THE WARRIOR & OTHER POEMS

 1.

“Another king in the East?

It’s preposterous,”

the old man mutters

under his slow, gasping breath –

O how it was so long ago then

when, along with two truant kings,

he journeyed to a strange land

& chanced upon an animal shelter

peopled with shepherds

as if on a pilgrimage.

They gave the child

in a manger

gifts as their tradition

dictated.

That was all he could recollect.

Memory plays tricks on him

now –

everything is blurred

by words & sentiments

that are alien to him.

“A new king of the Jews.

But only Rome

can appoint such…”

he had protested.

As it was years ago

when he was young

& full of wanderlust.

“Could it be the child

he had visited once?”

he had  mused.

That would be strangely divine

He had heard so many

tales already,

& this one is another false news.

People chatter,

as is their wont,

& wind carries it far & wide.

 2.

There will be no wake

for Jerry Araos,

self-made sculptor

& landscape artist.

Flowers are forbidden

lest his funeral be

mistaken for some artificial

garden.

Cremation will be quick,

& ceremony brief.

He will not allow the living

to speechify on his absence.

Such is the solitary warrior

in him

who must have imagined

a long, long time ago

the kind of his passing

when

revolution was a true word

& betrayal

was never a big deal.

Does his heart no longer

contain that unfathomable

anguish

words would fail to inscribe

what his symphony of wood

would narrate?

O once in combat,

he must have imagined birds

& leaves as his sole companions

should his body

fall

& bullets pierce his heart,

his spirit swiftly & secretly

carried by the wind

over hills & valleys

that loved him so dearly?

3.

There are 1.2 billion people

living in extreme poverty

all over the planet,

UNICEF counts;

so much stats

but invisible to our eyes…

O how we encounter them

every minute of the day,

but they barely exist –

the migratory Badjaos

who make beggary

a syndicated art;

strangers who seek

our kindness

as if he had

a tank full of it,

compassion’s a hi-octane liquid;

hustlers who

implore on our person

as if we are ripe

for the duping.

They are legions,

like a battalion of fallen angels

descended on earth

& stirring our

conscience’s holy water…

How long

can we take leave of this

wretchedness?

If we part the curtains

of our eyes,

can we handle

the savagery & terror

that attend our way of life?

O this is most unfair;

we are no Samaritans,

we have no empire

like Jesus Christ

or Donald Trump.

We are like anybody else –

philistines

who only seek

to survive…

4.

It’s time again

to turn the page

of the calendar:

Next year

is no big deal

same old, same old –

 & every moment

makes you kinder?

The human race

isn’t worth dying for:

Ninoy got it wrong –

the patriots of yesteryears

have been from

memory erased,

their deeds of valor

made to rhyme with squalor

Only the Now exists,

& that’s simply a wager.

Tomorrow

is a dish rag

to be thrown away

for another clown…

Nothing matters?

Lovers verily know that

as they look in the mirror

for whatever

that is forever gone…

The common wisdom

is hoping to move on

but Lacan’s jouissance

is never realized,

like touching the moon.

5.

The idiots are it again

lighting firecrackers

to ward off spirit

Old China deems to exist.

O But they only turn the neighborhood

into a combat zone

of their imagined wars,

then leave for home

once fantasy is gone.

If only they can be sent off

to Aleppo

& be bombed by Syrian planes

while lining up for bread,

then they would have

learned their lesson

if warfare is a fruitful

endeavor.

But religion stays our hand

should we wish

to decimate their kind:

all theatre is ceremony of lies

that befuddles

spellbound mankind?

O How we invent

reality on movie screens

as if it were the narratives

of the Real?

6.

The cynic’s side

of the family

is not having a reunion –

after the division

of spoils

from their departed roots

who gaze down

on their kids

with indescribable grief,

the children having gone

their separate ways

& wouldn’t even

text how they have fared

so forth & so on,

as if their hermetic silence

is proof enough

how time brutally moves…

The gap since childhood

has turned into

a humongous abyss

that yawns like Satan’s

gargoyle

beneath their squalid feet.

Seasons move,

the heart does not?

Where lies old affection

of innocence?

What happens to the myth

of Christian sentiments

that blood

is thicker that good?

Everything is illusion.

the cynic avers.

who feels

so abandoned,

now & at the hour

of all the forever

of manhood.

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One Response to THE WARRIOR & OTHER POEMS

  1. about poem no. 2 — almost ironic that jerry was granted a happy death in the mersault character’s sense. i was not physically there, but i sensed it. god’s mercy on us all this season, personally the toughest in years

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