Thorns and Thistles

Thorns

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I Am But Migrant

Midlife is porthole to the past; vignette to the future.
– Chito L. Aguilar

I am but migrant in transit thru Time.

I AM BUT MIGRANT
(In Transit Thru Time)

upon the vast heavens I cast my eyes
astounded at such an expanse sublime
i see the moon and the stars in the skies
it is truly then that I realize
i am but migrant in transit thru Time.

on my desk I work and on bed I play –
paper-sheets of white and bed-sheets of lime
all bear my mark and my score of the day
by my hands of toil and my feet of clay
i am but migrant in transit thru Time.

between the distinct lines of poems I write
i waver on words of rhythm and rhyme
and when I falter between wrong and right
i seek a vision that I may see light
i am but migrant in transit thru Time.

between womb and tomb is a voyage brief
the fleeing years, fleeting dears… now, my prime
youth’s egress, midlife’s ingress, what relief –
and yet, I fear illness and old age grief
i am but migrant in transit thru Time.

upon the vast heavens I cast my eyes
then wonder and ponder when is the time
my Maker calls me and closes my eyes
when He pounds the gavel and casts the dice
i am but migrant in transit thru Time.

© 2008 Chito L. Aguilar

A Place Called 55

Sorrow

O Sorrow, wilt thou live with me
No casual mistress, but a wife.”
– Alfred Tennyson (1809-1892), British Poet

Sorrow_macro

Rest in Peace, Mama.

I was unable to blog for several days.

My mother passed away last week. She joined the Creator at 81.
After suffering a stroke about 4 years ago, her condition deteriorated.
Our family is saddened by the loss, but she is now Home; she now rests in Eternal Peace!

In memoriam, I repost this:

For me, a line from mother
is more efficacious than all the homilies
preached in Lent.”
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807 -1882)


MAMA
(mother of six,
widow, retired teacher,
grandma, great-grandma)

exactly how right can I write about you?
the script may just do no justice to you
clear words as the pure morning dew for you
equal with no woman, one and only you.

the elves in my childhood, you did banish
my ghosts in adulthood, you admonish
between me and my forfeits, you keep watch
and between me and my feats, you’re in touch.

time I would not know ‘til it to me you brought
earth would not be home ‘til it for me you sought
reason would not be mine ‘til it to me you taught
and, life would not be so ‘til it for me you bought.

– between
girlhood and motherhood
are hurdles withstood.

– between
motherhood and grand-motherhood
is growing brood.

(c) 2004 Chito L. Aguilar

Mama and Me in 1958

MAMA: mother of six, widow, retired teacher, grandma & great-grandma

exactly how right can I write about you?
the script may just do no justice to you
clear words as the pure morning dew for you
equal with no woman, one and only you.

the elves in my childhood, you did banish
my ghosts in adulthood, you admonish
between me and my forfeits, you keep watch
and between me and my feats, you’re in touch.

time I would not know ‘til it to me you brought
earth would not be home ‘til it for me you sought
reason would not be mine ‘til it to me you taught
and, life would not be so ‘til it for me you bought.
(c) 2004 Chito L. Aguilar

Photos taken by my uncle in 1958, when I was 7 months of age.

Video music: “Calm”, by Musicshake

Amidst Underwater Currents

Leadership should serve by example…
Public servants are meant to serve,
not to be served.”
– Jesse M. Robredo, DILG Secretary

Jesse M. Robredo
(1958-2012)

AMIDST UNDERWATER CURRENTS
(In Memoriam: Jesse M. Robredo, 1958-2012)

He was a good man. A good Secretary he was.
We lost him.

The crippled plane plunged into the deep wavy sea.
Amidst the underwater currents in that murky abyss,
he left a clear, enduring legacy supreme in his time.

He walked a straight path.

A champion of the masses, he was loved by
his people, valued by colleagues and friends
and reviled by political foes who loathed his solid
doctrines of good governance, honesty and integrity.

He walked his talk.

