Cynthia Buiza Oct 10, 2008 15:56:21 GMT 2
Post by thepoetslizard on Oct 10, 2008 15:56:21 GMT 2
Formerly with JRS, an international refugee agency assisting refugees in different parts of the Asia Pacific region, Cynthia Buiza has experienced "living the ultimate irony of an exile helping exiles." Before that, she worked with refugees and the internally displaced in the Philippines at the tail-end of the Aquino Government's total war policy against the insurgents and the gradual departure of Indochinese refugees from Palawan and Bataan. Her work has appeared in ANI, the Literary Journal of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, The Sunday Inquirer Magazine; and in 2 anthologies from the Bikol Region. She is a regular contributor to Our Own Voice.
Lately, I find myself easily tearful.
It all began when the peso nose-dived again
and finally broke its nose.
At dusk, the acacia tree in my front yard
shivered, like a portent
and a tear in my left eye fell too fast
like something running for its life.
I find myself too, sighing too much.
as though my lungs are all that is left
it is worse when I see the moon
over Mandaluyong at nine o'clock
like a jack-o'-lantern, sinister yet real
or when I read the graffiti
at the tragic LRT
bound for its mission to end all traffic
if only we'd stop moving.
yesterday, I spoke with two Batanguenos
who came to Bangkok to pick apples in Sydney
they never made it past the detention center
and they are homeward bound
chewing on grass.
I don't know.
my sighs are growing longer than my patience,
I am shivering like a tree inhabited by carrion crows,
while my countrymen hang their pockets
on the clothesline
waiting for monsoon to end.
"Sad Cornelia's Afternoon"
The bodies of dead people keep turning up in my backyard.
This morning, one corpse bore the marks of a tortured
turning purple in its severed hands
another, still pink, is still dreaming.
Their arrivals mark the passing of the seasons.
Last summer, they came in yellow and green sadness
and the smell of the sun on their hair
the way their mouths gaped
showed signs of interrupted laughter
one girl who still hugged her teddy bear
was saying goodbye
when she was taken.
It is a sorry affair, this attendance.
When the rains came
their black raincoats had white holes
in their pockets
their hands clasped each other
with mortal strength
making me wonder if they prayed
before they died.
"Crossing the Road"
(for my sisters back home)
If three of us cannot cross this road
and one will fail
what will prevail?
your hand rocks four cradles
while he bays by fortune's rocks!
you spin cobwebs on your hair
and wait for tarantulas to breed!
'fuck this town,' you said
but you can't seem to leave
wedded to bad nostalgia
captive to toxic metaphors.
your beloved city is the ghost
of a bastard called Legaspi
the skull of a dead oppressor
still calls you Indio in his grave.
so let us then forgive each other for standing on the street
for missing the signs, for shuffling our feet.
you might go East, I might head West.
I love you, we are all in this together
but a speeding truck might put asunder.
Our Own Voice, October 2004