Note: The "Italian smiling diplomat in China" was Daniele Varè, 1880-1956, who wrote novels from China as well as the autobiography "Laughing Diplomat", published 1938.


When my father gradually was getting old
his highest wish and main desire was to sleep,
to thus escape his nightmares
of reality that ever was unfair to him.

After my pension, also my desires have got lost,
while longing for to sleep and to sleep well
has come as dominating wishful thinking,
which did never quite show up successfully,
not only interrupted by the constant urge
uncompromisingly of nature to throw water,
but for worries, sorrows and regrets
that never ceased in constancy,
but rather, on the contrary, grew worse.

Let's not enter into woeful details.
Today's news brought the notification of a double loss
of two friends simultaneously since many years
with the announcement of two quiet funerals
in silence without celebrations;
and the tendency is the multiplication of such losses,
a poor comfort being that they will ebb out with time;
and constantly more funerals will just pass by,
impossible to memorize, attend or cry your heart out for,
since too much crying will run out of water.

Let's return to my old man, who although struck by difficult disasters
never did complain but always kept his sense of humour,
his most dominating and long lasting personal characteristic,
which he learned from an Italian smiling diplomat in China,
who came through the storms and traumas of the 30s with a smile.
He knew in good time when his time was coming,
he had warnings in advance and was more than well prepared,
so when the hour struck, he just could find his peace in sleep;
but I am certain that not even the eternal final sleep,
no matter how irrevocable, definite and peaceful,
would provide him with naught else
than just a fresh awakening to new activity
with new disasters, sufferings and trials without end
to start all over with from the beginning
with the same kind of a stoic diplomatic smile.

Poetry by Christian Lanciai The PoetBay support member heart!
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Written on 2018-10-09 at 16:40

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one trick pony The PoetBay support member heart!
This is my nightmare—death is not an end, but a beginning.

I found this eloquent and compelling. Thank you for sharing.