Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Braving the long dry season, on the road 
24/7:  barefoot along the burning avenues
or behind the wheel of the old, 
trusted melting steel,

Stop motion mode along the endless
boulevards -- which seem far from 
sea or river -- Metro Manila traffic
enforces spasms

Of paralysis as its mass of hostages
snake through its mostly unremarkable
streets of remarkable urban decay,
with few elitist bright spots

For escapists who can afford the luxury.
It's been raining and flooding, but 
Pedro Obrero swears the dry season
has partially eclipsed the wet,

Eating into, chipping into, the latter's
months, and the torrential episodes 
of rain were nothing more than 
aberrations or distractions

Allowed and tolerated as deceptions
by the overreaching and arrogating 
scorching spell of the first half
of the otherwise evenly-divided

Climate. (Technically, we have no 
summer here. And the enervating
and murderous spiel of sweat, dust 
and smoke wrought and

Brought forth by the sun's incantations,
whipping on the laborer's hardened
back, unforgiving and unremitting,
has been invading

And suffocating on its extended run.
Weather manipulation, perhaps,
by the lords in air-conditioned 
mansions amid hectares 

Of haciendas and gated communities
of exclusive subdivisions, where fountains
of cold, potable water in everyone's
private, sprawling gardens

Spout and overflow 24/7. The one
percenters get drunk on both purified water 
and the shed blood of the rest; both 
of which they enjoy

An endless supply of. Days, weeks,
and months in the city desert, and finally,
a glass of cold water for Pedro, 
a small pond in an oasis.

He realizes the depth and urgency
of his thirst only when he commences
his drink; quite surprised by the big,
involuntary gulps by which 

He slakes his thirst. Midway, he tastes 
the water turning into kvas, and after
the last gulp, the last drop,
he reads inscribed

On the bottom of his glass, the acronym,
"G.O.S.R. 1917." 

*  *  *

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