‘Pried’ was written in 1997 on a cold, monsoon-season night. ‘Sun in My Eyes’ was written in 2002, shortly after the birth of my only child. Both poems appear in A Roomful of Waiting, published in 2007, by The Big Dipper Printing House via Tower.com.
Copies of Roomful are available for purchase at Amazon.com and The Hong Kong Book Centre. Copies for circulation in the Philippines are available at the UP Diliman Main Library, Filipiniana Section at Gonzalez Hall, the UP Mindanao Library Reserve Section, and The National Library of the Philippines.
Here’s one I composed while in transit this afternoon, amidst Metro Manila traffic.
“Interea medium ÆNEAS iam classe tenebat
certus iter fluctusque atros Aquilone secabat
moenia respiciens, quæ iam infelicis ELISSÆ
conlucent flammis. quæ tantum accenderit
causa latet; duri magno sed amori dolores
polluto, notumque furens quid femina posit
triste per augurium Teucrorum pectora ducunt .”
– ÆNEID 5: 1-7 (caps mine – Note: ‘Elissæ’ is Dido’s alternate name.)
“It is Æneas’ frown that ends my days.
If he forsake me not, I never die;
For in his looks I see eternity,
And he’ll make me immortal with a kiss.”
– Dido, Queen of Carthage, Act V
When the mirror meets the sky
And reflections of the sun’s rays—
Beaming joy and symmetry—
Swoop your sails, and sway
You away from your doldrums,
Air empty, waterbed cemetery,
Your Scylla and Charibdis ceased at sea
For Lavinia, by prophecy, to set you free:
‘I must return to Sicily.’
Carry on, Aeneas.
The sun in my eyes
Burns, sears, a-light and
Funereal, fun and real,
Oh, the joy, idolatry—
Oh, but for the drowning song
Of nereids, nymphs and Dido clones,
I would remember all this fire
To set alight my funeral pyre.
The garden green, the grand allure,
Pavilions great, the Lotus cure
Are all no competition for
The Trojan Gnosis—Oh, Aeneas:
*after Christopher Marlowe’s Dido, Queen of Carthage.