Four Poems by Simon Anton Nino Diego Baena
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
in my muted memory.
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.
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.
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.