No. 10 - 11


Lucila Hosillos  


It disturbs, a transient image    
shaping a dream, intruding into   
work and realities, this tiny    
piece of white sand glistening    
with shells polished by tidal    
centuries, by human footprints still   
unmarked, the truth or unreality   
of its beauty, from the deck    
of a passing ship glimpsed,     
where the whirring of machines   
is unheard, the silhouettes of skyscrapers   
in mind etched by daily sight are blurred   
by palm tress swaying, their fronds    
whispering, voices from the depths   
of new worlds emerging, banishing    
worldly cares; where the air deepens breathing, 
refreshes, revitalizes life and dream.   


A turtle, then a woman swimming;
the years changed its shape for us.

The kites we launched from its sun-
dried top at low tide with taunts
soared high and fell hopelessly
with our vaguest dreams.

Our youth, weighed over the years
against its granite whole, changed,
inexplicably our strength gathered,
our voices with manliness toned.

Was I deaf to the fall
of the clinging  barnacles 
we detached from its crevices,
blind to the scrambling madness 
of the fiddler crabs whose holes
we filled with sand, numbed to 
the crawling despair of the snails 
we upturned off their patient trails?
The coolness of its shadows 
was friendlier, their silence 
is our death, and of our world.
Regret is not enough, too late
for our playful innocence.

Sun and rain could not ascertain
its age, we never guessed
when the woman took shape,
its curves gentle against the horizon,
when it swam away with the tides
beyond the reaches of our ways.

Maybe it was only buried
by sand and flotsam;
we can still dig it up
even just out of memories ---
this shape of life beyond things,
this shape of us that is life itself.


There are many, these lines
of sea and sky wedded, reached 
by vision, as many visions. 
Seaward drawn by waves jade 
on fair days, azure skies, by indigo
heavens aquamarine, rainbow-
hued at sunrise and sunset.
Landward etched by skyscrapers,
architectonics of cities towered
by imagination, on drawing boards
designed, circumscribed by
steel, concrete, roof-top fantasies.
Mountainward sculpted by
peaks, ranges, and cliffs fragmented by
tree tops, by birds in flight dotted,
mirage-like with heat, mist, wind.

Receding and advancing through
the mind's eye, this distant reality is
beyond collation of the variegated,
defying integration of its parts,
legislation can only specify its boundaries.
Being more illusion than ideal it can
vanish and reappear by relocation
only with the earth's destruction
or realignment with aided vision.

That line so near and describable, yet
distant, can not be reified by that romantic
"new horizon", a world different,
idealized with races synthesized;
even the strong can not proscribe,
even the arts can not prescribe.

Even with Atlas shifting
his load, diversity of lives congruent, 
circles can only be concentric
in tangents, lines bisect into angles,
requiring sight diachronic and synchronic 
varied and diverse in proximate conjunctures.

There are as many horizons
as there are visions and revisions.


we sail too near 
the wind our many
lives vortex-ward we 
whirl to center calms too 
short for us to live in truth 
our many hopes for long
as soon again we sail 
too near the wind where 
life is not a dream.


At that moment the sun breaks   
into light, at noon a thing    
becomes one with its shadow,    
twilight the dying sun embraces,   
the sickle moon fills up its fullness.   
The horizon is a rendezvous    
of sea and sky, currents are clashes    
of water hot and cold, waves enliven   
lonely shores, lapping their water lines.  

Time is to value wedded, the boundless-  
ness of sound in space is untraceable,   
light speeds through time measurable.  

In memory coexists remembrance   
and forgetfulness, reflexive are love    
and hate, interior and exterior are not    
demarcated, in refraction the physical  
and the spiritual are reflexive, good and   
evil interface, in poetry united by artistry.  
Into living reality nature and self   
metamorphose, the poet’s thoughts   
and art  knife through a troubled    
world, capture despair, hope    
and joy at edges that are moments  
creating truth and beauty.     

(Poems from “Of Near and Distant Shores,” translations from the original Hiligaynon, “Nahanungod sa Malapit kag Malayo Nga Mga Baybayon,” by Lucila V. Hosillos.)




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