry, rock n roll and casual chaos, and performs as a Standup Spoken Word artist.
He says: "Sometimes it is hard to get ones head around the large scale and it is only when it is broken down to the one, the individual do we or at least I feel pulsed. So was it when I heard about the murder of Facundo Cabral. Someone I had never heard of before, but after researching the life of the man and listening the songs and the laughter and cheer from the audience, I realized once again the world has devoured another..."saintly" soul. With no religious overtones."


  1. I hadn’t heard of Facundo Cabral, either. Thanks for bringing him to my attention, Joshua.

    For anyone interested, I found an atmospheric performance of Cabral’s ‘I’m not here nor there’ on youtube at:

    (starting in ernest around 4 minutes into the clip).

    What I found particularly senseless about Cabral’s murder is that, unlike Gandhi, King, Lennon and Mer-Khamis, this ‘diamond soul’ doesn’t even seem to have been the intended victim. An added twist to the inanity of it that left me wondering how to react. Is this similar to the feeling expressed in the last stanza of the poem, I wonder?

  2. Federico Garcia Lorca. When peace is heard above the melodrama of hate we shall have won. Until then I keep my guns loaded - not to protect me from the lovers of peace but from the idolators of hate.

  3. Thanks Joshua,

    Enjoyed your piece and your sensitive commentary that reaches us all.

    Susan Adams

  4. Thank you all for your comments and feedback. the last lines from the poem, play upon Cabral's famous song, I am not from here or there. His pointless murder left me with the feeling of wtf, why? it still does.

  5. I so appreciate your Sunday Review, for it allows me a "second chance" to catch up on what I missed during the week. This is a beautiful poem, and with added poignancy today, with Winehouse's death. As some of you have no doubt seen, Fran, over at Being Me, has written an affecting sonnet about that, by the way.