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Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Poem For Anniversary of Leon Trotsky's Murder

                                         You Are The Old Man In The Blue House
                                             after Bertrand M Patenaude

                                         Making impossible promises to yourself.
                                         Outdoors the cactus, the wolves.
                                         The hour of nowhere else to go.
                                         It’s a decade since the new god stamped
                                         your passport ‘invalid’.

                                        Your fifty-ninth birthday is candied plums
                                        and two small orchestras.
                                        Out there your friends welcome
                                        bullets in the back of the head.

                                       An August storm batters the porch
                                       with the Chief Prosecutor’s words:
                                       Down with the vulture, these miserable hybrids
                                       of foxes and pigs!

                                       In your hand
                                       the pistol with not enough ammunition.
                                       You wait for you know not who
                                       to hug your skull and whisper.
                                       “Everything is finished”;

                                       indulge in just one more
                                       promise that won’t come true over
                                       the candied plums and two small orchestras
                                       in the hour of nowhere else to go.

                                       KEVIN HIGGINS 

The poem has also been translated into Spanish and the translation published in the online Mexican literary magazine Cuadrivio

Today is the 74th anniversary of the murder in Mexico City, by an agent of Soviet Military Intelligence, of the exiled co-organiser of the Russian Revolution.

Above is a poem I wrote a few years ago about Trotsky's last years. He wrote extensively about literary and artistic matters, co-authoring (with André Breton & Diego Rivera) a 'Manifesto For an Independent Revolutionary Art'.The poem originally appeared in The Galway Advertiser in 2009.