you cannot be seen you are not hiding

the dark tree, the cold sea
Emily Fragos

although I know you can never be found
although I know that from the highest height
you cannot be seen you are not hiding
from me or are you is it how you look now
or maybe how I look now all these years gone by
places seen people met not knowing at any time
who I was or how others saw me or did not see me
and how are you wherever you are if I write you a letter
I’ll get no answer if I cry out to you to come in my final
hour you will not come but I will still look for you

where are the loves that we have loved before

Willa Cather

Where are the loves that we have loved before
When once we are alone, and shut the door?
No matter whose the arms that held me fast,
The arms of Darkness hold me at the last.
No matter down what primrose path I tend,
I kiss the lips of Silence in the end.
No matter on what heart I found delight,
I come again unto the breast of Night.
No matter when or how love did befall,
’Tis Loneliness that loves me best of all,
And in the end she claims me, and I know
That she will stay, though all the rest may go.
No matter whose the eyes that I would keep
Near in the dark, ’tis in the eyes of Sleep
That I must look and look forever more,
When once I am alone, and shut the door.

have you felt it?

Lessons From A Revolution
Ramón C. Sunico

(for Mila)

My father taught me
this one thing:

that pain knows no
size no breadth.
It understands
no bigger no
smaller no
more no less.

All pain
All pain
is intimate.

Have you
felt it?

It is the same
for both women
and men. The rich
feel it as much
as the poor.

Pain: who do you blame
when you feel it?

It has made everyone
the saddest person in the world.

mukhang uulan sa buong mundo

Rolando S. Tinio

Nalulumbay ang puno ng goma sa gilid ng bulibard
At ang puno ng akasya sa likod ng goma.
Mukhang uulan sa buong mundo.
Wala na ang mahal ko, iniwanan ako.

Nalulumbay ang tubig na laging kulay-abo
At ang tatlong bapor na kulay-kalawang sa laot,
At sa likod, ang ulap na parang tinggang natunaw.
Wala na ang mahal ko, iniwanan ako.

Nakatungo ang mga dahon ng niyog,
Marahang pakampay-kampay
Sa hanging humahampas, naglalarong
Anaki’y mga batang walang kamalay-malay
Sa talas-kutsilyo, talas-labaha ng lumbay.

At naalala ko ang isang awit na puno ng hinagpis,
Parang sugat na humahapdi, lalong tinitistis.
At naalala ko ang wala nang mahal ko
Na naparaan sa aking mundo,
Parang ulap na bumitin nang ilang saglit,
Saka nagpatuloy sa maraming lakad sa himpapawid
At, sa tingin ko, hindi na, hindi babalik.

to love a mermaid whose hair can sing

Ramón C. Sunico

You would not think
the way he carries it in
that he carries a thing:

the way he favors
his left hand (which touches
its strings) as if it were a wing

that touched God; the way
his knees cling to its sides
as if it were love. It is

his cross, to love
a mermaid whose hair
can sing, his cross

to bear, a wooden box,
half hourglass, half
hollowness restraining

resonant air, to know
what is not woman, not thing
but voice,

and, with the audience
mute as landscapes,
to let it scream.

on a night of danger and vigil

If They Come in the Night
Marge Piercy

Long ago on a night of danger and vigil
a friend said, why are you happy?
He explained (we lay together
on a cold hard floor) what prison
meant because he had done
time, and I talked of the death
of friends. Why are you happy
then, he asked, close to

I said, I like my life. If I
have to give it back, if they
take it from me, let me
not feel I wasted any, let me
not feel I forgot to love anyone
I meant to love, that I forgot
to give what I held in my hands,
that I forgot to do some little
piece of the work that wanted
to come through.

Sun and moonshine, starshine,
the muted light off the waters
of the bay at night, the white
light of the fog stealing in,
the first spears of morning
touching a face
I love. We all lose
everything. We lose
ourselves. We are lost.

Only what we manage to do
lasts, what love sculpts from us;
but what I count, my rubies, my
children, are those moments
wide open when I know clearly
who I am, who you are, what we
do, a marigold, an oakleaf, a meteor,
with all my senses hungry and filled
at once like a pitcher with light.