by Cesar Polvorosa Jr.
Manila Bay Nights
Down by the boulevard along Manila Bay
on moonlit nights my friend often visits me.
Beneath the swaying palm trees he waylays and startles.
I tell him my dreams of ancient empires and galactic realms.
I have espied the spires of Shangri-La revealed
by our debates about Karl Marx and Adam Smith.
My friend knows me like no other though
I remain a stranger to him like the far side of the moon.
His visits have become more frequent
as the furrows on my face have deepened.
We now talk about family rather than Marx.
I looked back at the milestones on the path
I have travelled from distant shores.
He counsels me to persevere through the travails of life
He assures me I remain the same person
though monsoon rains become blizzards
though my dream of Utopia has dissipated.
My friend now visits me along Lake Ontario
but I will always remember those moonlit nights
along Manila Bay
Haiyan was the paean to the symmetry of storms.
From space, it was like a paint brushed distant galaxy
on the canvas of the cosmos.
Its cotton clouds swirled and spiralled around the vortex.
It was massive, majestic and transcendent- a perfect storm
that mirrored the face of the Maker
in the infinite vistas of the firmament.
Haiyan was chaos incarnate on terra firma.
Beneath the streaking clouds
the shrieking fiends unleashed their unbridled fury.
The merciless marauders with maximum malevolence
ravaged the land and ripped families asunder.
For many, the final memories were the stricken looks
in the eyes of their beloved swept away
by monstrous waves and howling winds.
Islands became vast wastelands and vales of tears.
Was that mirror held to the face of the Maker double sided?
Haiyan devastated with unbearable brute force
of tornado like winds and tsunami like storm surges.
As the storm clouds dissipated amidst the collective carnage
in the muddy, fetid fields of desolation survivors mourned
the putrefying dead and struggled to rebuild shattered towns.
They gazed at the heavens in supplication.
Tears trickled down scarred and pained faces
but smiles broke out as above the pulverized town of Tacloban
a rainbow appeared.
Editor’s Note on Two Poems on Moonlit Nights and a Super Typhoon
Two Poems on Moonlit Nights and a Super Typhoon is not Cesar Polvorosa Jr.’s first piece in Eastlit. The following pieces of work have appeared in earlier Eastlit issues: