Words, Now

so this is how thirtysomething
feels like, you sit
before a monitor
and wait for signs
from an invisible
worldwide web.

what about growing old together,
watching the sunset, reading
in silence, remembering
things, many things?

you remember Tokyo,
entering into a shop
of secondhand books,
picking up Kerouac’s
“On the Road”, there
you found your forever
in a museum of words.

and they’re coming, now
words, bumping against,
into everyday people
in the great Shibuya
of your attention span.

weeping like the willow
tree by the emperor’s castle,
falling down like a broken
string of Buddhist beads,
the wind warning you
of the creeping winter
sharing secrets, writing
tales on each autumn leaf.

and you will collect them
and fold them into swans
or boats or into a basket,
or weave them into haikus
or poems beyond the walls
of measure, of meaning.

or you could just violate
the Japanese punctuality,
or any other concept of it
whatsoever, and carefully
pick each appropriate word
that would bridge you from
this invisible worldwide
web into an endless stream
of consciousness where
you could grow memories
and reap the stories you sow
without a default template
nor the heavy expectations
to be always on, in time.

 

The Wisdom of Seasons

You came charging
towards me devoid
of a weather forecast
after a day of four
seasons passing.

Distance, the brevity
of encounters, borders
and crises all summoned
and summarized in a hug.

In half an hour, years
were gathered in a bag
of tea bleeding in one
cup and then the other,
the devils in the details
then slaughtered with each
carefully calculated stride.

Suddenly, spring hopped
out of the hammocks
in the backyard of Tracolle
through the summer
gardens of Normandy
and a quick weekend
in the outskirts of Lyon.
The promises of Trieste.

But then, like many
brief, almost-chance
encounters, someone
had to have another
appointment, a train
to catch. The rain
to run for shelter
and away from.

Someone had to take
a new route home
in the rain, and get lost
in the course-changing
caprices of the rain.
And to find oneself
in the middle of houses
sprouting between weeds
that blur your sense
of direction and vines
that grow longer
than your memory.

Right in that moment
though, among boats
beached at the heart
of the Tuscan forest,
the literature of the streets
based on logic exclusive
to the natives of this land,
secret codes among
the perpetually lost,
the ruins of a chapel,
the end of a river,
you felt home.

And so despite the wrong
road taking you to an uphill
walk towards what ought
to be your present, the climb
all seemed worth it, if only
to linger in the thought
that every breath you tried
to catch was a metaphor
or a line in the great poetry
that only the wisdom of seasons
could translate into words.

 

Jay Malaga

Jay Malaga

Jay Gallera Malaga, is a peace scholar and conflict worker from La Castellana, Negros Occidental, Philippines. He is the author of DuhaKaTingog, a collection of poetry in Hiligaynon, published in the Philippines in 2010 through the Ateneo Institute of Literary Arts and Practice with a grant given by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts and the National Committee on Literary Arts. He was a fellow to the University of the Philippines' and the Iligan National Writers' Workshops, among others. He is currently volunteering for an NGO based in Bangalore, India as a youth counselor as well as part of the poetry circle Write Out Loud at LaheLahe.

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