He was our youngest city mayor, serving for 19 long years
with untainted tenure as public servant. He was simple, kind
and dedicated; approachable but candid and straightforward.
He breathed fresh air, blowing away traditional politics in his turf;
and diligently bailed his city from sickbed to seedbed of growth.

He walked with national and local officials.

He worked to empower local governments, to make them competitive.
The streamlining and financial reforms he instituted cascaded from
national to local levels, carving his mark on a bureaucracy jaded
by patronage politics. He awarded exemplary government units with
the most-coveted ‘Seal of Excellence in Good Housekeeping’ (a reward
still unprecedented in the country); claiming no credits for himself.

He walked humbly despite laurels.

His academic achievements are laudable. And yet, he tempered
theory with practice and reached the pinnacle while keeping both
his feet firmly on ground. He reaped accolades and numerous awards.
He reached the corridors of power, walked with the President. But still,
no laurels and added feathers on his cap could ever really spoil him.
A very ideal father to his family, he always found time for them…

He walked and lived with principles.

His philosophy, values and ethics are beyond reproach.
He would have made more difference; done much more.
He would have lifted the constituency to higher levels,
leveraging on his undying dedication to serve our people.

He walked the distance.

He trekked the straight road which erring public officials shun.
May others in his suit follow his footprints and live his example.
May his passing reiterate the ideals of public service in these
most critical, difficult times when we find ourselves challenged,
amidst the underwater currents of a nation groping for deliverance.

He walked with us …

… and doing his job, he flew to his death.

Dios mabalos, Jesse!

© 2012 Chito L. Aguilar

—————————————————————————————————————–

Jesse Manalastas Robredo (May 27, 1958 – August 18, 2012) was a Filipino statesman who served as Secretary of the Interior and Local Government in the administration of President Benigno Aquino III from 2010 to until his death in 2012. Robredo was a member of the Liberal Party.

Beginning in 1988, Robredo served six terms as Mayor of Naga City in Camarines Sur. In recognition of his achievements as Naga City mayor, Robredo was awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service in 2000, the first Filipino mayor so honored. He was appointed to the Cabinet of President Aquino in July 2010.

On August 18, 2012 (PHT), the Piper PA-34-200 Seneca I aircraft (registered RP-C4431) carrying Secretary Robredo crashed off the shore of Masbate City. He was scheduled to go home and watch his daughter’s swimming competition in Naga City. The Philippine Department of Interior and Local Government said that the pilot sent a distress call to the Masbate airport requesting an emergency landing. The plane never made it to the airport and crashed in the sea. His body was retrieved three days later, August 21, at 800 meters from the shore and 180 feet below sea level.

from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesse_Robredo

Wield Your Hex No More

Love is lovelier when it’s forbidden.
Because it’s forbidden
it’s supposed to be hidden.”
– fr. Etiquette for Mistresses, on Rule # 7,
Jullie Yap Daza

WIELD YOUR HEX NO MORE
(Love that is forbidden is hidden.)

enter my psyche not, you goblin of lore
trick or trap, cast not, your magic of yore
critters and jitters tingle down my groin
exorcise you (can I?), with itch in loin?

there’s magic I feel by your haunted spell
escape (can I?), from your pit where I fell?
raves within me, I must hold never more
ah, Goblin of Love, wield your hex no more!

– love
is between
temperate and tropical.

© 2004 Chito L. Aguilar

Death Row, Cell 36

Capital punishment:
them without the capital get the punishment.”
Executed in electric chair, Florida.
– John Spenkelink, d. May 25, 1979

DEATH ROW, CELL 36
(A death convict’s last thoughts
before the execution)

within this choking confine
i hear the mocking chime
of clock marking time.

beyond this four-cornered concrete cracking,
locks clanking like blades of grass gnashing,
like swords clashing, like glass crashing.

these iron bars:
brothers to my scars
and tattoos myriad as stars –

gaping teeth of devil’s mold grinning;
round bars, cold to hold,
frigid and rigid,
unmoving.

in me, a mocky reproach seeping,
even as I see a cocky cockroach creeping,
from my cracked couch, peeping.

i see
the shifting shades of Life fading;

i hear
the lulling voice of Death…

… calling.

