A WAILING WALL
Ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant --- Tacitus*
Either way, distance finds me
looking up or down this cliff,
an unlikely sanctuary I escape
into aching for scarce solitude.
How can one be alone among
the darting seagulls? Or silent
with lost memories jarred by
blasts of breaking waves below?
Here, gods revel in their haven
of whistling winds and clouds,
down there fishermen cackle,
chewing sargasso, guzzling gin,
while their thrown nets fill up
with flotsam floating around
moss-gowned boulders staring
at the sky like dark green eyes.
Is it this vast and empty space
between that scares me now,
when I should be murmuring
secrets to messenger winds?
I would scream unbearable
pain, holler down bitter anger;
I must share muffled grief,
loosen taut shackles of despair.
Either way, I find wailing walls
in air, water, rocks, and wind;
like Job I weep for peace, hope
to gently fall in the cup of palms
waiting to catch my carrion
now carved out of a shattered
world of faithlessness and fear,
unable to hold on to life or love.
On this piece of jutting rock,
have I not found the little place
where I could reach His Hand
quickly were I to fall, either way?
---Albert B. Casuga
* (Where they create desolation, they call it peace)
(The quote from Tacitus was used earlier by Simeon Dumdum Jr., a Filipino barrister and a poet, in his Facebook post. Poet and university professor Mila Aguilar posted the cliff picture in her Facebook entry.)