Pororoca, digital painting © Gloria Macher, 2022
Pororoca, digital painting © Gloria Macher, 2022


Do you hear the lament of the deep river
where you played as a child
laughed when young
and in which you drown today?

Playful shores
tickling water lettuces
excited crabs
hiding in the warm sand
where you dipped your feet
your cleaned hands
with the fullness
of the happy life
you thought you enjoyed

The winds changed course
arrived mercilessly
dressed in horror
painted in blood
like you now
vigilant vigilante
unprotected and neglected
loading revenge

There are no more sailboats on the water
no more shores to walk
along this river that receives
on its withered banks
not your laughter anymore
nor your dreams
but the deep silence
of wasted bodies
painted in red
by the pororoca of justice
that you got yourself into

Metallic shield
eagle eyes
shrunken heart
immodest strength
clothed with honour
unjust justice
the deep river no longer recognizes you
nor will ever speak to you
like when you played as a child
laughed when you were young
drowning now


The pororoca is a tidal bore with waves up to four metres high, forming a wall of water that can travel as far as 800 kilometres inland, upstream, on the Amazon River and adjacent rivers. The name comes from the Indigenous Tupi language, and means “great roar.” Tupi was used as a lingua franca throughout Brazil, and had literary usage. Not today.

“Vigilante justice is endemic in Brazil, where an average of one person is lynched per day, according to the sociologist José de Souza Martins.” Rene Silva, “Let’s Stop Vigilante Attacks in Brazil.” Americas Quarterly (June 20, 2017)

For more on Gloria Macher’s work, please visit her website.