BEING PROUD OF HER*
(For Mimi, Blanca and Ding+ Nolledo)
Let me at it---get me to my concupiscibles.Green. Ripples. Sidled boats. Verdant growth.
Do you not see the metaphor stripped bare
Of all that is recondite? Lorca saw it: Verde.
Old Nick’s barking tremolo swooned to it—
Evensong lullaby hushed his beer-body riot.
“Shh…the quiet lord cometh, he is on his way,
Laving ripples murmur to the brackish rocks
Serving sentry on the bluff: it is the end of day,
One more goodbye, one more sleep. No cocks
Crow here anymore.” Mimi has a good eye.
Do you not feel what you ought to also see?The idled empty boats are Indios Bravos tables.
Our tippling comrades are not there anymore,
Like the gin-ran pumps of absent boatmen,
These tubs tug at loose ropes linking them
Briefly like tumbler-toasting, tired, trolling
Troubadours. Beyond, it will always be green;
The gentle whimsy of wind is caressing here.
But the lights will be turned down soon,
Like sundown’s stealth, the creeping gloom.
At the old haunt—Nick, Pete, Pascua-Sanchez,Papen, Erwin, Recah, Blanca, Adrian, Cuadra,
Are still shadows on the wall, not unlike catfish
Bobbing up for air as we did, drunken Bravos,
Fighting for breath when carousing left us
Struggling to surface from the depths of dives
Into bottomless pain and puzzlement: why
Did we have to walk out, foglike, into a dawn
Where bright days turned us all into harlequins
Miming what we thought were loud promises
to stay alive like these green dancing ripples
moving my eyes now grafted into Mimi’s Eye.
---ALBERT B. CASUGAMississauga, 07-07-13
*A poem written in the persona of the late Philippine writer and novelist non pareil Wilfrido D. “Ding” Nolledo, father of artist Melissa Nolledo, and beloved husband of writer-editor Blanca Datuin-Nolledo, who writes a blog “Cropsharing in the Bounty of Love” where she collects hitherto unknown remembrances of one of the finest writers in English in the Philippines, “But for the Lovers” author, Wilfrido Nolledo.