Agbannawag, panagbanatabat iti daya, panagtataraok dagiti manok.


Tuesday, March 08, 2011

A grave of stones is not the heart

To Apo Badong of Currimao

A grave of stones is not the heart
Of a nation that remembers
The ili that forgets its gratitude
Or casts it in empty orations.
But here, the sunlight and the sun
Beats, beats and beating, whitened
The absence of memory
Or the abbreviations of history
On the toil-ripped shore
Where fishers bring their catch
For sunrise business.
You are namelessly unremembered,
You who accused the crassness of art
For art’s sake. A furtively innocent girl
Patrols these stones: crushed, broken, scattered
And recollects her tales: yes, this was the home
Of a great man turned to amnesiac dust
Before fame caught you
She recalls only as far as this:
That this hut for thirsty folks
Could bring the sin that feeds the glut.
But move on in your wondrous sleep
Till the ili awakens to the dawn unchallenged
And unrippled in its soul and suddenly enshrines
The fist clenched piercing
The nation’s sterile soul.
These stones might reconstruct again
Like Lam-ang bones from the innards
Of a fish.
But sleep yet, sleep, sleep...
While wavelets lap the breakers
With living noise.


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