Friday, June 5, 2015
A Poem by Jonel Abellanosa
Writing During the Homily
Be grateful if you live among tigers
And elephants, if you can listen
To the stream's songs where birds
Forget the sky's theirs. Be thankful
If you wake with the meadows
Where there's no need for words.
I see daily our concrete follies.
We adorn churches with dying flowers
And water is how we prolong their torture.
They wilt while the organist
Accompanies our thanksgiving.
I imagine the rich and fame chasers
Going to church dressed
In fur of slaughtered animals.
We're in awe of our ceremonies,
Before us image of one crucified.
We celebrate his excruciating death,
Follow with rosaries ordeals
From Gethsemane to Calvary,
Refusing to see we embrace prayers
For life with agony's beauty.
After mass I pay the indifferent fast food
Cashier for an early death, the kind of lunch
That constricts my arteries the way asphalt
Chokes grasses, or smoke the skies.
No wonder this poem bristles with anger
Passing itself off as proof I still have feelings.
A poet suspension points alternative lives to locate his inmost measure, which isn't only a line's undulations of moods and milieus; nor only mimics of nature, the sea, seasons. Orchestrated flow beyond repetition shimmers if and then of emotions, dos while subtleties are true, reconstitutions with voice (garment of tones, vision, insight), honestly (not moral honesty but fidelity to, or adulteration of, form), craft. Creating ebbs against reason like chiseling a marble mountain. Doubt tricks eyes and ears, chicaneries of tongue. He evolves in terms of backpedals, gradations to dusk, wondering why sunrises reborn, waves repeat, suspecting our planet is circular as claimed, that we must arrive where we reaffirm, the only space for the mind's grays curvilinear and layered. If the poem is good, it grows holes for gleaning to insinuate without becoming. When he tires of perfecting: lightheaded, enters buoyancy, the search ending in self-forgiveness.
Jonel Abellanosa resides in Cebu City, the Philippines. His poetry has appeared in numerous journals, forthcoming in The McNeese Review and Poetry Pacific, recently in The Penmen Review, Anglican Theological Review, Penwood Review, Philippine PEN Journal, Otoliths and New Mystics. His chapbook, Pictures of the Floating World, has been published by Kind of a Hurricane Press. He is working on a number of chapbooks and two full-length poetry collections.