His umbrella

It is probably the most ingenious device he ever invented, the secret of his career and fame around the world. Even the NASA dreams to buy it from him, but he never deigned to meet with their representatives. Several Heads of State tried to intervene too, but his door remained locked for them as well. He just knows how they would misuse that umbrella.

Besides, it is a matter of life or death for him, for the business of poetry is a lethal one. The trade requires all bards to roam and harvest interstellar spaces, where they can survive only a few seconds without choking, if not properly equipped. To return in time is an arduous task, and many poets died in their conquest of the galaxies. However, the dangers greatly exceed the simple lack of oxygen, even in such a short period of time.

For instance, it can simply be what they discover that utterly destroys them. A glimpse of the infinitely small or infinitely great is enough to break their hearts and their minds. Very often though, most poets succumb to their wounds after crossing a nebula that pierces their bodies with glimmering shards of TRUTH. A cold light veils their dark materials, and the stars they were hoping to collect ironically dot their shroud of eternal solitude. They flutter a while and drift, beacons in the sky, to better shine and guide us.

It is the function of the bard’s umbrella to protect him from this danger, even though it makes the whole fruitful-yet-perilous enterprise much easier to undertake on a regular basis.

It works as follow: when he opens his umbrella, all humanity is wiped off the face of the Earth at once. More precisely, it instantly evaporates and drips on the black canopy of the umbrella. Obviously, the sudden disappearance of those seven billion people creates a joyful burst of wind that fills the canopy and propels the poet to the interstellar meadows just enough time to catch a star or two and fall back with it in his pockets. Then, he only needs to close the ingenious device to bring his fellow humans back to our phenomenal world, but he naturally waits a little bit before doing so.

Finally and most importantly, he completes the task by dusting off the tiny shards of truth that occasionally stick to the protective canopy of the umbrella. This epilogue should be performed with the utmost caution and the shards kept in forgotten drawers, for they can still harm even though their light faded: observing them for too long dramatically increases the risk of becoming a lunatic or even worse, what people call “a great man”.