September 23, 2010

Jun de la Rosa



A cyclone smashed into Madagascar,
hit the island a second time
three days later; a ferry sinking.

The news brings to us cyclones,
while beach stories are told
among sisters, during storms.


Hurricane slammed the Florida coast.
Chasing it required large amounts of food,
and a megaphone.

If a woman dives into a river
and no one is there to see it,
the body, hands first,
still makes a cutting sound.


A storm swept out to sea,
beyond Northern Japan—
later lowered to tropical storm,
downgraded to tropical depression.

What a wonder how water
can take so many forms:
a lady turning into a bride,
then a nagging housewife.


Indonesian plane skidded off the runway
under heavy rains, split into two,
came to rest near a cemetery:
100 yards of prayers.

Water nears,
from Madagascar to Indonesia.
The pond in the garden waits,
expecting an angry mother.


26 people swept away
by raging floodwaters in Nueva Ecija;
villages buried in a sea of mud.

And water has found us—
with windows closed,
we only know storm
by the sound it makes
against the roof, a swinging door.


Death toll rose
with the super typhoon named after a man.

Later, water will be poured into mugs—
boiling, black, without sugar:
small servings of the storm,
silently brewing.

from Rattle #24, Winter 2005
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