Thursday, May 3, 2012



Black sign, gutter-level./ White-lettered, centered,/ CLOSED FOR GOOD..../Squat beige building./ Street number placed /over the door, tastefully.---Hannah Stephenson, “For Good”, The Storialist (05-02-12)

How about if there are no/ children, not/ human children, just life/ forms that/ they are the stand-ins for/ who, sighing, / think, I want the old dark/energy star back.—-Hannah Stephenson, “Life Forms”, The Storialist, 05-03-12)

1. Closed

After the tsunami, the school
house on the hill is closed.
At the border ration centre,
supplies are gone. It’s closed.
No funds found for a village
orphanage? It will be closed.
Lean-to clinics for refugees
have been torched. Closed.
Mosques sheltering rebels
are collateral war damages.
Places there remain closed.
Even skies close. They’re dry.

2. Open

Elsewhere, in a busier world,
abortion abattoirs open 24-7.
Cathedrals rise with Sabbath
rake-ins, coffers remain open.
Here, infirmaries are business
opportunities, hospitals open
for insurers galore; pharmacies
at every street corner stay open
for motels that endlessly require
pills, rubbers. Banks, too, open
ATMs for gangland transfers
and late night cash. Here is open.

3. Closed for Good

What place was that with a sign
that promised it was closed for
good? Was that the dispensary
for pain killers crushed fine
into dust-looking opiates for
run-away kids? In this church-
going parish, was that dainty
bungalow a village whorehouse?
If the pastor was found castrated
there, why, pray, close it for good?
All things above and below close.
Is that for the common good?

4.  Happy then; now closed

He passed by again to make sure
he had the right house: a chapel
at season’s turn, now it’s foreclosed,
I miss the carousing of the children
singing La Cucaracha under lamps
while they tag each other under
a recondite moon with nary a river.
La cucaracha, ya no puede caminar!
Porque buracha, porque buracha,
Ya no puede caminar.* The street
is dark here and there, the lamps
burnt out, but the crabgrass grow.

---Albert B. Casuga

*La Cucaracha—the cockroach; La cucaracha, ya no puede caminar! Porque boracha, porque boracha, ya no puede caminar!—The cockroach can no longer walk! Because it is drunk, because it is drunk! It can no longer walk! (Old Mexican Band song).

These are May Poems #3, #4, #5, and #6 in my poem-a-day exercise to keep Poetry alive online. These will also be posted in and My Notes Facebook, as well as Pinoy Poetry Circle

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