Islander in the City:

ODE TO DUSK

Sunset in Bitaogan, Bato, Catanduanes
Photo: Carlo Gianan de Leon

By Pablo A. Tariman

 

Catch me another dusk

As the day is done

And the high bright sun

Has settled where it should

In the bowels of the sea.

 

Catch me another dusk

To recall

Life in the island

When rice paddies

Lead you to the nearby river

Where the young dive

And negotiate deep waters

And rise naked

As the day they were born.

 

Catch me another dusk

To recall your first eclipse

In another island.

 

You wonder

Why it turned suddenly dark

In mid-afternoon

And you head for home

Catching a moment

Neither night nor day.

 

Catch me another dusk

When you head for home

By the seashore

To find young lovers

Under the trees

Relish the first sensual dusk of summer.

 

I like reunions in summer

With friends you have not seen

For years.

 

I love summer

In all its hues at sunset.

 

I like its fiery colors

Like the magic red of roses

And the young flesh

Of your youth

Half-submerged in the sea

Of your past.

 

Catch me a last sunset

To come to terms with my past

And dream what’s left

Of a future.

 

Catch me a dusk

Where big dreams are laid to rest

And happiness is watching

Your grandchildren smile

Showing you a future

Without the claws

Of the scourge

Threatening your sunsets.

 

Catch me another dusk

For my memory

Between sand and sea.

There is nothing like

Watching the shadows of friends

Reliving

The first dusk of summer.

 

-30-

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