green green grass


Four Walls, Four Corners of Domesticity:
March 24, 2008, 1:26 am
Filed under: cw posts

A Collection of Ten Poems:

 

 

A Poem of Home-Welcoming

 

 

Dear Uncle Don, the house

is gray and woody for more

than a decade now. The doorknob

is accented

by the dark stains from the hands

of people who go in and out,

in and out–. Lola is upset

dressing her

windows with green (her

favorite color) pongee curtain she

bought in Bankerohan. When it

rains, we

move the kitchen-table. We

do not want rainwater

on our food. Lolo Gwapo

made a

spittle in the front porch

after you called from

New York. You said you

will come

home and bring us whatever we

want. We cleaned the house and

rearranged the furniture. We

perfumed it

with sampaguita (laced to

our little Santo Nino) and

air freshener. We also

sprayed

insect repellent all over

the house. We are quite excited

to see you. The house

can tell.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Black Saturday

 

The champorado has gone cold

on the table.

The midday sunlight stays behind

the still curtain.

The blight of the day before remains

in the kitchen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chopsuey

 

The table is set:

fork to spoon, one by one,

on plates over placemats

as the soggy rice disguises

on fragile whiteness.

 

Chopsuey is served:

A tentacle of squid

slips from the mouth.

A piece of Chinese petchay

is shoved on the side.

The bald quail egg is

crushed over by the fork.

A bit from a strip of carrot is

between the two front teeth.

 

The table is emptied:

except for a bowl of chopsuey

covered by an unused plate,

saved from the saliviating dog

outside.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Haiku: Seventeen Syllables

 

i

lay

on

folds

and

waves

of

sheet

we

made

with

our

eyes

closed

 

 

 

Mama

 

On a Saturday, hang the clothes

and the sheets on the clothes’ line

to dry. Clip the underwear the way you

clip your hair from reaching your eyes,

for the wind not to blow them away.

 

On Monday to Friday, wake up

with the roosters. Feed the children

and the father to send them to study

and work. Wash the plates and clean

the house. Watch T.V to set you

to sleep. Prepare the dinner before

your children and your husband

come back.

 

On a Sunday, pray–

pray without ceasing.

 

 

 

The Crime Of A Bored Kid

 

You saw, wide-eyed,

even to death.

Your stomach, from that day’s

generous feed,

bulged.

 

Now, the fishbowl is empty.

 

 

 

A Family Affair

 

The pot-bellied uncle guffaws

at the platter of caldereta and rice

(his thrice) after his brother

faltered a note from his

favourite song.

 

The aunts seat on the couch

talking about their children’s

newly acquired talent.

 

The cousins run away from porcelain

vases and the Buddha, away from

the urns that keep their grandparents,

to the front yard,

bruising their knees.

 

 

 

Idle

 

a rainbow of dirty clothes about

the fed-up pink basket

the dusts on top of the shiny black

leather-dressing box

jane eyre and the queen of the damned,

on the floor, flat and shut

a fancy pearl-earring sealed inside

the clear zip-lock cellophane

the dangling blanket on the bed-side, and the

loosing pillow-cases off the pillows

the desk’s shadow on the stuffed

travel-bag (the unzipped small pocket on its side)

an evan and jaron-song in altering high

and low volumes from an old cassette-tape player

like a drunkard in karaoke who can hardly

read the lyrics and shout with pride

the all-too familiar chorus

of a three-peso song.

 

 

 

 

When walls peel, on their own

 

When walls peel,

they get rid of the dusts

and cobwebs of

photographs and words

that injure Silence

in its gut,

on their own.

 

 

 

The Old, Dying Dog

 

By the door, where the dawn enters

and purports the day

and the days to come, the dog stands,

in its feet.

 

By the door, where the twilight claims

what is spent during the day

and the days to come, the dog sits,

waiting.

 

By the door, at night,

the old dog

lays on the cold floor dying

for another day

and days to come.

 

 

 

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