by Luís Filipe Silva
Translation and introductory note by Rex Nielson
Luís Filipe Silva (1969-), is a Portuguese writer, editor, and translator known primarily for his contributions to Portuguese SF. He has authored novels, including A GalxMente, initially published in two volumes: “Cidade da Carne” and “Vinganças” (LeYa-Caminho, 1993), along with numerous articles and short stories. Most recently, he co-authored with João Barreiros the award-winning novel Terrarium (Saída de Emergência, 2016). He has organized and edited several collections of Portuguese science fiction, including Vaporpunk—Relatos Steampunk Publicados sob as Ordens de Suas Majestades (with Gerson Lodi-Ribeiro) and Os Anos de Ouro da Pulp Fiction Portuguesa (with Luís Corte Real). His collection of stories and poems O Futuro à Janela was published in 1991 and was awarded the Prémio Caminho de Ficção Científica. The poem “Winged Spirit” occupies the final entry in Silva’s volume O Futuro à Janela.
for ever and the earth
… of wandering for ever and the earth … Who owns the earth? Did we want the earth that we should wander on it? Did we need the earth that we were never still upon it? Whoever needs the earth shall have the earth: he shall be still upon it, he shall rest within a little place, he shall dwell in one small room for ever.
two-thousand years fall on me
final test for the development of all societies
such a brief moment, such an important moment
the motors roar on my back
spitting tempests of H2-O2 liquids
I mount the thunder of the skies
with steps that are not mine
I cross over the barrier
I bear a child in my womb
it’s called Humanity
and I am its dream
“…the confirmation reaches us in this precise moment: the transporter has entered unscathed into the circumterrestrial orbit. The astronavigators inform us that in half an hour we will be in contact with the Kuan-yin to disembark the final shipment of colonists and matrices, and may leave in…”
They reduced me to the size of a chip
my soul between confined walls;
I left my daughter, abandoned,
on the earth. Daughter
of a poor mother and an unknown father,
at birth, they left me to fate: two children, kitchen and husband.
But my dreams were different, and they took me
to a distant horizon, so beloved.
New life, another beginning, said the ad
I believed: I allowed myself to be cryogenically frozen
Don’t criticize me, I just wanted happiness
I hope to find it on this side
We keep the ship in order
during the eternal flight in this sea;
we are thousands, but courage is required
during the years of travel,
since we will die on arrival.
I am the pilot of this Hyperjumper
I abandoned humanity in exchange
for contemplating the life of the stars
with eyes of a worshipper
I have no body, but I am more than a matrix;
I have no soul, but I am more than human.
Why did I choose? I don’t know
but I cannot go back.
I fly cryogenically frozen matrices and robots
to their assigned destiny
but I am also condemned.
two thousand years
is a heartbeat
in the heart of eternity
I laugh at days, at moments;
the journey ended.
in his berth, the great watchman can sleep.
that the little swallow has found its nest.
There is no goal We run and we run
and we run and we have no place
to stop On the planet we disembark
and soon find ourselves displaced A
Sun that died with the haste of dying
A grandchild-planet angry at living
alone We flee A thousand-year break is
a short time to rest
And so we progress
and now that we have power
our desire to live
our power to win is ours
our enemy has a name
that fills the empty space
that paints black the white of the stars
that erases the movements of the comets
and reduces the will of atoms;
that dulls the celestial fire
that destabilizes the electrical current
that gives hunger to those who thirst
and cold to those who hunger.
our enemy has a name
and the name is
we are One now
united under suns that have gone out
human robots, peran and sembidian llamas
and all the other Intelligences.
we all made the journey
and during the journey we became
the cry of glory courses through us
the stream of communication
the delicacy of comprehension
behold our history
behold our victory
To the dying Universe
AND the atoms
AND the photons
AND the laws
AND the void
Bang once more!
We vanquish entropy.
In the final song of stars