(from the collection: Mt. Tumantangis and Other Poems on Sulu)
it haunts the people’s dream of comfort too.
the cozy rooms, the furnished halls
drive the cold out into the night
and into the poor man’s house, it nurses
the bleeding lungs, the muted mouth.
and when a launch docks beside the wharf
with shrill hoots in the early dawn
arrival is no more wakeful than
departures in the afternoon.
lethargy becomes contagious as
a memory struggling back to mind
from within the fallen walls,
the silent rubble
a soul search leads to a tower
too often neglected by the many
who neither know the brewing storm
nor perceive the strength behind
the stinging calmness of a sea.
down the planks a step and two
the eyes miss the reckless faces,
the funny feet:
behind the sand sacks, a soldier softly
whistles forth a tune
and just as casually warms a steel
back to life for the hours of the day.
© said sadain, jr. 1978
— SSJ, 9 November 2017