Poems from Ochre Tones





IS IT THE KINGFISHER?

 

This is how I desire god on this island

With you today: basic and blue

As the sea that softens our feet with salt

And brings the living wave to our mouths

Playing with sounds of a primary language.

“God is blue,” sang the poet Juan Ramon Jimenez,

Drunk with desiring, his hair, eyebrows,

Eyelashes turned blue as the kingfisher’s wings.

It is this bird that greets us as we come

Round the eastern bend of this island;

Tells us the hairbreadth boundary between us

Is transient in the air, permeable to the blue

Of tropic skies and mountain gentian.

Where we sit on this rock covered with seaweeds,

I suddenly feel the blueness embrace us,

This rock, this island, this changed air,

The distance between us and the Self

We have longed to be. A bolt of burning blue

Lights in my brain, gives the answer

We’ve pursued this whole day:

Seawaves sing it, the kingfisher flies in it,

This island is rooted in it. Desiring

God is transparent blue – the color

Which makes our souls visible.

 

Kingfisher at the back of Balay Kalinungan, USLS Bacolod. Photo taken by Alvin Pang
Kingfisher at the back of Balay Kalinungan, USLS Bacolod. Photo taken by Alvin Pang