Friday, June 27, 2008

frankly frank.


"With Typhoon Frank's course altered between 1 a.m. to 3 a.m. Saturday, Panay Island was suddenly on its path…”

Three hundred miles between Iloilo and Manila –
Three hundred times half-wanting to bridge the distance between.

Signal number three.

Here and now, time fleeting as I parse the final verdict –
news spawning hushed terror from across too many islands.

Like a bolt from the blue.

Before dawn, before morn. A storm stalking over slumber –
hands of clocks not even reaching twelve full strikes of an hour.

I want to know.

The kilometers persisting tell no tales of their own –
save the silences that linger, themselves aching to be filled.

Thousands stranded.

A bus conks out at midnight, in the middle of nowhere –
mud-infested waters rising steadily to the waist.

Houses covered.

One man teeters on the rooftop, waiting for salvation –
frantic pleas drowned out in the cascade of rain and thunder.

Worst nightmare.

To come home pale and dripping wet, eyes bloodshot and sunken –
the look on his face ashen in the waning candlelight.

Roads impassable.

Empty avenues now laced with swirling eddies of death –
traffic halted to a standstill in this city of grids and blocks.

A very sad day.

But no sadder than when talking to a voice over the phone –
“lost a home”. “future uncertain”. “back again at step one.”

State of calamity.

Soon a forgotten piece of history, fine print, black and white –
guilt-smudged fingers tainted with the blood of those yet missing.

All storms blow over.

The woes of a city struggling to stay afloat on its knees –
words whispering pure hope, a newfound litany of faith.

We’re all right, we’re all fine.