Asunción, Paraguay. The Silence

by John Anthony Fingleton

I’ve never seen such silence,

Not a beggar child, or vendor is in sight,

Normally this thoroughfare is bustling –

But the Cruz del Chaco, this morning,

It is as silent as the grave –

Just as if flock of frightened birds, have taken flight.

The Lido Bar is all shuttered up,

Which in itself is a sight to see,

Normally it is open twenty-four hours a day.

And across the road at the Pantheon,

The sentries have disappeared-

The heroes must be lying in there confused and disarrayed.

Beyond the statue of the prancing lion-

Lies Juan O’Leary Park,

Before scene of some different fiesta everyday.

At night the place of homeless men,

Sleeping on the grass –

Right now the famous ’python’ tree, even seems afraid to sway.

Of course, I haven’t watched all this first hand –

But I’ve seen it on the daily news reports-

You need a great excuse to travel into town.

A little like John O’sullivan’s snaps,

Of what is happening back in Cork,

Two things they have in common – no one is around.

John Anthony Fingleton was born in Cork City, in the Republic of Ireland and lives in Paraguay South America. His poems have been published in journals and anthologies in Ireland, UK, USA, India, and France, including in Spillwords, Alien Bhudda, The Red Door, Piker Press,Super Poetry Highway, The Writers Magazine, and Ariel Chart. He has had three plays produced and was Poet of the Year (2016) for the Destiny Poets International Community. He has read his poems on Irish and American radio as well in Spanish on South American broadcasts. He has also contributed to four books of poetry for children. Bill Mazza is a visual artist using chance, duration, and accumulation to reinterpret landscape as a relationship of people to their mediated environments, through painting, performance, and community-building collaborations.

One thought on “Asunción, Paraguay. The Silence

  1. Poets are so used to observing what is there, as opposed to what isn’t. This poem expresses the presence of absence, a very particular state, extremely well. Thank you.


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