It has been a most trying start to my year. As my latest poetry book was being released by my amazing new publisher (SAN ANSELMO PUBLICATIONS! Thank you!!!) – with online videos, print, radio campaign and soon across schools in the Philippines – a personal tragedy befell us here in Cape Town. And so I have to keep quietly apologizing to my newborn paper child, asking it (her/him?) to be a bit more patient.
One door opened (or should I say I looked for it in the dark and found the fine line of light between the gaps?). Then suddenly I have a date to share my new book with an audience.
If you are in Cape Town or have friends here who might be interested, please let them know. My paper child and I will warmly welcome everyone. The venue is a cottage and snacks will be on offer, but guests are encouraged to bring their own drinks. Copies of the new book will be on sale. And I will try not to make you feel like you’ve wasted your evening.
I will be reading from HOW TO MAKE A SALAGUBANG HELICOPTER & OTHER POEMS along with new poems and work by other poets.
Leave a comment | tags: How to Make a Salagubang Helicopter & other poems, Jim Pascual Agustin, New Coin Poetry, New Contrast, Off the Wall Poetry, Stanzas, Type/Cast | posted in Uncategorized
blue planet turns on its axis and our skin learns to expect a change
of season. Where I am, the chill in the morning air cannot be
ignored. Yet there are still a few warm days in between, like the day
I was working outside when I was forced to stop by a swimming pool.
noticed three bees hovering, perhaps coming for a drink. One of them
settled on one side, carefully clinging to the verticla fiberglass
surface. The two kept hovering over the water for a while. One flew
too close to the water, maybe hoping to get just a sip as it skimmed,
and fell right in. I watched it flail about helplessly, its wings
unable to lift the rest of its body. Before I could do anything, the
second bee came swooping down and dragged the drowning one all the
way to the side of the pool where it managed to pull itself right out
and fly. In a few seconds it came back and hovered for almost a
minute near its savior, which had now crawled carefully on the
fiberglass wall for a drink. It then landed on the bricks that edged
the pool before crawling to join the other two.
told one of my kids about what I had witnessed.
a bit of silence, she said “Animals are kinder to each other than
the past few days, South Africa has grown even more volatile. Reports
continue to come in about foreign nationals being chased away or
killed by mobs. The ANC Youth League caused damage at a launch in a
book shop and threatened to burn a revealing book about a politician
they admired. Saner minds prevailed among their leaders who
instructed them not to drag back to darkness the country’s hard-won
democracy. Yet burning tires and road blockades in various
communities around the country are becoming more widespread as
election day draws nearer. It is difficult to decide where to turn,
which political party to trust. The past is not a just a ghost, it is
a physical presence.
will use you? Who will get used? Later, who will remember what was
the Philippines, on the other hand, the news is much worse. The
killings continue and justice is nowhere in sight. The violence
following the incessant, hateful pronouncements by Duterte has spread
further. Aside from the urban poor, indigenous people and farmers
have become victims of orchestrated state oppression. Duterte’s
supporters want to enshrine this madness. With election day
approaching fast, they get more busy putting up lewd shows alongside
song and dance numbers to trick the electorate to voting for them.
The political dynasties of the Duterte and Marcos clans seem to have
the support of landgrabbing China. I can only hope the voting
population can see through all this trickery and choose to vote for
candidates who have a decent track record in defending human rights
and sound national policies.
two homes, in a whirlpool of turmoil or on the cusp of change?
Leave a comment | tags: Jim Pascual Agustin | posted in Uncategorized