Tuesday, August 30, 2011

True Colors of the Earth


True Colors of the Earth

Solemnity of sky all day
Night clouds of pink and lace of stars
One love you give, and so I pray
Gold promises and holy hours.
Fresh garden flowers, breath of dew
Bright silvery moon, white host for you.

Green cabbage fields, brown boots in mud
Orange carrots, shaped pumpkins’ feast
Bright tray of harvest, all from God
Herb cream, purple cakes, earth's best.--
For you my love, an ivory shell,
Red diamond ring, a towering bell.

Our hopes beside the lake so true
Blinking ripples, gleam as your eyes --
What joy to hearts, love hails your crew
Your heart, one love to God suffice.
Rainbow teas, the lake’s a cup
Sweet nectar rolled in waves you wrap.

True colors of the earth abound
Notes heaven sing: white nights --
Mint trees and grapes in vine, on ground
Earth paints a blast, God’s lips delight.
Cotton clouds, rain candies, now
Thy Kingdom come, pure love a vow.

8.31.2011
IWrotefiction
RoseVoc2 on PoemHunter.com



Monday, August 29, 2011

TAKAS



Takas

Rose Flores  - Martinez

Ilang ulit kong tinangkang umalis.  Ilang ulit kong tinangkang lumimot.  Ilang ulit kong ipinanalanging maglaho.  Ilang ulit…
Mahabang panahong pinatay ko ang aking pakiramdam at mabuhay sa paniniwalang pilit kong isiniksik sa aking malay.  Hindi na ako babalik…
Kahapon, sinamba ko si Gabby.  Kahapon, buhay ko si Gabby.
Kahapon.
“Ano ba ang nangyayari sa iyo Ate Michelle,  mukhang maputla ka yata?”  tanong ni Aiko.
“Wala.  Mayroon kasi akong mestruation ngayon.”
“A gano’n ba?  ‘Kala ko may sakit ka.”
Kung alam lamang ni Michelle ang tunay na dahilang kagagaling ko lamang sa doctor kasama si Gabby.  Katatapos ko lamang iniksyunan ng isang matabang karayom sa pigi.  May impeksyon daw ako sabi ng doktor.  Nakuha ko raw sa swimming pool.  Paano nangyari, ‘yon? E…
Noong isang lingo ay kaarawan ni Gabby.  Ibinigay ko ang lahat sa akin kay Gabby para sa kanyang kaarawan.  Ang aking Oo, and aking pag-ibig, and aking pagtitiwala, and aking katawam, hawak sa kamay, halik…
Sa parking lot ng Aristocrat Restaurant sa may Dewey Boulevard kami nag-date, August 22.  Pagkatapos
inikot namin and Cultural Center  at kumain kami.  Nag-order kami ng chicken barbecue at Java rice.
Nagayuma yata ako ng pagkain sa Aristocrat.
Sa kagustuhan kong mabigyan ng kasiyahan si Gabby, ay ibinigay ko ang hiling niyang regalo.  Regalong tulad sa isang makinang na salaming kahon, regalong parang tumama sa lotto.  Ni sa panaginip ay hindi ko inakalang mangyayari ang lahat ng iyon sa Datsun pick up.  Sa magarang pick up ni Gabby na tinted ng itim.  Dumaplis ang ilang sandali at una kong naisigaw ang aking pagkababae.
Nang gabing iyon, ay sumuko ang buwan.  Makulimlim ngunit makulay ang langit.  Umuwi akong bawas sa katauhan ngunit may pag-asa sa alay na pag-ibig.  Ang akala ko, ang pag-ibig ay walang wakas.  Ang akala ko, ito ay hindi maaaring magkaroon ng lamat.  Hindi pala.  Anuman ay maaaring magbago.  Tulad ng pag-ibig, na maaring bugso lamang ng init ng katwan at ng panandaliang pangangailangan ng pagkalinga.
Sa magdamag na iyon ay sumakit ang aking tiyan.  Ngunit hind na bale – mahal ko naman si Gabby.  Nilagnat ako at kinailangang dalhin sa doktor.  Pilit kong inilihim ang aking nararamdaman sa aking mga kasambahay.  Papatayin ako ni TiyaPatria at aatakihin sa puso si Inay.  Naghintay ako ng bukas.
Kinabukasan nga ay dinala ako sa doctor ni Gabby, sa isang clinic sa Pasay.
Ang impeksyon ay makukuha sa paliligo sa swimming pool o kaya naman ay sa pag-gamit ng public toilet,” sabi ng doktora.
Binigyan ako ng mga gamot ni doktora.  Antibiotics at supporitories.  Kung paano ko gagamitin ay hindi ko alam.
“Isang suppository sa bawat gabi.  Sa isang lingo ay magaling ka na!”
Pagkatapos ay ang iniksyon sa aking pigi.  Pagdating ko sa bahay ay tinabunan ko ng mga yelo sa freezer ang mga suppositiories.  Tiyak wala nang makakasilip niyon.
Ito marahil ang tinatawag nilang pag-ibig.  Ang pagbibigay ng lahat, ng tiwala, ng sarili.  Hahamakin ang lahat pati ang mga pangarap.  Kakalimutan pati angkan.  Ang tanging makikita lamang ay ang larawan ng minamahal, ang tanging iisipin lamang ay ang iniibig.
Ilang ulit kaming kumain sa Aristocrat.  Ilang ulit ko ring nakalimutan ang aking mga pag-asa.  Ang pangungulila ko kay Itay ay nakalimutan ko na rin.  Marahil akala ko si Gabby ay si Itay sa dahilang siya ang tanging lalaki sa mundo na aking ginagalawan.  Masaya at mala-bahaghari, ang mga sumunod pang mga araw, puno ng pag-asa hangang mapansin ni Michelle ang kakaiba kong mga kilos.
“Parang lagi kang wala sa sarili, Ate.  May dinaramdam ka ano?  Love hurts?  Huhuhu…”  Hindi ako nakapag-sinungaling.  Sa lakas ng kabog ng aking idbdib ay naisuka ko ang kinain kong chocolate cake at barbecue.
“Ano ka ba Ate?  Bakit hindi mo kayang pigilin ang sarili mo?  Susuka ka na rin lang di ka pa tumakbo.”
Napahiya ako.  Ngunit masidhi pa doon ay binalot ako ng takot sa titig ni Tiya patria.  Mabilis akong tumakbo upang kumuha ng basahan para linisin ang mala-tsamporado kong kalat.  Nang malinis na, umakyat ako sa kuwarto.  Para akong lilipad.  Ngunit hindi bale, basta masaya ako dahil kasama ko si Gabby.  Lutang pa ako sa alapaap.  Sabi ni Gabby ay mahal na mahal niya ako.  Sabi niya hindi niya ako iiwan.  Ako raw ang tangi niyang pag-ibig.  Ang kangyang mga pangako ang aking nagging pag-asa.

