HIS ONLY SHIELD
None will be/ exempt from ruin and devastation— so quit behaving like/ you’ll have a golden ticket out. Heed the poet who points out/ zen in the onion’s innermost chamber: stripped clean, empty.---From “Ecology”, Luisa A. Igloria, Via Negativa, 08-02-12
There must be a way of finding out the core
Of what makes a man a human being.
Stripped of its whorls, the onion is empty.
Stripped of his words, can man survive?
Is language then a licence to his being here?
Will it save him from being forgotten there,
Like pebbles dropped along the shore,
As landmarks of how far he has walked?
When washed away by evening tide, all
Footprints cannot be retrieved by palaver,
They, too, are lost like the stone markers
On the shore, they have never been there.
Trees talk with the rustle of their leaves,
Homo sapiens with a language of sounds
That defines his world, paints his reality.
When sounds are gone, would sense also go?
Everything in its time will be nothing,
Save the language he shaped his time with,
The signs will remain, their meanings, too.
It is his only shield against his final ruin.
---Albert B. Casuga