The Lily Pad
comment 1

VISIBLE ONLY TO THE SIDELONG GLANCE

Painting by Iris Boncales-Strauss

(for Pura Fe and Muriel Miguel)

This morning being casually profound
I am Able To See
You who are visible only to the furtive glance
My side eye catching the winter breath of maize
Husks burning, watched by wolves and deer,
Teaching
The teal way of pine boughs in the blue sky
The pink way of the lotus in the black murk.

I would join you, if I could, but I labor like grub
Under tamped soil in the clay pot of a hothouse rose
On a window sill -- imprisoned by the frontal look
Of this world whose cement grid cuts
Ley lines to ensure forgetting.

I too would like to Speak
The languages of sky, wind and water
And Be
Dilaut, whose very name is vastness,
Shaming us who are rendered small
By skyscrapers.

This morning being casually profound, I find you
O world visible only to the sidelong glance. -- ##

Note: Dilaut is the old name for the Badjao who are called sea gypsies.
Laut is the Tagalog word for the high seas.

(c) 2017 Ninotchka Rosca All Rights Reserved

Filed under: The Lily Pad

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Writer, novelist, activist, advocate of human and women's rights, translator

1 Comment

  1. Hannah Aguinaldo says

    Hello Ms. Ninotchka Rosca!

    I am Hannah Aguinaldo, a Painting student from the College of Fine Arts in the University of Sto. Tomas. In line with the requirements for the degree, we have to conduct a thesis in the coming school year. I’ve been trying to reach out to you to ask for your permission on using your book, Sugar and Salt as the topic for my study. Seeing as I could not find other means to contact you, I have resorted to commenting here to do do so. Thank you for taking the time to read this!

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