Lumipas ang mga araw, nakiuso ako sa mga artista.  Kinailangan ko ang “rush na kasal.”  Hindi napigilan ng Levis jeans ang pagbabago sa aking katawan, at hindi rin kayang isuman ng girdle ang pag-lobo ng aking tiyan.  Sabi ni Tiya Patria at ni Inay ay pa-check up daw uli ako, pilit umaasang hindi ako buntis.

Nagmadali kami ni Gabby.  Pareho naming gusting takasan ang mga tao sa aming paligid.  Sabay kaming walang muwang na nakipag-sapalaran sa maraming bakit at paano sa murang silakbo ng aming kabataan.  Hinahanap ko si itay.  Sinasakal naman siya sa mga responsibilidad ng kanilang negosyo.

Walang natuwa sa aming kasal.  Hindi ang pamilya niya, lalong hindi ang pamilya ko.  Sa motif na dilaw, misa sa Filipino at barong Tagalog para sa aming mga abay ay nairaos ang kasal sa isang malaking simbahan at ang piging sa isang sikat na restoran.  Masaya at malungkot, sapagkat noong oras ding iyon ay maraming tanong na nabuo sa aking isip – pag-aalinlangan, at walang katiyakang bukas.
Hindi ko maipinta ang larawan naming dalawa sa altar.  Hindi kaya pareho kaming napilitan lamang upang takpan an gaming kahihiyan?  Mayroon akong pagaagam-agam.  Marahil si gabby rin.  Marahil pareho kami.  Dumating siyang huli ng 30 minutos sa kasal.  Naghintay ako sa kotse ng 30 minutos.  Nakakatawa.  Nakakahiya.

