Christine V. Lao Oct 10, 2008 15:57:16 GMT 2
Post by thepoetslizard on Oct 10, 2008 15:57:16 GMT 2
Christine V. Lao, a Philippine lawyer, received Ateneo de Manila University's Dean's Award for Poetry and the Essay in 1995. She was editor of the Filipino section of Heights, Ateneo's literary magazine, and was a fellow at the second Ateneo Summer Writer's Workshop/Seminar. She was a staff writer for The Sunday Times Magazine and wrote two columns ("Afterthought", "Generation Ek") for the Manila Times. She has edited a series of books on law and policy reform for the Asian Development Bank. Her work has appeared in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, The Manila Times, The Sunday Times Magazine, and the National Book Review.
"The last poem"
Out of memory’s well, you summon her,
your last true love, your last poem.
A slow-moving wind stirs the air.
Once, you knew her by heart. Now you have lost her.
A light in your mind has gone dim.
Out of memory’s well, you summon her
to bring back the words that hover
beyond reach, but the prognosis is grim.
Moving slowly, the wind stirs the air
like a lover. Do you remember
how you got here, standing by the rim
of an empty well? Someone
call a doctor. But there is no cure
for this dumb madness. Summer
moves slowly. You need some air.
You surrender, knowing for sure
you have lost her. All those words. Come
back from memory’s well! You summon her.
Alas, she is nowhere.
"New moon at dawn"
The jilted sky hangs
her cloud on a nail and weeps
in her moonlit bath.
yields a solitary pearl:
Sea salt on my tongue.
O unyielding scythe,
cleave the fish scales from my eyes.
Come watch the leaves fall.
Thin silver sliver
in an opalescent sky
Winter in my bones.
"Joseph, haunted by angels"
Just when things begin
to settle down, be comfortable,
I hear their wings flapping
outside my window.
I have seen too many flaming swords
pointed at foreign directions,
far from my patiently chiseled dreams
and carpentered ideas
of how life should be.
My life is no longer my own.
Each time I carry the Child
across yet another desert,
I wonder if the journey will lead me
back to the vineyards of home.
But now I am a stranger
even to myself.
At night I dream
I am deadwood burning
in a holocaust fanned by angels’ wings,
yearning to be ashes,
yearning to be dust,
the carpet of sand
that shields two tiny feet
on the road to Calvary.