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Silence

Here, ready this space.

Unclutter minds
deliriously engaged in such
habits cacophonous.

Disarm men of the weight
of their noxious weapons
of anger and distrust.

Unlock doors long latched in the clasp
of sorrow and unforgiving.

Begin to sing to them this song
soundless yet euphonious,
this language innate
to God and the angels.

Unfurl with your gaze, gentlest,
this message unflinching
of every soul's native dignity.

Teach them finally how to sit
above themselves and return
to our shared place of origin
in peace, in stillness.

(New Year's Day 2013)

- Rina Angela Corpus

(featured in the poetry forum 03.05.13)

editor's note: One last day, when we tire, we'll hear that final, "Sit down and shut up." Which will make us smile and, finally, sleep. - mh

Moongazing in Manila

The air is stripped of inanities tonight
and I grow breathless seeing
an apparition of the city sky, revealing
a golden host aureoled in light.

From my window, I decipher
the profile of a man’s face
etched on her cheek.
But the towering condominiums,
now mushrooming the city,
pitifully diminish her royalty
into a minute disc.

I go to sleep and memorize
the image of her in mind:
infinitesimal like the tiny point of light
now resting
behind these eyes.

- Rina Angela Corpus

(featured in the poetry forum 12.16.12)

editor's note: All over this globe, the same glowing orb makes the same memory point behind closed eyes. - mh

Sacrilege
(For Sr. I., radical nun)

Our mouths used to choke
with cries
to a god
we called father

Such helpless-
ness is hard to spell
spoken best in silence
as the priests' voices

rise in sermons
to punctuate each syllable
of our scripted faith

where He is
the One holy man
while we are
unsaid silences
disciplined consciences aside

heeding Him, praising Him
until we grow
weary of litanies
to opulent phalluses,
cold Caucasian saints

until we learn to beseech salvation
from within us
our m/other gods.

We now learn to invoke souls
long gone
out of His cathedrals
ornate erections all
that we now castrate

as we ritualize our refusal
to choke ourselves with cries
and call god father.

- Rina Angela Corpus

(featured in the poetry forum 10.14.12)

editor's note: A sacrosanct slogan to satisfy one but choke another. Take what you like from faith's buffet, leave the rest for others. - mh

A bit about Rina: Rina Angela Corpus is an assistant professor at the Department of Art Studies, University of the Philippines where she finished her BA Art Studies and MA Art History. Her research interests include feminist aesthetics, dance history and alternative spiritualities. She trained and danced with the Quezon City Ballet and served as cultural editor of the Philippine Collegian. Her first book “Defiant Daughters Dancing: Three Independent Women Dance” (UP Press, 2007) is a groundbreaking feminist research on Philippine contemporary women dancers.

She practices Raja yoga meditation and chiqong healing movements. You may visit her at Dance of Stillness.