Sa Simbahan.
Pangalawang beses na aking piging sa simbahan.  Ang una ay ang binyag.  Pangalawa ay ang kasal.
Sa aking kasal ay hindi ko alam kung bakit di ko tinakpan ng belo ang aking mukha sa pagpaso patungong altar.  Ininhatid ako ni Tiyo Waldo, ang kapatid na abogado ni Inay.  Ang mukha ni Tiyo Waldo ay lukot tulad ng kanyang hitsura minsang natalo siya sa isang kasong hinahawakan.
Sabi ng pinsan ni Gabby ay takpan ko daw ang aking mukha ng belo dahil iyon ang kaugaliang Pinoy.  Espesyal ang belo para sa okasyon, sagisag na ang nobya ay birhen.
“E anong takip-takip ang kailangan?” tanong ko.  Kaya nga kami pakakasal ay sa dahilang may kailangan kaming saguting responsibilidad.  Kaya bang sagutin ng belo ang tunay na pagmamahal?  Parang gusto kong isigaw.  Batid ko, ako ay birhen kaya nga ako pakakasalan ni Gabby.  Taya ko ang aking sarili.
“Makiuso tayo,” ang patukso kong sagot sa pinsan ni Gabby.  Moderno na ngayon.  Gusto ko talagang makiuso.  Sa kasal na ito ay ako ang masusunod.  Abot-langit ang aking ngiti parang masayang-masaya.
Pagdating ko sa altar, at sa paghawak kamay at palitan ng aming mga singsing ay nagdilim and langit.  Kasabay ng aming mga Oo ay kumulog ng malakas!
Kodakan.  Maraming bisita.  Mabilis ang mga pangyayari.  Parang gusto kong maglaho.  Sa ibang ikinakasal ang dasal ay huwag matapos ang gabi, sa akin ay sana matapos na.  Nagsabuyan ng bigas at mga confetti ang mga bisita.  “Mabuhay ang bagong kasal!”  Sa mga pagkakataong iyon ay hindi ko alam ang aking gagawin. Simula noon natuto akong ngumiti kahit hindi kailangan.

 Ang Rehas.
Maraming taon kaming nagsama ni Gabby.
Masaya.  Malungkot.  Iba’t-ibang drama sa buhay.  Sayang.  Hindi pala kami para sa isa’t isa.  Ngunit iyon ang guhit ng kapalaran – marahil may ibang dahilan ang langit.
Puno ng inggit ang puso ko sa haba ng mga taon naming mag-kasama.  Inggit sa aking mga kahati.  Pagsisisi ngunit pagwawalang-bahala.  Pagtanggap sa katotohanan.
Sa mahabang panahon tumira ako sa loob ng rehas.
Nabuhay akong puno ng takot na baka ako ay mawala o kaya ay maligaw.  Nabalot ako sa takot ng pag-iisa.  Hanggang minsan sa paghihintay ko ng gabi nang madama ko ang matinding pangugulila sa loob ng rehas ay kumawala ang lahat sa aking pagnanasang lumaya.  Binagtas ko ang dilim at humanap ako ng liwanag.
Inakyat ko ang matarik na nakakandadong gate na aking nabuo…  sa bawat araw, sa bawat taon.  Hawan ko ang mga tinik sa paligid nga mga rehas. Ang naisip ko, mahulog man ako, dala ko ang bendisyon ng langit.
Alas tres ng hapon:  Sa pagod kong bunting-hininga, tiniyak ko, hindi na ako babalik.


Ito ay fiction story; ang mga pangalan ng mga tao sa fiction story ay gawa lamang ng imahinasyon.

