Palm Sunday, 2012

I plucked a small bird
made from palm leaves
from a lone, potted plant
on my way to church.

It was a long walk on foot
but I was in no hurry.
The dawn remained trapped
among skeletal fruit trees
and the morning sounds,
distractingly lovely.

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The Visit

Boarding the bus from Davao

to Digos, I passed by

San Miguel. I smell the brewed beer,

(probably in various

degrees of foam) rich in flavor –

 

like the same beer he poured, vibrant

like this afternoon’s tryst

but paler than the metallic

sun, half-hidden among greens.

The taste still remains in my mouth.

 

I taste it – mixed saliva and

beer – inside this bus

freezing cold, on my way home.

Leaving Kanchanaburi

You remember me leaving, boarding that train

the third-class clickety-clack train

snaking its way out from the depths

of your fragile province.

 

Raindrops helplessly clinging on the train window

Lotuses frantically moving upon the rain’s

coming, and as the train pulls into

a halt, station after station,

ominous sounds of wheels

brushing past the

railway

 

called me back in a strange language

and I had no voice on my own

no hasty, curt reply

to say goodbye.

 

Kanchanaburi, I watched you with love

as I left you in the gray hours

to meetBangkok’s setting sun

yellow and attenuated.

Surrender

I cannot see the principles

governing those waves:

how one singularly eclipses

the other, like a graceful act

of give and take

or a seamless theft

of arrogance racing

splash after splash –

the rolling fluidity

without symmetry.

 

So I made a boat I found

out of styro

let it float ashore

the lonely boat crashing

into fearful waves

a violent welcome

a sheer flow

stowed my boat

 

away. In between waves

there is energy I know

yet I feel there is none; no

distinct symmetry, just

immediacy, and no such thing

as potency.  In this dynamics

of waves crashing

I am weakened

 

with a shudder of both heat

and relief, upon seeing

the lone white strip

a flag floating

 

that is my boat

coming down the shore.