Fury in Beauty

Pity the planet, all joy gone
from this sweet volcanic cone.”
– Robert Lowell (1917 – 1977), U.S. poet














Mt. Mayon Eruption

(We are like this volcano, for a time dormant, adamant suddenly;
sometimes latent, quiescent  and quiet, then obstinate suddenly.)

[a cinquain string]

her lip
smells of sulfur,
hot as the sambalas*
and at night, its red lipstick glows
in rage.

roars from under,
the lands quiver, shudder;
frightened boars and deer scamper down
her slopes.

from her belly
billow a mushroom cloud
then drape restless towns in blanket
of grey.

flows down her breast,
molten, like tears gushing,
carving gullies, gulping pine trees

and rocks flush to
rivers, flooding lowlands;
villagers flee from the torrents
of mud.

the folks
flock to shelters;
crowding schools and centers
like beehives where they await aid
and food.

is a beauty
but her wrathful fury
is a legend in the land of

– between
fury and beauty
is prodigy.

– between
seismic and geothermic
is volcanic.

(c) 2006 Chito L. Aguilar


*Hot chili, indigenous pepper from Bicol Region, Philippines;

> Mayon Volcano is reputed to be the world’s most beautiful volcano due to its almost perfect cone. Rising 2,462 meters, it is the country’s most active volcano.  Its periodic eruptions are violent, causing massive devastation in Albay province, Bicol.


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