Tinig 4. ng Katinig, 2005

Katinig Writer's Workshop, Salamat

Edited by: Danilo Meneses and  Reynaldo Duque

Guest Panelists/Writers: Dr. Domingo Landicho
                                     Frank Sigua
                                     Ireneo Catilo



 posted 8.29.11. RoseVoc2



Wednesday, August 24, 2011

MARIGOLDS by Eugenia W. Collier


Marigolds


Author:  Eugenia W. Collier

When I think of the home town of my youth, all that I seem to remember is dust – the brown, crumbly dust of late summer – arid, sterile dust that gets into the eyes makes them water, gets into the throat and between the toes of bare brown feet. I don’t know why I should remember only the dust.  Surely there must have been lush green lawns and paved streets under leafy shade trees somewhere in town; but memory is an abstract painting – it does not present things as they are, but rather as they feel.  And so, when I think of that time and that place, I remember only the dry September of the dirt roads and grassless yards of the shanty town where I lived.  And one other thing I remember, another incongruency of memory – a brilliant splash of sunny yellow against the dust – Miss Lottie’s marigolds.
Whenever the memory of those marigolds flashes across my mind, a strange nostalgia come with it and remains long after the picture has faded, I feel again the chaotic emotions of adolescence, illusive as smoke, yet as real as the potted geranium before me now.  Joy and rage and wild animal gladness and shame become tangled together in the multicolored skin of fourteen-going-on fifteen as I recall that devastating moment when I was suddenly more woman than child, years ago in Miss Lottie’s yard.  I think of those marigolds at the strangest time; I remember them vividly now as I desperately pass away the time.
I suppose that futile waiting was the sorrowful background music of our impoverished little community when I was young.  The depression that gripped the nation was no new thing to us, for the black workers of rural waiting for; certainly not for the prosperity that was “just around the corner,” for those were white folk’s words, which we never believed.  Nor we did wait for hard work and thrift to pay off in shining success, as the American Dream promised, for we know better than that, too.  Perhaps we waited for a miracle, amorphous in concept but necessary if one were to have the grit to rise before dawn each day and labor in the white man’s vineyard until after dark, or to wander about in September dust offering some meager share of bread.  But God was chary with miracles in those days, and so we waited – and waited.
We children , of course, were only vaguely aware of the extent of our poverty.  Having no radios, few newspapers, and no magazines, we were somewhat unaware of the world outside our community.  Nowadays we would be called culturally deprived and people would write books and hold conferences about us.  In those days everybody we knew was just as hungry and ill clad as we were.  Poverty was the cage in which we all were trapped, and our hatred of it was still the vague, undirected restlessness of the zoo-bred flamingo who knows that nature created him to fly free.
As I think of those days, I feel most poignantly the tag end of summer, the bright, dry times when we began to have a sense of shortening days and the imminence of the cold.
By time I was fourteen, my brother Joey and I were the only children left at our house, the older ones having left home for early marriage or the lure of the city, and the two babies having been sent to relative who might care for them better than we.  Joey was three years younger than I, and a boy, and therefore vastly inferior.  Each morning our mother and father trudged wearily down the dirt road and around the bend, she to her domestic job, he to his daily unsuccessful quest for work.  After a  few chores around the tumbledown shanty. Joey and I were free to run wild in the sun with other children similarly situated.
For the most part, those days are ill-defined in my memory, running together and combining like a fresh watercolor painting left out in the rain. I remember squatting in the road drawing a picture in the dust, a picture which Joey gleefully erased with one sweep of his dirty foot.  I remember fishing for minnows in a muddy creek and watching sadly as they eluded my cupped hands, while Joey laughed uproariously.  And I remember, that year, a strange restlessness of body and of spirit, a feeling that something old and familiar was ending, and something unknown and therefore terrifying was beginning.
One day returns to me with special clarity for some reason, perhaps because it was the beginning of the experience and in some inexplicable way marked the end of innocence.  I was loafing under the great oak tree in our yard, deep in some reverie which I have now forgotten, except that it involved some secret, secret thoughts of one of the Harris boys across the yard.  Joey and a bunch of kids were bored now with the old tire suspended from an oak limb, which had kept them entertained for a while.
“Hey, Lizabeth,” Joey yelled.  He never talked when he could yell.  “Hey, Lizabeth, let’s go somewhere.”
I came reluctantly from my private world.  “Where you want to go?  What you want to do?”
The truth was that we were becoming tired of the formlessness of our summer days.  The idleness whose prospect had seemed so beautiful during the busy days of spring now had degenerated to an almost desperate effort to fill up the empty midday hours.
“Let’s go see can we find some locusts on the hill,” someone suggested.
Joey was scornful.  “Ain’t no more locusts there.  Y’all got ‘em all while they was still green.”
The argument that followed was brief and not really worth the effort.  Hunting locust trees wasn’t fun anymore by now.
“Tell you what,” said Joey finally, his eyes sparkling.  “Let’s us go over to Miss Lottie’s.”

