Sunday, March 22, 2009

Wordpainting: One afternoon, walking around Freedom Park

(Note: These "poems" are an attempt to break the uncontrollable tendency to write poetry in obstructively highfalutin language and mind-numbingly convoluted syntax and structures, to shatter the ubiquitous illusion that agreeably good poetry, admittedly, need not be fully understood -- no wonder some writers hate, no, loathe adverbs.)


They call him a terrorist
The white hairs of his beard twitch
If he is a terrorist, he is an old one
Too old, perhaps, to wrestle with picket police
But still too young to be immortalized as Ka Severino
He looks up at the trees near Men's Dorm
As he takes step after weary step
I pass him on the turn, seeing his tired face
"He could use some cheering up," I say to myself
So as our eyes meet the way people walking past each other do,
I smile at him, the widest I can without having to bare my teeth
(For we all know baring teeth is an instinctively, animalistically hostile act)
Trying to get my face to say, "Cheer up Sir," as noiselessly as possible
Somehow, I am not surprised to see that he does not smile back,
That his impassive half-frown (it must be the moustache and beard)
Stay even as he walks past
Now, I am truly not surprised
This man has probably received too much hate today;
Hundreds, even thousands of frowns that a single smile
Could only against hope to counteract.

Too much for his old soul to bear,
Too much for his old soul to care.


Testament to nature versus nurture, he stands
The lone advocate of wood and leaf in his Alamo
Surrounded by soldiers of black steel and brown cement
He does not grow taller anymore, as organisms are wont to do
He simply sheds his old fronds, drops his fruits, and begins anew
Until old age and disease take their toll on his life
Unlike hie enemies, who are immune to the ravages of time
Whose only sicknesses are rust and chipped paint
They who will light the evenings
Even after their single enemy is long gone.


Arturo holds one wing in each hand
It is one of those delta-shaped kites,
Green to match the lightest of the field's grasses
Arturo tells his son to run
And run the rotund little boy does
All smiles,
Hands sweaty in their grip,
Legs pumping
Arturo lets go of the kite
Steadily, steadily it rises
Catching the air the child's feet rush past
Between the motions of running, looking forward and back,
He feels a certain stillness in the kite's flight
This zen allows for him to keep running
Until alas, he has reached the field's edge
He stops on the edge of the road and catches his breath
Letting the kite float down and become one with the grass,
Its string slicing through the chitchat of a benched couple
The boyfriend is considerate:
He holds the wings up the way Arturo did
And tells the boy to run back where he started
The child obeys, and pretty soon he is in zen again
Until he runs into Arturo's embrace
Father and son now exhausted, they fold the kite up
And hail a jeep to take them back to the Batcave.

posted by Ocnarf @ 1:24 PM   0 have spoken


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