Now we will count to twelve and we will all keep still

for once on the face of the earth, let’s not speak in any language;

let’s stop for a second, and not move our arms so much.

It would be an exotic moment without rush, without engines;

we would all be together in a sudden strangeness.

Fishermen in the cold sea would not harm whales

and the man gathering salt would not look at his hurt hands.

Those who prepare green wars, wars with gas, wars with fire,

victories with no survivors, would put on clean clothes

and walk about with their brothers in the shade, doing nothing.

What I want should not be confused

with total inactivity. Life is what it is about…

If we were not so single-minded about keeping our lives moving,

and for once could do nothing, perhaps a huge silence

might interrupt this sadness of never understanding ourselves

and of threatening ourselves with death.

Now I’ll count up to twelve

and you keep quiet and I will go.

© Pablo Neruda

Music: Duduk Music ©

Earth Is My Witness

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