The idea caught on at once, for annoying Miss Lottie was always fun.  I was still child enough to scamper along with the group over rickety fences and through bushes that tore our already raggedy clothes, back where Miss Lottie lived.  I think  now that we must have a tragicomic spectacle, five or six kids of different ages, each of us clad in only one garment – the girls in faded dresses that were too long or too short, the boys in patchy pants, their sweaty brown chests gleaming in the hot sun.  A little cloud of dust followed our thin legs and bare feet as we tramped over the barren land.
When Miss Lottie’s house came into view we stopped, ostensibly to plan our strategy, but actually to reinforce our courage.  Miss Lottie’s house was the most ramshackle of all our ramshackle homes.  The sun and rain had long since faded its rickety frame siding from while to a sullen gray.
The boards themselves seemed to remain upright not from being nailed together but rather from leaning together, like a house that a child might have constructed from cards.  A brisk wind might have blown it down, and the fact that it was still standing implied a kind of enchantment that was stronger than the elements.  There it stood and as far as I know is standing yet- a gray rotting thing with no porch, no shutters, no steps, set on a cramped lot with no grass, not even any weeds – a monument to decay.
In front of the house in a squeaky rocking chair sat Miss Lottie’s son, John Burke, completing the impression of decay.  John Burke was what was know as queer-headed.  Black and ageless, he sat rocking day in and day out in a mindless stupor, lulled by the monotonous squeak-squawk of the chair.  A battered hat atop his shaggy head shaded him from the sun.  Usually John Burke was totally unaware of everything outside his quiet dream world.  But if you disturbed him if you intruded upon his fantasies, he would become enraged, strike out at you, and curse at you in some strange enchanted language which only he could understand.  We children made a game of thinking of ways to disturb John Burke and then to elude his violent retribution.
But our real fun and our real fear lay in Miss Lottie herself.  Miss Lottie seemed to be at least a hundred years old.  Her big frame still held traces of the tall powerful woman she must have been in youth, although it was now bent and drawn.  Her smooth skin was a dark reddish brown, and her face had Indian-like features and the stern stoicism that one associates with Indian faces.  Miss Lottie didn’t like intruders either, especially children.  She never left her yard, and nobody ever visited her.  We never knew how she managed those necessities which depend on human interaction – how she ate, for example, or even whether she ate.  When we were tiny children, we thought Miss Lottie, was a witch and we made up tales and we half believed ourselves about her exploits.  We were far too sophisticated now, of course, to believe the witch nonsense.  But old fears have a way of clinging like cobwebs, and so when we sighted the tumbledown shack, we had to stop to reinforce our nerves.
“Look, there she is,” I whispered, forgetting that Miss Lottie could not possibly have heard from me from that distance.  “She’s fooling with them crazy flowers.”
“Yeh, look at ’er.”
Miss Lottie’s marigolds were perhaps the strangest part of the picture.  Certainly they did not fit in with the crumbling decay of the rest of her yard.  Beyond the dusty brown yard, in front of the sorry gray house, rose suddenly and shockingly a dazzling strip of bright blossoms, clumped together in enormous mounds, warm and passionate and sun-golden.  The old black with-woman worked on them all summer, every summer down on her creaky knees, weeding and cultivating and arranging, while the house crumbled and John Burke rocked.  For some perverse reason, we children hated those marigolds.  They interfered with the perfect ugliness of the place; they were too beautiful; they said too much that we could not understand; they did not make sense.  There was something in the vigor with which the  old woman destroyed the weeds that intimidated us.  It should have been a comical sight – the old woman with the man’s hat on her cropped white head, leaning over the bright mounds, her big backside in the air – but it wasn’t comical, it was something we could not name.  We had to annoy her by whizzing a pebble into her flowers or by yelling a dirty world, then dancing away from her rage, reveling in our youth and mocking her age.  Actually, I think it was the flowers we wanted to destroy, but nobody had the nerve to think it was the flowers we wanted to destroy, but nobody had the nerve to try it, not even Joey, who was usually fool enough to try anything.
“Y’all git some stones,” commanded Joey now and was met with instant giggling obedience as everyone except me began to gather pebbles from the dusty ground.  “Come on,  Lizabeth.”
I just stood there peering through the bushes, torn between wanting  to join the fun and feeling that it was all a bit silly.
“You scared, Lizabeth?”
I cursed and spat on the ground – my favorite gesture of phony bravado.  “Y’all children get the stones, I’ll show you how to use ‘em.”
I said before that we children were not consciously aware of how thick were the bars of our cage. I wonder now, though, whether we were not more aware of it than I thought.  Perhaps we had some dim notion of what we were, and how little chance we had of being anything else.  Otherwise, why would we have been so preoccupied with destruction?  Anyway, the pebbles were collected quickly, and everybody looked at me to begin the fun.
“Come on, y’all.”
We crept on the edge of the bushes that bordered the narrow road in frond of Miss Lottie’s photo place.  She was working placidly, kneeling over the flowers, her dark hand plunged into the golden mound.  Suddenly zing – an expertly aimed stone cut the head off one of the blossoms.
“Who out there?”  Miss Lottie’s backside came down and her head came up as her sharp eyes searched the bushes.  “You better git!”
We had crouched down out of sight in the bushes, where we stifled the giggle that insisted on coming, Miss Lottie gazed warily across the road for a moment, then cautiously returned to her weeding.  Zing – Joey sent a pebble into the blooms, and another marigold was beheaded.
Miss Lottie was enraged now.  She began struggling to her feet, leaning on rickety cane and shouting.  “Y’all git! Go on home!”  Then the rest of the kids let loose with their pebbles, storming the flowers and laughing wildly and senselessly at Miss Lottie’s impotent rage.  She took her stick at us and started shakily toward the road crying, “Git ‘long John Burke!  John Burke, come help!”

