by Déwé Gorodé




Overwhelming heat

melts the scent of the laurel roses

near the high walls

under the tall mango tree

losing its young tasteless fruit

burns the many coloured petals

of the frail petunias

that lie dying on the sand

of the exercise yard


In this sun

the earth all around

is empty of water


Only the endless wave-song

beyond the barb-wire

is a lullaby that rocks our enclosed and watchful sleep


is a confession

of a journey via Valparaiso

beneath the huge white mushroom cloud

infecting the sky over Mururoa


a scream

deafening cry

echoing the cries of Santiago’s tortured


an entreaty

words of combat

echoing the words of Pablo Neruda Victor Jara [1]

Salvador Allende

and his last remaining companeros


carrying us forward

in dignity

stronger and more serene

more timeless than that of the ageless majestic

stone guardians of Rapanui [2]


Camp-Est prison, November 1974


[1]. Victor Jara: Chilian musician

[2]. Rapanui: Easter Island


(reprint from the book Déwé Gorodé, Sharing as Customs Provide, translated from French and edited by Raylene Ramsay and Deborah Walker, Pandanus Books, The Australian National University, 2004, pp.43-44)



Image credit: Lisa Radford and Yhonnie Scarce, Fish Farm Okuba Looking to Ocean, 2019.