May iniisip ka?
Ayaw kong sabihin. Baka magkatotoo.
Dahil makulit ka
Kilala kita. Oo, ikaw 'yun: Nagkasalubong na tayo minsan, sa LRT, sa Gotohan, sa kanto ng Aurora at Katipunan. Nagkatinginan tayo. Hindi mo ako kinausap, pero alam ko, nakilala mo rin ako. Kaya ka narito, di ba? Para sabihing, Oo, oo, ikaw nga 'yun. Naaalala kita.
na, mula noong 24 Enero, 2006, ang nakitambay dito
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Poetry with lilies can’t stop tanks. Neither can poetry with tanks. This much is true. Here is more or less how it happens. You sit at your desk to write a poem about lilies and a clip of 9mm’s is emptied into the chest of a mother in Zamboanga. Her name was Hamira. I sit at my desk to write a poem about tanks and a backhoe in Ampatuan crushes the spines of 57 -- I am trying to find another word for bodies. The task of poetry is to never run out of words. This is more or less how it happens: I find another word for bodies and Hamira remains dead. Her son was with her when she was shot. I didn’t catch his name. I don’t know if he died. Perhaps he placed lilies on his mother’s grave. Perhaps he was buried beside her. One word for lily is enough. There is enough beauty in flowers. I want to find beauty in sufffering. I want to fail.
We believed stories never died. Our songs were our dreams retold. Sometimes we woke up screaming. Our hearts would spill from our throats like jagged-edged pebbles. We thought silence was a virtue. When our children cried we fed them from our hands. Home was that place no one else claimed as their own. We chanted at our bamboo walls. We spilt the blood of goats and prayed only for rain. We hungered only when we slept. When we thirsted we knelt by the river. The water slipped through our fingers like a story, never ending. We believed something came after dying. We died. We fought back.
This is a church and the faithful are singing. Across the aisles their voices leave a trail visible only to those who see without straining. What music is is rising, a yielding to some gravity greater than that which grounds us. The stones know this. If only they had ears they would long as I do. If only they had fists they would know how a hand is defined by its unclenching. By opening. Some day listening will save the world. What music is is five fingers pointed outward. A palm facing skyward. Asking for nothing. Receiving.