REALENGO, Rio de Janeiro


As Orwell put it in his powerful essay Why I write, sometimes we write not because we plan to write, but because our age forces us to write, because silence seems unbearable in the face of certain events around us.

I didn´t plan to write this post. I certainly never thought when I wrote about beautiful Rio de Janeiro, this is what I was going to write.

I wish I had never had to write it. But I live in our age of random violence and false gods of power and technology and covert racial supremacy, and I did find out, through my mac´s Orwellian telescreen that the random shootings at schools we are familiar with from the US and all the killings of teenagers and young students had taken a different turn at a place called Realengo in Rio.

Realengo as it turns out means an animal that has no owner, in a way, an animal that roams free, an icon of freedom and youth, as it were.

Because I read about Realengo and our loss of freedom, because everytime children die, with their brand new and open minds, we are losing our freedom, we are becoming less a realengo and more a trained circus pet that lives inside a cage, for all these reasons, I wrote a poem entitled Realengo, a poem I wish I had never had to lay my ink and keys and digitalized emotions and bitternes and anger on.

No, this is not a post about how wonderful it is to travel round the world. It is about the death of children, the most unnatural of all unnatural things upon our ailing Earth.


REALENGO (Montevideo, April 7th, 2011)

If they can turn the weapons
against children

if this is where
warfare ends

then there´s no war for peace
no make-believe

that there is hope still
for what we are

If what we do
and what we sell
on television,
can drive a man
to turn the weapons
against children

then we must face
the consequence
not blame the man alone
for the bloodshed

and know
we have been wrong
for a long age

Just sitting here
watching bombfalls on CNN

while we buy
the latest gadgets
phones that give head
cars that control
our destiny
crafted by children slaves
in some decrepit land
so far away
that work all day
without a break
and quiet wait
till the guns turn



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6 comments on “REALENGO, Rio de Janeiro

  1. Very touching post Veronica. It is nice to see you stepping out of your Travelblogger shoes to dedicate an article and a beautiful poem to the kids of Realengo.I Hope your post will help to make us all stop a second, rethink a little bit what we are doing and what we are becoming, and maybe share a little thought for those poor kids and the insane world that took their lives.

    Thank you very much,


  2. Receiving loud and clear….thank you for taking the time to express what so many of us are feeling in such an eloquent and articulate poem…
    YES, hope and reflection…
    A hug to you,

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