Erle Frayne Argonza y Delago
Rise up, Man! Rise up!
Your commonwealth’s history had been astride
The cosmic pendulum that had darted
From yon up. Pendulum has reached dead center
And again is rising beyond the dale of time.
The center was lodged betwixt camel and palm tree.
Reckon, reckon that the East calls
‘Twain the valley of time expectant.
Respond shall the camel benignly
And twill change hands with the carabao.
Snail paced is this beast the carabao
And so is your ascent, o! Man!
To the pinnacle of your godly, godly zen.
You shall be god, your being’s made
By you a living clay molded
Millions of times by your own hands.
Man! The Light has come forth
In dazzling photons it fused with seawaves
And fluvial ripples. Gracefully had
It landed, guided by a dozen eagles.
Shine brightly shall the Light
Sky beacon that illuminates eagerness
The clear landscape of the Promise.
The Promise has been slumbering in a bed
Of coal and gold: ‘tis coal and gold.
The Light shall burn the coal
To be fed into the waiting furnace
Where the gold shall be molded into one
Magnificent icon as tall as the azure sky.
‘Tis the longed for icon that shall herald
The historic swing to grandeur’s height.
Wherefore lies the heart of grandeur?
Wert this not but a dead man’s wish
Long buried in the hovels of the earth?
Wert this not but a sweetened piece
Of bitter gourd: its stinging taste betrays
Its endless senselessness in the world sensical?
Man! This height of grandeur is the state
Indescribable to the wisest among grandfathers
A million generations stretch: ‘tis a million
Times a million times of pure majestic luster
Only but Inner Selves can comprehend.
‘tis the founded form-being of all
Sublime inner selves that have been struggling
In putrescent marshes of history.
This to the grandfathers is mere dream
Induced by the spirit elixirs of Bacchus.
Rise! Rise it shall
High above the hills and valleys
‘Twards the azure firmaments
This majestic commonwealth of yours, o! Man!
For which freedom-in-life is
A concluded spell of benevolent magis.
Reside shall its spirit in people’s bosoms.
Gone shall be the seismic struggles
Alone for bread as if this were the most
Valued diadem atop the zenith of greatness:
The world shall be its own bread
And man, the luminary figure at last
Whose coming was pronounced before
By a trillion bards of eagles and doves.
Rise! Rise it shal
From where corals had made lands
Where sturdy races have eked out living
And slave they were for others;
No more are they slaves but are free cranes
Atop carabaos their benign carriers.
What is reality after all o! Man!
For which you have buried yourself
Millions of times in search for its enigmas?
Is it like spiral moving poles a-clashing?
Maybe, but maybe not. Maybe
‘Tis a swarm of flies that swats
Made festive killings by the dozens
And yet aren’t flies but gems.
When upon each gem Light gently touches
It brings forth radiance to all
Corners of the cosmos: it makes bounds
Anon betwixt its grounded state
And the unbrimmed infinite extent
Apast spaces: ‘tis unbrimmed space
And yet spaceless brims.
Man! A promise made a million times
And delivered a million times makes a million
More than its primeval state: ‘ts a grain
Of sand and the universe made one.
The sea has recognized this secret lore
And had sung it lyrically in melodious tunes
That no one cared to listen to
Save for man-slaves on a dozen mountains.
Mushroom-eaters they are who’d sensed
What the real is: the Promise realized overboard
Its primordial state—a giant that wakes up
From zillions of earth revolutions or slumber:
‘Ti a Being stronger than ever that turns rivers
Into founts of gold, cause for merriment
Atop the nature-world the bed of bread.
Happy, o! happy will be
The suns and stars and moons
And winds and waves
Over your final dawning, o! Man!
Even as the day starts on the sixth hour.
Man! You are the sixth estate:
Risen and made one, freed at last
From tsunamis of disintegrating forces.
Behold! No more forlorn are nature and cosmos
The citadels of true life.
And you, Man, finally regained, revived,
Realized as your guardian and maker.
[Writ. 22 July 1991, Cubao, Quezon City, M.Manila]