Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Answering Denise Levertov

by Mila D. Aguilar

Here, Denise, they don't
Chop off heads by the day
They just waylay you
On some lonely byway
Or highway
As the case may be
Whether you're alone
Or with
A convoy of journalists
Meant to protect your
Filing of candidacy.
One, two, fifty killed
Numbers don't matter
It's the principle that counts:
The principle of power
Over people
Of family
Over fold.
We know
No other life
We are the walking dead
Straddling the centuries
Without remorse
Shouting ourselves hoarse:
Producing nothing.

- November 24, 2009
9:30 - 9:59 pm

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Wednesday, April 01, 2009


By Mila D. Aguilar

I have seen you.
Yours is the robe
Glowing white in the sunlight
That I tried to clutch
As you rose to heaven.
But you left me.

In the desert of my soul
You left me
To contend with myself
Till the day
I emerged from the battle
Yearning for you
And then you came
As I sat tired and forlorn
At the edge of my bed.

I could see the skirt
Of your white robe
As your hand touched
My head saying
You're doing fine, it's okay.
I have felt you.

I have heard you.
Not with a voice
But in a breath
Surpassing understanding
As I walked in a dream
Knowing others were
Walking with me.
And you said
In no uncertain terms
That this was how
It was going to be
In the march to Malacanang:
One fine day
We would all arise,
Fully aware,
And start treading
On your instructions.

I have smelled you
In myself, sweet with love
For your creation,
Exuding care and concern
For all of mankind
Without distinction.

I have tasted you
In my thirst. You
Are my living water.
You flowed into my palms
When first I received you
And confessed I
Was nothing without you.

You fill my mouth
My eyes
My ears
My nose
My skin.
I know you. You

Are my God.

April 1, 2009
7:00 - 7:34 am

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Story Of Mothers

By Mila D. Aguilar

My son once had a dog
Not too long ago.
Her name was Helga.
She was a Labrador
Lovable and well-fed.
When she had children,
Still young and bouncy,
My son sold them, eight in all,
Keeping only one, whom he named
Sheik. Sheik it was, when
He'd grown bigger than she,
That she playfully ran away with
One day, the gate having been
Left open. Distraught, only
My prayers and his wife's
And daughter's guiding him,
My son looked far and wide for them,
Tacking wanted posters
With their pictures on walls
And trees, announcing a reward
For their return. We found
The two separately
The week after, Sheik
By a restaurant, haggard
And unkempt, Helga
In a house trembling,
Refusing to eat -- her rescuer,
A kind old woman, said.
By all accounts both
Had managed by their size
To escape from violent men
In passing jeeps.

But at a price.
Each got home days apart
Not only sobered, but
Interminably sad, as if
They had finally discovered
What kind of world they lived in.
Sheik recovered slightly
After some months, drawn
Closer to his mother
Than he had ever been,
But Helga was never the same
Again. After a year, she
Started to bleed. My son's wife
Took her to a vet twice,
Subjecting her to surgery
For the dog had cancer,
She was told. But
It couldn't be helped. Helga
Grew so thin, her big bones
Stuck out, only her belly bulging.
She could hardly move.
I would see Sheik circling round her
All day, his head hanging,
His shoulders draped
Like a sad cloak around him.
He would smell the blood
Trickling out of her the way
Angels prophesy the death of men.

And so one day
We had to bury her.
But we could not bury Sheik's
Anguish. His eyes lost
All gleam forever, his gait lost
Its youth. He started to walk
Like an old man though he was but
Four years old. Like me, up to now
He must still be dreaming
Nightly about his mother,
How they'd walk together in fun
Under the canopy of heaven,
Floating above the folly
Of the world and mortal men,
Wondering why, of all the dead
In one's life, whether it be long
Or short, mothers are missed most.

February 22, 2009
7:35 - 9:05 am

This poem was written expressly for the February 22 memorial to Mommy Adang de la Torre at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani on Quezon Avenue and dedicated especially to Ed and Girlie as well as all those who regarded Mommy de la Torre as their own mother.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Walang Pakundangan

Ni Mila D. Aguilar

A-dos na ng Enero
Nagpapaputok pa rin
Nang walang pakundangan
Mga bata sa lansangan.

Tulad ng kanilang
Matatanda sa Malacanang
Na isa-isang kinakarne
Lahat ng lumalaban.

Lumalabas na ang pulbura
Sa maliliit na butas
Sa gilid ng aking mga mata
Wala pa ring pakiramdam

Bata man o matanda
Sa kanilang kapwa.
Nakasusulasok ang amoy
Pambara sa hininga

Isip mo'y talagang balak nila
Ang makapatay
Ng kapitbahay.
Kung di nga lang ba, oo na,

Inosente itong sa isang banda
At sa kabila ay gahaman
Sa kaban ng bayan. Pero iho,
Sunud-sunuran lang ang kawalan

Sa gawi ng imbing kaharian.

a-2 by Enero, 2008
7-9 n.g.