no less than two hundred souls lie
clustered along the shoreline
lowland they call a town.
there where the hilltops look
below, where salty waves
in unending sequence
lap the rocks.
the foam floating still is fading
and the icy gloom of night is gone.
the tug-tug of the diesel engine
interrupts the balmy silence
of the sleeping town.
here is a variant
(or is it?)
on new island soil
tread one another foot.
away now from the busy hum of
factory, from the hurrying trucks,
daredevil drivers, the unwelcomed
whistle of the morning train,
from the strained scream of the
lumpia vendor, from the sophisticated
melody of nightclub music, from the
alms-begging cries in crowded sidewalks,
from pretending graded glasses seeking
sheep-skin, high-pressured ticket seller.
away form the honk-honk of waiting
limousines, the haste of presses
accommodating headlines, the cackle
of the radio announcer.
it takes a sea to part the two,
and many others more, yet the
watery distance do mend the broken
piece-part of the broken whole.
broken by the water barrier, part of
the broken scheme – a stray mass
the grown untamed.
blame it on the ills of war, a frenzied
sickness, a cancer-growth.
a callousness undisguised
the city’s pleasure is a farmlife’s
leisure and these
in different garbs exist.
not even mindful of the worms
that eat up the human heart,
like a rotting fruit.
with colored goggles
the hue is blood-red and shady black.
o city of pain,
vineyard of desire
o burial ground
where lay bedfellows
they who came, stayed, gone,
where stumps and leafless trunks
are bare to the sun,
breathless and devoid.
while fingers are busy
counting metallic coins.
no, not a flood shall cleanse
this wild and wanton fleshliness,
nor upturn the barren farrows,
not the rise of the tides
nor the fury of the winds
not even the whiplash of a strong hand.
the deluge in every clayey figure
in the farm and furnace.
the going up beyond the worldly
watermark of the passing tide
that is man.
is the starting point
from which the line
of the circle revolves.
and in our chambered brief hours
of aloneness, shall speak
a shrill deep-seated voice
to which we shall be all ears
and shall tremble.