Friday, June 27, 2008
"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.
A bus conks out at midnight, in the middle of nowhere –
mud-infested waters rising steadily to the waist.
One man teeters on the rooftop, waiting for salvation –
frantic pleas drowned out in the cascade of rain and thunder.
To come home pale and dripping wet, eyes bloodshot and sunken –
the look on his face ashen in the waning candlelight.
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.