This project was initiated by writer and filmmaker Paul Lobo Portugés, as a donation to the organization Haiti Soleil, to save a demolished non-profit library in Port au Prince, building literacy amongst Haiti’s impoverished children who’ve suffered from the earthquake. The poster is a collaboration between photographer Dave Craige (picture of the child), Paul Lobo Portugés (poem) and me (artwork).
Mixed media: pencil drawing, photo (child, textures), photomanipulation and digital drawing
Stones from Heaven by Paul Lobo Portugés
“What crime what sin had those young hearts conceived
That lie bleeding torn on a mother’s breast…
The human race demands a word from God.”—Voltaire, ” Poem on the Lisbon Earthquake” (1775)
the flesh of the city blends its blood with the dust of earth’s grave
the devil quake broke the bones of their beds with its terrorist bomb
they could see the day light of death in the beaten air
feel it in their prayerful souls as the some time glad day sun fell
into forever’s darkness and all the all reeked with the ashes of fear
where is the loving God of married hallelujahs?
all the poor man’s houses falling falling “amid the deepening gloom”
into a tomb for sons of promise and green daughters
their pleasure and pain drowned in a ghost of tears
lost like raindrops on the grey face of the bottomless ocean
vanished like the passing shadows of stories in the imagination of clouds
why oh darkened God of stones God of the Word God of Heaven?
in the once bright light of a schoolyard’s promise silence now bleeds
where young eyes yesterday shouted from their books a belief in tomorrows
now the living dead carry their bodies with loving worms
on the gallows of their bent backs wander the veins of the beaten streets
chanting horror’s verbs black angels mourning the flesh of graves
where is the open hands of God the prodigal Father?
they lie down forever in the weather of their sorrow with the innocent dead
weep for the seed of their breathless children in the blood lit city of gospel sorrow
no glad to be home families no wined friends with hope’s holiday songs
no loving child’s prayers or whispered shut eye no sweet good nights
no these good soldiers of Jesus’ hosannas are the inspired blind no more
to the womb of endless night no to the forsaken God of their brambled loins
NOTE: If you are located in California (CA), don’t miss “A poetry reading for Haiti Soleil“, Sunday, April 18, 2010, at 7 p.m. in Hieronymus Lounge, Westmont College, Santa Barbara. The reading will include readings by Paul Lobo Portugés, as well as Chryss Yost, Sojourner Kinkade Rolle, Galicia and Starkey, Alice M. Scharper, Perie Longo and Barry Spacks. A suggested donation of $5 or more will raise funds for Haiti Soleil.