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#QuemPensa é Spiralist: “Canelas”

#QuemPensa é Spiralist: “Canelas”

How much more innocence can a town lose?


An insular parish

“Land of the Witches”

A cesspool of proliferating tribalism

And copious amounts of quarreling

In satellite transmissions, awareness strengthens

It’s true face cemented in public consciousness

Which I’ve seen, first hand, for twenty-two years

And I’ll disclose in disgust and fascination:

 

From north to south, a single two-lane road

Splits the woods on the left from the industry on the right

The former, a swell place to hang

At the end of a day’s work at the latter

 

The woods encompass much of the area

Mysterious, frightening, stranding

Hidden trails and secrets abound for the daring

And so do the quarry, the murderous lake and the filth

For it’s seen more than its fair share of tragedy

Innocent children gone unspared

And in the night, rumors of the sorceresses

Still loom over the townsfolk’s heads

 

The industry stands silver and noisy and imponent

Employing family men and fresh meat alike

There’s metal and wood, there’s clay and printing

There are hands shedding skin like snakes

City-famous restaurants engender colossal stunners

Of melting cheese and spicy beer sauce from wooden ovens

And somewhere, camouflaged and secretive

One of Europe’s best music studios is harbored

 

In the northern edge, a white arch stands

A monument of tribute to the “Pinetree School”

Demolished in 2004, making way for a highway

Though no new schools were built in return at once

Built on concrete, wooden floors and doors

Four trees served as goalposts in the playground

And forbearing teachers of ancient devotion

Found their way through to the most difficult children

          (I should know)

 

Farther down south, a chapel serves as

A transitory resting place for the recently deceased

With tiny masses on special occasions

And loud yearly celebrations too

 

Poets are also celebrated in stone

For they once graced the town with their genius

And momentarily resided on its grounds
          (though I’d imagine not for long…)

 

Two health centers face one another nearby

Gazing into each other like lovers in a hospice

Rare havens of sobriety and rationale

To relieve the kookies from bodily harms

The main center tends to these ailments

And puts their worries at ease

While the smaller center stores and analyses samples

Of blood and urine from the disquieting breed

 

There used to be a church-owned music academy

Home to dozens of children and a slew of teachers

Pladur rooms with egg boxes on the ceilings

And Jesus staring from paintings in many rooms

Smoke-exhaling, old-guard and zen-levels-of-patience teachers

Middle-C-hammering five-year-olds, instrumental soliloquists

And the fastidiously overlong rounds of performances

At the end of every trimester, for all parents to drool

Then in 2006, for reasons undisclosed publicly

(after negotiations and opposite promises to wary families)

The then-priest heard the voice of the Lord

Telling him to permanently close the institution down

The day of the decision marked

By the collective weeping of tutors and pupils alike

Only the promise of the end assured

          It never reopened. The priest left soon.

 

The academy’s performance hall was kept intact

Unharmed by idle hands

Double-floored, creaking wooden seats

Dim Michael Angelo lamps

Fado now echoes in concert every weekend

Through the poor acoustic and crowd gibberish

          I’ve fantasized about it’s potential for long

          But no one else seems to.

 

The School complex resembles a state prison

Where the meek are to be feasted upon by the inmates

Twelve grades interconnected

To accommodate for the unadventurous’ sloth

All the green has been taken up by the grey

The tall trees replaced by concrete buildings

And the bullies patrol the school borders

Onslaughts of blustery ensue from the domestically neglected

 

In summer, the children disappear
And surrounding candy heavens struggle
To make it through until September
And liquidate their inflating debts

 

South, the millennial House of Culture

Remodeled through the centuries by counts

Home to archeology, anthropology, history and heritage

Remains desolate and vacant of curious eyes

 

The townsfolk’s faith flows through three rivers

Catholics, Adventists and Jehovah’s Witnesses battle for souls:

The Jehovah’s sweet-talk their neighbors into it

Slipping their newspapers inside their mail boxes

The Adventists put their lives on hold

Every Friday and Saturday, to worship their lord

But alas, leave it to the Catholics

To be the least Christian clique of the bunch

Twisting the gospels around for self-serving agendas

Badmouthing every sibling at the turn of their backs

Heading to mass for the weekly fashion round-up

And confessing their sins for a hell-free card

 

Years ago, high-ranking bishops of old

Gave the parish’s priest the axe

A man much beloved by the townsmen

And, most interestingly, their wives

In they brought the stern-looking man

Who professed fearing nothing and no one

The tone, the beard, the greasy hair, the round figure…

          Not quite the same sex appeal.

The community conglomerated into a militia

Upping the ante impatiently at the church’s steps

From vigils and loud Sunday booing

To sealing the gates to the Holy house

The final assault, bruises, police escorts

Flashing lights toward the crusade

While clamoring for the heartthrob’s Second Coming

What else is as historically catholic as waging war?

 

But war is also waged on fields of grass

Now that Fado and Fátima are covered, Football remains

And when the local club resurfaced in 2010

The town’s youth was at the mission’s heart

But soon, brute hooligans wreaked havoc

Leading the adult championship through fear culture

Life threats and kamikaze somersaults

And no opponents dare opposing them

“The World’s Most Dangerous Football Team”

So they are labeled internationally

Which much appeases the Homo Erectus gang

Like pigs wallowing in mud

 

How much more innocence can a town lose?

How much more goodwill can a town corrupt?

 

Yet they claim the outside world does not look close enough

That it holds a distorted view of the town’s true face

Well, after twenty-two years of experience, I can tell you:

         It doesn’t.

 

PAUTA – Maria Fialho Godinho