June 3, 2016

Two Poems by Karlo Sevilla: "The Truths of the Blind Elephant," and "The Agricultural Worker's Ode to Labor."

Karlo Sevilla resides in Quezon City, Philippines and writes for The Philippine Online Chronicles. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in I am not a silent poet, Spank the Carp, Pilgrim, Philippines Graphic and in other publications. In his spare time, he coaches in wrestling and does volunteer work for the labor group Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (Solidarity of Filipino Workers). His personal blog is at karlosevillaofquezoncity.blogspot.com.

The Truths of the Blind Elephant
(a reversal of the parable, “The Blind Men and an Elephant”)

Man has many hands, and when you divide the total number of his hands into two,
you'll get the number of his voices -- all speaking at the same time,
all disputing one another. And man touches you with his many
hands while arguing with himself in different voices,

all the while without so much as my permission.

(My confession: When it got too scary I lay
on my side he’d been touching and crushed
him, dividing him into pieces, as many
as his discordant voices.)

The Agricultural Worker's Ode to Labor

A farm worker, I make my rounds with every step upon the ancient soil,
which bears my weight and carries me, as it had my forbears before me,
steadfastly and silently.

The day is finally done, and my feet are sore, my shoulders weary.
But tonight my spirit is light, and I’ll remember with blessedness,
the labor of my kin and neighbors, raising cows and harvesting the field,
patiently and purposefully, that we may all live and grow as one community.

Tonight I will sing a hymn, thankful for the industriousness of my people,
and with my guitar serenade the village, the cornfield, the moon…
as our piece of countryside rests under the evening sky,
guarded by our farmhouses and solitary chapel. 

~Karlo Sevilla 

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