Guest poem sent in by Genevieve Aquino
(Poem #1931) Bonsai
All that I love I fold over once And once again And keep in a box Or a slit in a hollow post Or in my shoe. All that I love? Why, yes, but for the moment -- And for all time, both. Something that folds and keeps easy, Son's note or Dad's one gaudy tie, A roto picture of a queen, A blue Indian shawl, even A money bill. It's utter sublimination, A feat, this heart's control Moment to moment To scale all love down To a cupped hand's size, Till seashells are broken pieces From God's own bright teeth, And life and love are real Things you can run and Breathless hand over To the merest child.
(1972) Being from a small archipelago with such a bounty of poets writing in English, I have always wanted to share Philippine poetry with Minstrels. But I never summoned the courage until now, when Poem #1927 (Lowell Parker's "The Bee Box"), reminded me again of this poem and the beautiful but simple images of love and the human experience "scaled down" into this classic example of Philippine Poetry in English. I was packing up my things a week ago in preparation for moving to another country and the rote action of putting things away reminded me of the imagery in this poem. "All that I love/ I fold over once/ And once again". Now that I am far from home, I feel that sharing this with others will make me a little less homesick. It is a universal human trait to gather all the important memories and attempt to condense these metaphysical things into tangible bits and pieces that one can carry around. Thus, no matter where a person might be, one can always be reminded of home and the things they love. Genevieve [Links] Edith Tiempo is a Philippine National Artist for Literature. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edith_L._Tiempo A collection of Tiempo's poems: [broken link] http://www.geocities.com/icasocot/tiempo_poems.html