There is method to this morning madness.
We wake to the rage of the lame limbs
of trees played up by the fierce winds,
the leaves dancing with whatever lonely light
there is in the rampaging rains
on sad streets in the crowded cities
on thinning trails in the sorrowing mountains
on the timorous tides of surging seas.
The riverside and coastal counties are filled
with light rain and light snow.
They remind us of the stories
we cannot make out in the savagery
of the stormy evening.
We see the possibilities of the day
from our closed window,
all of us exiles in this cold country
of dream and promise.
The window is shrouded in raindrops
and ice flakes and warm words
even as the mind comes misting
too with the knowledge
of what comes next in the morrow
in the undecidedness
on the blank page or
on that blank screen inviting us to shake off
that madness that comes in mornings like this.
We cannot see the snow peaked mountains
from where we sit to write
the poignancy of our search for pains
that will color our phrases
that will hint to us the poetry of peril
in abandoned anguish of saving words.
from these silences that come
with the creative rage of our regrets.
Or the way we say things.
Or the way things say something to us.
As in this wind, fierce and in fighting mood
we wished this were the force in our sentences.
The ranges in the east are dark as well,
that place where the sun
never learned to go to bed
but always came on time
in the past days.
There is no outline of the posh villages
carved out of the hills jutting out
all of a sudden from the sea we know
for certain its other shore is that of our birthland,
the one we left behind to write our poetry of exile.
The mind refuses to yield to the wild terrain
of a terse verse we have
long thought of, remembered, recited.
Or declaimed with drama,
emotions intact, raw and fresh.
We rise to greet the morning and the rain reminds
us of a weather that will create a swath in the forest
of stanzas we have long kept.
We rise to perform
the ritual of the morning: say our prayer with a bowl
of fresh water, light two tea candles, and take on
this heavy task of creating a new exilic poem.
Or poems of exile.
Or poems in exile.
Aurelio S. Agcaoili
Jan. 7, 2005