Then I lost my head entirely, mad with the power of inciting such rage and ran out of the bushes in the storm pebbles, straight toward Miss Lottie, changing madly, “Old witch, fell in a ditch, picked up a penny and thought she was rich!”  The children screamed with delight, dropped their pebbles, and joined the crazy dance, swarming around Miss Lottie like bees and changing, “Old lady witch!” while she screamed curses at us.  The madness lasted only a moment for John Burke, startled at last, lurched out of his chair, and we dashed for the bushes just as Miss Lottie’s cane went whizzing at my head.
I did not join the merriment when the kids gathered again under the oak in our bare yard.  Suddenly I was ashamed, and I did not like being ashamed.  The child in me sulked and said it was all in fun, but the woman in me flinched at the thought of the malicious attack that I had led.  The mood lasted all afternoon.  When we ate the beans and rice that was supper that night, I did not notice my father’s silence, for he was always silent these days, nor did I notice my mother’s absence, for she always worked until well into evening.  Joey and I had a particularly bitter argument after supper; his exuberance got on my nerves.  Finally I stretched out upon the pallet in the room we shared and fell into a fitful doze.  When I awoke, somewhere in the middle of the night, my mother had returned, and I vaguely listened to the conversation that was audible through the thin walls that separated our rooms.  At first, I heard no words, only voices.  My mother’s voice was like a cool, dark room in summer – peaceful, soothing, quiet.  I loved to listen to it; it made things seem all right somehow.  But my father’s voice cut through hers, shattering the peace.
“Twenty-two years, Maybelle, twenty-two years,” he was saying, “and I got nothing for you, nothing, nothing.”
“It’s all right, honey, you’ll get something.  Everybody out of work now, you know that.”
“It ain’t right.  Ain’t no man ought to  eat his woman’s food year in and year out, and see his children running wild.  Ain’t nothing right about that.”
“Honey, you took good care of us when you had it.  Ain’t nobody got nothing nowadays.”
“I ain’t talking about nobody else, I’m talking about me.  God knows I try.”  My mother said something I could not hear, and my father cried out louder, “What must a man do, tell me that?”
“Look, we ain’t starving.  I get paid every week, and Mrs. Ellis is real nice about giving me things.  She gonna let me have Mr. Ellis’s old coat for you this winter –“
“Damn Mr. Elli’s coat! And damn his money!  You think I want white folks’ leavings?  Damn, Maybelle” – and suddenly he sobbed, loudly and painfully, and cried helplessly and hopelessly in the dark night.  I had never heard a man cried before.  I did not know men ever cried.  I covered my ears with my hand but could not cut off the sound of my father’s harsh, painful, despairing sobs.  My father was a strong man who could whisk a child upon his shoulders and go singing through the house.  My father whittled toys for us, and laughed so loud that the great oak seemed to laugh with him, and taught us how to fish and hunt rabbits.  How could it be that my father was crying?  But the sobs went on, unstifled, finally quieting until I could hear my mother’s voice, deep and rich, humming softly as she used to hum to a frightened child.
The world had lost its boundary lines.  My mother, who was small and soft, was now the strength of the family; my father who was the rock on which the family had been built, was sobbing like the tiniest child.  Everything was suddenly out of tune, like a broken accordion.  Where did I fit into this crazy picture?  I do not now remember my thoughts, only a feeling of great bewilderment and fear.
Long after the sobbing and humming had stopped, I lay on the pallet, still as stone with my hand over my ears, wishing that I too could cry and be comforted.  The night was silent now except for the sound of the crickets and of Joey’s soft breathing.  But the room was too crowded with fear to allow me to sleep, and finally, feeling the terrible aloneness of 4A.M., I decided to awaken Joey.
“Ouch! What’s the matter with you?  What you want?”  He demanded disagreeably when I had pinched and slapped him awake.
