Ode To Bongabon Road

   Traversing this road by trick of a GPS,

A shorter route, it said, but God oh bless!:

Nothing more but an opposite and forecasted regret

But soon, a haunting uncertainty that I will never forget.

   An expanse of mountains which swims from view,

Breathtaking, beneath the cerulean blue

And hundred-mile long concrete of smooth and unpaved path,

Prolonging nausea and an impatient traveler’s wrath. 

   But not for me, no, never for one who sees art

In the jagged carves of Sierra Madre, or its sloping touch which man did part,

In remote villages and patches of streams and creeks below,

And in the lone memorial of Doña Aurora Quezon, a tragedy of long ago.

   The forests in imperfect beauty can engulf and soak

Nostalgia of childhood in a bottomless cup that one could choke,

And peril of almost falling down a ravine

Had not a resident’s cautioning careen.

   Traveling still, the night was starry and young,

A disorienting calmness, perfume’d beauty in Cimmerian pall unsung,

The whispers of the cool breeze serenaded with Nature’s a capella–

A visual and aural ecstasy, nestled by the wings of aquila.

   Somnolence ousted hours of intoxication,
Even by haunting regality, a soul’s admiration

Rests from its recognized meanness on Nature’s strand of hair,

Eyes confined from transient indulgence with a first lucid love affair.

Justice For Kian

  Outrage awakens from its tomb of shards

Before a long-needed societal concern retards,

Only when too much is seen in bared reality–sadly–

And crime, undressed from whitewashed brutality.
   It clamors for justice in different boulevards

By men and women and youth with cacophonous regards

Of injustice, disorder, and centuries-lamented dysfunction

That neutrality due to personal irrelevance dissolved by compunction.
   Violence brewed daily in streets and in homes,

Predominantly, presently by our president’s verbal tomes;

So that Impunity in its purest form

Spawned each his force a judge, jury and executioner to a slaughterous norm.
   Another case, another unnecessary death, several days ago

Roused indignation with Sympathy’s plough, and justly so,

For if indifference and injustice stood with gaudy stilettos on top

Might as well hang humanity on toilets as bullshit prop.


  Tearing from heaven in multitudes,

Shoots of oblique, of restless plumbs,

Dawdling in silver flux 

To a plunging liquid:

A march of urgent protest

Summoned by design.

    The scent of scoured soil, plants,

Humans, autos,

Mingling with pollution, if not,

With little less pollution:

A retrospect of thought to all.

   A wharf–that is, the ground–

Of shoots 

Mutated from linearity

To fluid glasses of women 

In dainty, dramatic gowns:

From art to water,

To brief oblivion–

A deathless echo.

X. Brevity of Life, Death



   The balm of poet’s jasmine bathing the pining air,

Losing its scent by warmer, tainted clime

Of one’s salad days and present moments,

Piqued doggedly by many-legged, whisking Time.
   Maturing into a blossom of resolved liberty,

Life swims out of Innocence’s cradle

Into the calloused palms of Experience and Wisdom,

Savoring intimacy with rent, incising ladle. 
   The elapsing and flogging of affairs proffered Life

Much delight and anguish,

Wrought by God’s kisses and storms

That fear of long gone realized, banished.
   Her crown of long champagne tosses

By the blows of tides and of winds;

Her motions betiding more than the gusts

Of tides and winds of Nature or of minds.
   Invoking praises for goodness bestowed

And silent curses for destruction and evils

That delivered mankind to victory and ruin

Down white marbled, fissured capitols.
   Life waltzes on her naked feet and veiling tresses

Upon the warm bed of perennial greens.

And by the wayside, out from her sight

The Reaper with immutable dictum intervenes.
   By traps in dreams that never untraps,

By mishaps of unforseen treacheries or cosmo’s darts,

By corporal decay or malicious knife,

Life in tranquil duty departs.


The shepherd spits and stomps at his branded sheep:

Slighting their lives and their flocks, 

Without regard for their pleads and what they are,

Or what they could be,

Because he is the shepherd, greedy for violent victory– a madness it seems. 

He lynches and he can.

And he will.

He did.

The shepherd declaims damnation

And damnation he will fulfill

Until the very last tastes the neutral bullet

Fired by damning, obsequious fools;

Disregarding the uninvolved, 

The little sheep and the big sheep 

Saying, ‘just get the job done 

And let these problems be solved’. 

He lynches and he can.

And he will.

He did.

The shepherd sputters black and white

Mandates of butchery 

To sheep in uniform and in plainclothes,

Against all resistance from a handful of sheep

So that by brute talk and negligence he bounds them,

Against humanity.

He lynches and he can.

And he will.

He did.

The shepherd swallows sane rebukes, counsels

Only to pass them down through his system,

Manufacturing lots of gas and lots of shit.

He lynches and he can.

And he will.

He did.