Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Comrades at the Crossroads

We give alms to the poor
after so much whinning over
every cent and second
many a managing Timons labour.

We march to a purple sea
sans the Magdalenes ---
so unlike our image and body,
so dangerous for our brains and skin.

We tap friends as judges and scribes ---
litigating realities with our own arguments,
selling ideas that are done deals.

We expand our arms but alas a yell:
"But please, please not them
of different red flags."
No blood on our clammy palms?

So purged that we break the Gordian knot
too heavy and rusty with histories.
undoing, unlearning
reclaiming ourselves, our bodies,
re-creating our memories.
12 August 2015, Nathaniels, Timog Avenue

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Our Lady of Bantayan

Long after the church bells pealed,
She wandered through the night.
That tiny strip where all meet:
The guests and locals,
The mobile and burdened,
Juxtaposing commitment and contentment.
It is often an uneventful evening.

She entered the hut with coloured bulbs.
Mirroring melange and mimicry:
The East's curiosity and accommodation,
The West's adventure and respite,
The rest watching and betting ---
with cold eyes and ears ---
tempered with thousand troubles,
high hopes turned into heart breaks.

She put on a face.
A steady grin and presence,
Wiry locks, bony shoulders, sun-kissed skin.
All still inadequate to belie:
Ragged summer dress,
Reeking scorched earth.

She performed the drill.
Pulling up a chair towards the bar,
Grinning, pouting, unsounding,
Turning her head between elocuting strangers ---
unbothered by the scent of the streets,
unaffected by uneven exchange.

Much later, she rested her head,
Fed and sick in the stomach,
Soaped and stretched limbs,
Caressed and slapped face,
Never washed from the night's charity.

She stared at the ceiling fan.
Lost in its unchanging direction ---
a palliative to the pain in a humid hut. 
Motionless with dashed dreams.
Unfazed when the church bells tolled.

2 August 2015, CouCou Bar and Restaurant. Sta. Fe, Bantayan Island.