You are the long silence
between speech and grief.
There are no consonants
in your language, no vowels.
I hear you saying something
out of thin air, the elements.
It is fresh water I cup to quench
this stale searching that has been
so long, one for a home,
and another for a blessed land, a combo
of what can be drawn from dream
to a page so I can see the contours
of colours coming to a cartography
of journeys joyous and profound.
But here, in these strange islands,
I cannot see what you are. Maybe
you are not here afterall.
Maybe what you have is fire,
to ignite from the heavens
the warmth of spring. Winter
forgets its promise sometimes,
and we have all these blizzards
and rains and feet of snow
we must raze down, the way we
adjust the points of our fuzzy plans
to live life the second time around.
In my Ilokano mind refusing to let go
of what I have come to know,
and knowing each in the colored
sinews of what I am, you are
the dead silence of what one becomes.
Ballawang, come again
for a visit, so we understand
what is to listen once more
to the songs of our people.
We have left our shores to come
to another, and all we know
are more shores more stranger
each time. We find home wherever
we can. But here, in these islands,
are seas of our own making.
The sun rises in the west,
the moon comes from the sea.
Jan 26, 2011