“Come on, wake up.”
“What for?  Go ‘way.”
I was lost of a reasonable reply, I could not say.  “I’m scared and I don’t want to be alone,” so I merely said, “I ‘m going out.  If you want to come, come on.”
I was pulling my dress over my head.  Until now I had not thought of going out.  “Just come on,”  I replied tersely.
I was out the window and halfway down the road before Joey caught up with me.
“Wait, Lizabeth, where you going?”
I was running as if the Furies were after me, as perhaps they were – running silently and furiously until I came to where I had half known I was headed:  to Miss Lottie’s yard.
The half-dawn light was more eerie than complete darkness, and in it the old house was like the ruin that my world had become – foul and crumbling, a grotesque caricature.  It looked haunted, but I was not afraid, because I was haunted too.
“Lizabeth, you lost your mind?”  panted Joey.
I had indeed lost my mind, for all the smoldering emotions of that summer swelled in me and burst – the great need for my mother who was never there, the hopelessness of our poverty and degradation, the bewilderment of being neither child nor woman and yet both at once, the fear unleashed by my father’s tears.  And these feelings combined in one great impulse toward destruction.
“Lizabeth!”
I leaped furiously into the mounds of marigold and pulled madly, trampling and pulling and destroying the perfect yellow blooms.  The fresh smell of early morning and of dew-soaked marigolds spurred me on as I went gearing and mangling the sobbing while Joey tugged my dress or my waist crying, “Lizabeth, stop, please stop!”
And then I was sitting in the ruined little garden among the uprooted and ruined flowers, crying and crying, and it was too late to undo what I had done.  Joey was sitting beside me, silent and frightened, not knowing what to say.  Then, “Lizabeth, look.”
I opened my swollen eyes and saw in front of me a pair of large, calloused feet; my gaze lifted to the swollen legs, the age-distorted body clad in a tight cotton nightdress, and then the shadowed Indian face surrounded by stubby white hair.  And there was no rage in the face now, now that the garden was destroyed and there was nothing any longer to be protected.
“M –Miss Lottie!”  I scrambled to my feet and just stood there and stared at her, and that was the moment when childhood faded and womanhood began.  That violent, crazy act was the last act of childhood.  For as I gazed at the immobile face with the sad, weary eyes, I gazed upon a kind of reality which is hidden to childhood.  The witch was no longer a witch but only a broken old woman who had dared to create beauty in the midst of ugliness and sterility.  She had been born in squalor and lived in it all her life.  Now at the end of that life she had nothing except a falling-down hut,  a wrecked body, and John Burke, the mindless son of her passion.  Whatever verve there was left in her, whatever was of love and beauty and joy that had not been squeezed out by life, had been there in the marigolds she had so tenderly cared for.
Of course I could not express the things that I knew about Miss Lottie as I stood there awkward and  ashamed.  The years have put words to the things I knew in that moment marked the end of innocence.  Innocence involves an unseeing acceptance of things at face value, an ignorance of the area below the surface.  In that humiliating moment I had looked beyond myself and into the depths of another person.  This was the beginning of compassion, and one cannot have both compassion and innocence.
The years have taken me worlds away from that time and that place, from the dust and squalor of our lives, and from the bright thing that I destroyed in a blind, childish striking out at God knows what.  Miss Lottie died long ago and many years have passed since I last saw her hut, completely barren at last, for despite my wild contrition she never planted marigolds again.  Yet, there are times when the image of those passionate yellow mounds returns with a painful poignancy.  For one does not have to be ignorant and poor to find that his life is as barren as the dusty yards of our town.  And I too have planted marigolds. 

