Saturday, June 25, 2005

Today's Poem

Strictly Politics
(For Pia Hontiveros)

by Mila D. Aguilar

Listen to the apologist
As he speaks,
Wriggling his way out of
Her closet, like a worm.

Look at the two black blotches
On what could have been
His cheeks, acned
By years of excess

Sweets and tar having
Eaten up his teeth,
The better to hiss
His sibilant sounds

His eyes shifting left
And right, his darkness
No match to the
Handsome men and host

Facing his venom
As he sneers at the
Sheer logic of the
Clean man of God.

In my garden
The mariposa has not visited
My mother's santol tree
For years.

No big colorful butterflies
Here anymore,
Only the small ones
Who flit about fast

And then disappear.
This summer
The santol fell to the ground
In their dozens,

Leaving us little to eat.
Something in the air
Dwarfs all beauty around me.
Something in the heat

Smothers the truth.
I wish for the rain,
Though it be too far between
To wash off the scum.

June 25, 2005
5:30-6:15 am


Mila D. Aguilar was also known as Clarita Roja when she was underground for thirteen years during the period of Martial Law.

She had chosen the name Clarita Roja, which means "clear red," thinking it to signify the red of communism. Little did she know then that it also means the blood of Jesus Christ, who died on the cross to redeem mankind from its sins.

Clarita Roja it was who wrote such books of poetry as The Mass Line and Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win.

When she emerged as Mila D. Aguilar again, this time in prison, she came up with three more books, one published in San Francisco (Pall Hanging Over Manila, 1984), another in New York (A Comrade is as Precious as a Rice Seedling, 1984, 1985 and 1987), still another in Manila by the Free Mila D. Aguilar Committee (Why Cage Pigeons?, 1984).

Almost all her poems, including those she wrote from age 15, were collected in a volume published by the University of the Philippines Press in 1996 (Journey: An Autobiography in Verse).

Her latest collection, still unpublished, is entitled Chronicle of a Life Foretold: 110 Poems (1995-2004). This poem, as well as five others, is not included in that collection.


miii said...


I really admire you most of the time.

mda said...

And you, Betchai, are funny most of the time. :)

Kyle said...

nice poem, ma'am...i'm into poetry, too...but most of the time it turns into a rap song because all i think about is the rhyme. i have to work on my figurative skills ^_^

mda said...

That's great, Kyle! Rhythm, to me, is the first thing one must have in poetry. Imagery follows. But a third element is most important, and that is tension. R-I-T, writ, so to speak.

Hey, now you'll have to share your poems with me.

miii said...

i try to be funny most of the time. The world is already too gloomy.

I'm taking up Eng132 and our readings are always depressing. then Dr Ick asked us which is more depressing, our life and what's around us or our readings.

so... life :D

mda said...

Life is wonderful, Betchai, as long as you know how to be thankful for what you have.


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