And where do I bring this smell
Of reticence, this O of olfactory
Greenness? The wind knows
How I linger, the ways I dwell
In what I might be forced to remember.
The wind always tosses the shapeliest
Fruit, most of the time mango or starapple,
Teasing my nose to inhale the circulars.
I bring my crudest ways
Of recall to the violets.
It sometimes disappoints,
But often makes me realize
I’m a monarch without a kingdom.
And how do I keep myself hidden
In leaves when I smell the violets?
The rain lends its invitation
And I follow the smells of moss
And lichen. In the forest
Water, when it rises, often
Wears its royal robe of glimmers.
How convincing its argument
That if surfaces are glassy
Transparence is its depths.
I soak myself in the gurgling flow,
Out of my heart’s reticence
And into the moon’s glow.
And if my reputation moves faster
Than the wind? You don’t know me.
I’m shyer than the bandicoot, living
Inland, invisible as the homeless man.
I prefer to be left alone, slithering
In abandoned moonlight. The floral
Wind balms my hunger, and I often
Spend the night hungry. Starlight
Is my nourishment, water my soothing
Prayer. They say my venom is the
Deadliest, but I don’t have to defend
Myself, until I’m driven into the corner
Where ignorance, prejudice and irrational,
Unfounded fear might mean
The end of my life.
Jonel Abellanosa resides in Cebu City, the Philippines. His poetry has appeared in close to two hundred journals and anthologies including, Rattle, Anglican Theological Review, Poetry Kanto, Filipino-American Artist Directory, The McNeese Review and Marsh Hawk Review. Early in 2017 Alien Buddha Press published his third chapbook, “Meditations,” His latest poetry collection, “Songs from My Mind’s Tree” is forthcoming (Clare Songbirds Publishing House). He is a Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net and Dwarf Stars Award nominee.