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Posted on August 24, 2011 by rose flores.  Thank you for sharing.












Saturday, August 20, 2011

GOD, Let Your Holy Spirit Be in Us


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How everyone worries

With all that happens now -

How like rags we kiss the ground

How like water we would flow

And unstopping, lend our thoughts of kindness.

And because we're all imperfect, and we want to help,

Our prayers and good wishes sent to One God unite

Like a French kiss, like humans do, full of passion.

Maybe, we are serious

Maybe, we are not.

These troubled times, truly, there are no tags

Just the naked body

No color, no gender, no status, no country,

Just life, solemn as light popping clouds of hope

One precious creation, the earth has suckled

First milk from breasts dropped in pain and sweetness

A concoction only Heaven brews, for us

We are all fed, nature above and below us feed.

Our minds grow, heaven's gift to nourish our lands

And from time to time, we learn our lessons

That man has limits

That man needs man

That man finds truth yesterday, now and tomorrow

That man must respect each other.

That man must love, and

That man must pray

To seek God's will everyday,

And in all the aspects of our lives

Our God of Goodness will never abandon,

Us, His children

Us, He created for His Kingdom.

Let Your Holy Spirit come now to us

O God, let Your Holy Spirit be in us -

On earth, as it is in Heaven.



3.17.2011



Create DateWednesday, March 16, 2011
Update DateWednesday, March 16, 2011

written during the calamity in Japan
Posted on PoemHunter.com

reposted, August 21, 2011
rosevoc2

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

In Many Moons


In Many Moons












Soon, I will die for my love

and he will die for me


When our cups will be one

the earth will tremble

the mountains will crack

and the sea will divide


My dearest will embrace me

in the nest of the battlefield

and I will kiss the hilt of his

sword that will pierce the dragon


My dearest will chain Medusa

and bury the serpents head

I will let my knight ride on

my back and we will fly

and slash with lightning

any creature that goes

between our love


We shall never separate

until death meridians will

hold us together from pole

to pole our stars, an

army to guard our nook


The wind a shield to cover

from the foe and the

moon our bed of conception

will hide itself in red blaze


We will make love in

many moons, in 360

days we’ll sup bliss, sire an

offspring in Indian summer


They will till the soil

dig the sea, a harvest

so great, deities will agree


Me and my love, an

army of constellations

will never separate


Until in GOD’s hand,

In a deep peaceful slumber,

He will lock us in His chest.


rose flores martinez,3.2.2010
ishallwrite,2010
poemhunter.com



Create DateMonday, March 01, 2010
Update DateMonday, March 01, 2010

rosalinda flores martinez
rosevoc2.august 2011

iwrotefiction

Mary Magdalene