Boracay Blues and Other Poems

Four Poems by Simon Anton Nino Diego Baena

Boracay Blues

In the gathering fog,

the miniature sun explodes

among the shards of broken bottles of gin

afloat on the shimmering sea.

At dawn, all the lost kisses

and those firm breasts heaving

in the sparkling sand,

become dry and lifeless

shells, trampled upon by the multitude.

Every day, the shrill of human noises

and the hissing waves

are ever so distant,

like a headland

of silence,

in my muted memory.

 

Simply Boracay

5:25 pm at Dos Mestizos

I drank three glasses of Sangria,

and slowly descended the golden orb gleaming

in her pristine waters. Scattered fragments

of dead corals strewn

as necklaces on her now spoiled beach.

There are screeching passenger planes but gulls are nowhere

to be seen. In station one, every evening,

when alcohol inhabits the brain,

the sea itself becomes

the indigo firmament poets dream

with their eyes wide open. Boracay’s parade

of lights akin to tiny fireflies

in the distance. In this glittering island,

time and space is a portrait

of tattoo needles and braids. Everyday

mundane scene of banana boats and sandcastles washed away

by the endless coming of tourists,

and the smell of those stained sheets haunted my nostrils.

At daybreak, the cascading beats of techno music

and voices of a monotone summer

lingered in my ears–

near Epic and Bombom bar,

in the aftertaste of saliva and tequila,

I saw the aeta child with copper hair, strode

like a starving war prisoner,

as she asked for coke in can,

while selling trinkets and wood carvings

with the image of the messiah and the virgin.

 

Cityscape

There is no need to mention

the rain and the cadaver of trees

lying helplessly in mount Kalatungan.

We are not descending

on hillsides and green plateaus,

where the maya and the hummingbird

own the serene ether and air

within the feathers of their wings

and music of their whistles.

We are like mannequins

in this overlapping skyways,

overlooking the stress and grime

of the metro under the comfort of seat belts.

The acrid smell of oil covers

her dying skyline. Burning

in this heat of summer

are cyclones of bellowing cars

and buses that strangle our nostrils

even in the dark of midnight.

There are no shrieking crows

in the streets of Manila,

only loitering prostitutes

worth three hundred pesos.

 

Understatement

Absolutely, but the m16 rifle remains
asleep on top of some dying
talisman in Burgos street. Okay,
I’m sorry, let’s not talk about politics
and ideologies of the working class
and the capitalist, it’s so 1980’s.
Letting your mind speak
within the walls of your skull
is much easier than writing
poetry, or essay about mother
earth going down in flames.
Though I really wanted to write
poems about fishermen and peasants
and the cicadas of casa grande
every afternoon when the sun sinks
beyond the soundless horizon,
where our memories become
portraits of failures and regrets.
Indeed, there are so many things to write.
But there are limits for the mediocre poet.
It’s almost 5:30 pm, so please listen
to the echo of ringing church bells
here in the parish of Saint Nicholas.
Before you leave Bais, don’t forget to visit
those tiny patches of white sand near Dewey island.
And, after your brief moments of escape,
the world remains the same.

Boracay Blues and Other Poems by Simon Anton Nino Diego Baena

Print Friendly