This is a Day of Mourning in Two Time Zones

This is a long day of mourning in two time zones,

One a nowness in the manner of accounting the dead

Another in a people's presence from church to crypt.

It is a season beyond borders where sorrows start.

In a war-torn country of dust, terror, and ancient earth

Soldiers partake of a meal of brown cake and nervousness

And down their yearnings for many cold Christmas mornings

With the obligatory red wine and whining to hide the tears.

In another divided land sundered by centuries of oraciones,

One nagging novena to a saint for each day of all the weeks,

One for a patron in the time of rain and storm and flood,

A sea of the masses of people fill the void of pre-dawns

And the warm streets, carry their lost hopes on their shoulders

Even as they trod on past snaking alleys and calm callehon,

Past the early hours and the many nights that had not slept,

Beyond the celluloid dream for a hero that gave quick relief

From the day-to-day troubles and telling temptations

In the theatre of traitors and cheats, manic masters

Masquerading as saviours, messiahs for our miseries,

Narrators all in this our tangled histories of duplicities.

We monitor both events from afar, distant but awed

By the fierce energy that springs from how mornings

Give off much courage for all of us to move on and on,

Believing that a future awaits us, a morrow of song

And singing in this rhythm of life we think we knew

Or have at least divined somewhere in horoscopes

Or in the facile formation of lunatic moons and stars

Or in the multiplying mercies of remembered sobs,

Many if we think of all that which we need to mourn,

Many if we think of all the names now that we etch

In the pantheon of all that have died for peace

And for war, in the peace of an unwanted war,

Here or elsewhere or in countries beyond the seas,

In cities beyond the skies, beyond our shared stories

Of fighting for justice outside dark filmic realities

Of searching for meaning beyond armored speech.

Aurelio S. Agcaoili

Torrance, CA

Dec. 21, 2004

No comments: