Gonzalinho da Costa – Four Poems

June 12, 2014Gonzalinho da Costa—a pen name—teaches at the Ateneo Graduate School of Business, Makati City, Philippines. He is a management research and communication consultant. A lover of world literature, he has completed three humanities degrees and writes poetry as a hobby.


RAIN

Rain is pushing fingers into the soil, murmuring like winnowing rice. Daylight grays perceptibly.

Water twisting down roof runnels collect in drainpipes shooting bullets at pools expanding rapidly.

Splashing grows louder, runners slapping puddles. Waterfalls spill down steps.

Lightning jabs his blade, lunging at the ground. Thunder loudly slings his whip. Cloud cohorts rumble a war cry.

Rapids swiftly forming in the streets transport dead leaves navigating rudderless around stones and branches.

Rain hammers the roof, rattling construction site. Springing, a leak begins a steady countdown.

Chaos invades the sky, clouds battling the wind. Dislodged by strong gusts, a rain gutter swings wildly, banging repeatedly against the wall.

Water rises all around—canals and rivers surge as dams spew forth streams. One side, the ceiling drips, a coffee percolator.

Electricity goes dead. Whirring fans wane into lifelessness. Hush joins hands with dread. We can only sit and wait in darkness.


CHRISTMAS

When our planet like a lady
Tilting away from the sun
Shields her fair complexion,
Slightly dropping her chin,
Overcast skies turn balmy,
Temperate, pleasant, fair
Despite intermittent rains—
Christmas season heralded.

Christmas is here, so is joy.
Giddy euphoria springs
Not from clement weather
But from a spirit, indefatigable,
Exhilarating as sea salt air
Entering, freshly, your heart
Awash, suddenly, with
Inexplicable happiness.

Cascading water, gladsome
Songs, gathers in pools.
Gifts ready for harvest
Tarry, candies in a bowl.
Blessings of family and friends
Wreathe round the dining table.
Day is a swiftly sailing ship,
Night, glittery ice hotel.

The Christmas tale is retold—
Salvation of humanity
Born in obscurity
To a virgin, miraculously,
Husband, a peasant—
The story never tires.
Yes, the mighty are brought low,
The lowly lifted to great heights.


JEEPNEYS
To Vicente Manansala

who, made, this, work, of, art,
what, does, it, represent,
where, is, it, the, scene, we, see, that, is,
when, is, it, day, time, please,
why, is, it, abstract,
this, is, your, painting, isn’t, it,
how, do, you, paint, from,
orange, yellow, red,
green, blue, black,
white, yellow orange,
yellow green, blue green, from,
irregular, elliptical, prodigal,
brushstrokes, going, this, way,
that, way, every, which, way,
circles, inside, circles,
floating, half-moons,
overlapping, polygons,
broken, glass, so, many,
bits, and, pieces, of, it,
something, you, see,
but, we, do, not, see,
what, do, you, see, anyway,
wheels, roofs, pedestrians,
smoke, dust, grime,
traffic, air, pollution,
now, we, see, what, you, see,
yes, or, do, we, really, no,
no.


SEMANA SANTA

The time of year when the world
Transforms into the inside of a tin can
Cooking in the noontime sun
Is when Jesus Christ is crucified
To astonishment of delirious crowds
Dropping in heat like dead insects
As reservoirs languish and asphalt streets,
Cracked, peeling, cry out for water.

Palm Sunday flutters weakly, a flag
Raising his arms in faint breeze.
You listen to the story of the Passion…
By the time Jesus is entombed,
You are wrung out and numb.
Days later, Maundy Thursday is mentholated,
Rising and setting in a wooded garden.
The reprieve is illusory.

Darkness shoves night inside an oven.
Soon you cannot escape Good Friday,
Twice hotter than the night before—
Turning round and round,
You are roasted on all sides,
Dripping as if broiling on a spit.
Two days’ provisions running low,
Holy Saturday finds you sitting peacefully

Beside a corpse for a companion
Inside a tomb pervaded by silence.
Comforted by cold, you imagine the sun
Without seeing the dawn.
You doze off the instant you wake up
To Easter Sunday suddenly present,
Pure, fresh water illumined by glory.
Inhaling a cloud, you glimpse the crystal city.

 

 

 

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