Archive for December, 2015


I was conceived on a trip between a provincial town and the capital city; 60 years ago. Indeed, my parents were traveling first class on a night train, enjoying themselves in the privacy (and quality) I am told, of a sleeping coach + the prompt and discreet room service, courtesy of our (then) national railways. This may explain my fascination with trains of all kinds. It all happened sometime in 1954; a year or so later, I was born. Memory is a fragile now, but I believe my parents were elated; they certainly got value for their pleasure – sure, there is no ideal site for conception but in the universe of the time, a train coach was as good a place as any. Papa was a travelling salesman, or so the story goes; Mama, a well-trained and loving housewife – their orbit deeply interwoven, imprinting their son with a strong genetic code usable at the time of his own calling.

In the capital city, my parents circulated freely and blended well; unhampered by certain conventions of that era. For instance, they were not married, nor officially engaged, nor facing a perpetual crisis of morality in an eminently Catholic land. For what I can deduce looking in the rear mirror, there was an ongoing complicity among their friends, acquaintances and some “key” relatives on both sides. Which was most suitable for a little creature called Leonardo, ensuring not only his safety and endurance, but a reasonable bright future – in a way, it was, as a loving untie told me in my teens a “perfect birth of pure love” – poetically speaking. Of course all families have a range of mythologies; fairy-tales so deeply engrained in their memories and historical language in ways that defy reason – mine was not different. Revelations and facts would come later; much later.

I remember Mama telling me as a grew older, that while the perpetuation of the species was not exactly on their minds during their many escapades to the capital – her pregnancy was a biological fact that eventually was bound to happen; passions unleashed, an incandescent love of mutual acceleration; the rule of abstinence and propriety was simply laughable. Son, she said once, the universe was unfolding indelibly. Mama was joyful with my birth; for her, becoming a mother made her no longer invisible. Dad told me many moons later that he was proud of me; I appreciated hearing that. For many years I believed he held some obscure resentment with my existence – receiving his blessings, notwithstanding sparingly, was life-reaffirming; I could circulate publically on my way to become human.

Common-law was not exactly a well-defined cultural statute in my country of birth in those years; but my parents were not bound by the morality of neither church or state – as for the law, they couldn’t care less – well, for a time. There were other conventions at play; certain “values” guiding what was acceptable, or censurable. They were brave my parents – they defied the “norms” and created for a period of time their own “accommodation” of sorts. During his many memorable visits to the capital, dad was a remarkable gentleman; full of praise, kindness, support, sincere encouragement – mama took it all for what it was worth – and if my fragile memory serves me well, enjoyed a good life during their long relationship.

Son, she would confide in my adulthood, your dad and I had many insightful moment; passionate lovemaking journeys, splendid trips to the ocean, delightful storytelling and poetry running though the sheets. Which explain why mama had a large collection of Neruda’s works in her bedroom; “You father was a great lover,” she said to me on another occasion; you know, she would reveal, our preludes always included savouring a sweet Merlot, Charles Aznavour romancing us in the background, intensely embracing ourselves before surrounding our love to the judgement of our own God.

I must say feeling deeply moved by mom’s narrative; more so, when my dad in one of my last visit to my country of origin in the early 90’s, corroborated it word for word; son, he will say, play me a song of love and I’ll tell you a story – it was as if we were devolving one another a long hidden artificial “secret” from the provenance of the “illicit” which both wanted it to illuminate forever. God was on our side my beloved son; the universe beating with its own motion – know that I am glad you’re here.

I was remembering this whole story a while back during a day of irrationality; failings, self-pity, nihilism and the desire to disappear in a rather unsophisticated way. Fortunately sanity prevailed, and the gentle voice of my now deceased parents restored a refreshed mythology of pure love, unjudged, unrepentant. Romanticism was still pulsing in my veins; no evil dogmas dragging me into the abysm – I heard a dear friend saying … “you can be kinder, gentler, not only to others, but to yourself too.”

Later that day, my friend and I took a walk in the river valley – one of my “third places” of comfort and solace if you must know. You know, I said to her, I was conceived on a trip between a provincial town and the capital city; over 60 years ago. I have been in this land for more than half of my adult life now. It’s good to have a friend who is a great listener; indeed, my friend and I were both born in distant homelands and with unique rearranged memories. Her company was sweet, her presence in my life deeply valued; as we continued our demarche, in slow motion I looked up the clear skies above – miraculously, I felt my parents’ blessings once again, and Aznavour’s La Boheme playing in my ears.

© Leo Campos Aldunez

Edmonton, AB (Canada)

Music: Maxime Le Forestier

Né Quelque Part © 1988

El Calzon de la Madrugada

Su breve compañia; electrificante. De presencia y aura; embriagadora. El sabor de sus besos; manjares que no resistian descripcion alguna. Su perfume? De exquisita sensualidad, abrazador. Selvushka, amazona indomable se ofrecio toda; sin reservas. Alli, entre sabanas, inciensos y la ocasional tizanita, la seduccion con matices de jasmines, toronjil y matecitos desayunescos fue completa.

Recibieron la madrugada con besos jugosos; apasionados y gentiles mordidas sin aliento. Sus manos recorrieron dulcemente, amorosamente, geografias exaltadas, valles y colinas descubiertas. Palpitaciones aceleradas; besos sin pudor, lenguas de grandes recorridos celestiales – ambos encendidos en sus notas, rendidos, sin armaduras, se amaron.

El alba trajo consigo cantatas; nombres gentiles; foneticas singulares, labios irremediablemente deseables. Despertaron bajo una ligera llovisna de primavera – mirandose a los ojos supieron en ese momento que su compañia les resultaria siempre indispensable.

De partida anunciada, indomable amazona, retorna un buen dia a su pais de origen. Visita amorosa concluida; capitulos cerrados y abiertos, abanderada guerrera no deja aparentemente evidencia de su escapada historica. Al cabo de algunos dias, el recupera sus aturdidos sentidos y recalibra el Norte de su inseparable brujula, entendiendo tambien el compas de las ausencias irrevocables.

Una mañana como otras, descrubre una prenda muy intima de su amazona amada; colgando en el lienzo de la ropa seca, he alli el calzon rosado de su Selvushka entrañable – entre sus manos, atesora la suavidad de sus fibras y con ciclicas remembranzas, siente una vez mas la piel amada e inolvidable de su guerrera abanderada.

Han transcurrido muchos años de esta humeda historia. Lejos, rodeada de jardines y familiares criaturas, amazona maravillosa continua su inenterrumpida longevidad, con algun achaque temporal de la tercera edad e imaginandose la carroza a la vuelta de la esquina. En la comoda de los objetos y sueños inolvidables, a una distancia planetaria implacable, torpemente resignado, el guarda su rosado fetiche, venerandola, como esperando una nueva primavera. –

© Leo Campos Aldunez

Edmonton, AB (Canada)

Musica: Como Esperando Abril

Autor: Silvio Rodriguez © 1975