– between liberty and death is verdict.

© 2005 Chito L. Aguilar

Iron Bars: Brothers to my scars and tattoos myriad as stars.

Going astray… and coming home.

Midway in our life’s journey, I went astray.”
– fr. The Divine Comedy, “Inferno”
Dante Alighieri (1265 – 1321), Italian poet

This, my path, is fiery bright.

TODAY, I PLAY AS I STRAY

today, I play as I stray
in fair glades of changing hue
and I see the sea portray
seamless skies that seem less blue.

poinsettias of pointed leaves
in dark crevice craving light
but the man in me perceives
this, my path, is fiery bright!

today, I play as I stray
across the ocean’s isthmus
to shifting shades where I lay
with Lures of Mt. Olympus –

where wine is utmost (sweetest!)
with charming roses (no less!)
where summer skies are brightest
and raves of passion ingress.

today, I play as I stray –
a nomad in oasis
my camel in the wet fray
of caverns and sweet posies.


today, I play as I stray…

   – between
    fidelity and infidelity
    is debility.

© 2002 Chito L. Aguilar

A nomad tires of trysts and treats.

PHIL’S PLEDGE

(I come to leave you nevermore.)

clouds nimbus on Olympus toss
the isthmus of East must I cross
imperiled, empowered I sail
so tempest tossed in gale and hail.
lament no more and wait ashore
i come to leave you nevermore.

the rains on plains and mountains pour
the waves of raves on shores uproar
the wine in Time turns sour, impure
the roses, soon they lose allure.
i vow to stray not anymore
i come to leave you nevermore.

a nomad tires of trysts and treats  
from wet caverns camel retreats
oasis soon dries up its spring
sweet posies wilt and lose their thing.
i swear to stay forevermore
i come to leave you nevermore.  

the light of home as always warms
the sound of children’s laughter charms
the hugs of loving arms I miss
at home we live in wedded bliss.
lament no more and wait ashore
i come to leave you nevermore.

– between
going-astray and coming-home
is resolution.

© 2007 Chito L. Aguilar

Lament no more and wait ashore; I come to leave you nevermore.

Sleepless

Last night I didn’t get to sleep at all. No, no
I lay awake and watched until the morning light
Watched away the darkness of the lonely night
Last night I didn’t get to sleep
Didn’t get to sleep at all.”
– fr. lyrics of:  Last Night I Didn’t Get to Sleep at All,
by Fifth Dimension

I thought I heard you come in the rustling leaves.

SLEEPLESS
(Sleep is the antidote to a toxin called “insomnia”.)

dawn has arrived but still, you are nowhere.

i thought I heard you come in the rustling leaves.
i perceived you among the shadows and for a while,
i felt you with the crickets’ lullaby, amidst the mist.

why not come to me now?
are you caught in a traffic jam among the stars?
or have you eloped with the flirting moon?

where are you? Where are you? Where are you?
how I miss the nocturnal succor of your arms
that cuddle me to oblivion.
i long for your soundless caress that seals
empty spaces between my body and my soul.

you bequeath the stupor of wine.
you bestow the comfort of repose.
you bring the stillness of sea beds.
you rest my restlessness!

it is you
who take me
from here-within to there-without.

it is you
who carry me
from now-nowhere to then-somewhere.

with you,
i can dream of sunset without sky;
forest without trees; ocean without water;
see her smile without her lips
and feel her touch without her hand.

with you,
i can bring her back,
so that she and I can shuttle freely
between yesterday and tomorrow.

where are you Sleep, my dear Sleep?

ah, Sleep,
elusive Sleep,
only you can make me forget –

for her last breath had left,
and took her away from me!

– sleep
is between
yesterday and tomorrow.

© 2001 Chito L. Aguilar