by Simon Anton Nino Diego Baena
On the road, I saw six magpies perched
on the crumbling stone cross in the cemetery of a sleepy
town after the downpour. The same time the clouds
dispersed themselves to make way for the sun above a field
of sugar canes. And the acacia trees basked in its radiance;
silent hues of a passing moment that we often think of,
as I sat in the shade of a dilapidated police outpost, facing
the newly built chapel, absorbing it all: a blind cripple
with a ukulele drifted by like a plummeting leaf, guided
by a child wearing tattered clothes. I heard the footsteps
of the priest walking towards the peasants who came
with their carabaos from the muddy banks of the river.
I don’t know why I lingered there for more than three hours.
Maybe it was the rain. Or the way the light attached itself
to the rustic vista. I’m glad I stayed for a while.
Yes, there is stillness in darkness, for there is
beauty in light. Yesterday, the world showed me
its wound in the chest of a homeless child, drenched
with rain, begging for crumbs outside the door
of the ancient cathedral, where we converge
and pray on what can never be, whenever we try
to pull the rusty nails from our palms. And there
is grief, for there is always loss, in life. Every Sunday
morning, around 8 am, after a mug of coffee,
the maya birds stop over my balcony to sing a song
I could never ever decipher. And that is a miracle
by itself: of knowing there are limits. Sometimes
there is a sentiment of defeat at the peak of triumph.
Sometimes I seek god in the twirling smoke
of every cigarette I consume, while I wait
with awe for the sky to be filled with stars.
Editor’s Note on Pilgrim & Sundays:
Pilgrim & Sundays are not the first poems that Simon Anton Nino Diego Baena has had published in Eastlit. Apart from Pilgrim & Sundays, he has previously had work published as listed: