DRINKING THE DARK WATER
If you braved the stygian stink of Ilog Pasig and sang songs
While harvesting floating tulips, debris, or stray crayfish
For some foregone repast before it turned into River Styx;
---IF: Earth Poems, Asia Writes Featured Poem, A. B. Casuga, June 2010
Five or six juncos at a time flutter down
to drink from the dark water of the yet
unfrozen stream covered by their lilac perches.
Elsewhere in the shantytowns of Haiti,
children jump into murky canals---
what’s left of them unburied by debris---
swim with the flotsam and carrion of dogs
and carcasses of swine felled by temblor.
Their raucous laughter and irreverent
hallooing mock UN relief workers mixing
purifiers, quinine, chlorine, into tanks filled
with dark water to supply the infirmary
nearest the canals with drinking vats
for the sick and dying, cleaning liquid
for strewn sputum, faeces, excreta galore,
and at end of day dark water for the
naked boys and prancing girls to swim in
with the floating carrion and lilies of the marsh.
The trill of snowbirds fluttering down
to drink from the dark water covered
by their lilac perches are dirges elsewhere
in the dark water canals of a wounded Earth.
--- ALBERT B. CASUGA
Juncos fill the lilac, nearest cover to an unfrozen section of stream. Five or six at a time they flutter down to drink from the dark water.---Dave Bonta, Morning Porch, 1-21-11