1. Singing Bowl

    Malleable heart, mouth open to the sky and rain,
    my discipline is to learn your one singing note–

    to fish it out of the depths of a fountain like a penny
    someone tossed there long ago, or like the sun

    in hiding. Not so easy to twirl the simple
    wooden mallet, learn how the wrist must circle

    lightly around the rim; or when it comes, how to loft
    its brassy bangle, let it eddy across the grass.

    ~ Luisa A. Igloria
    04 22 2011


    It has been some time since I threw a coin
    into a fountain: I worry my wishes might
    just come true. The last one was terrifying.

    Did you ever wish for men to stop bickering
    about how to achieve world peace, love,
    and human dignity? The last one who did

    got all his loinclothes splattered with blood
    gushing from gaping bullet wounds that must
    have shattered his heart. Gandhi-ji fell.

    Before him, another man of peace came
    riding into old Jerusalem on a tired donkey,
    and rode forsworn into the place of skull

    where he promised a craven thief of a place
    in paradise before he moaned how his people
    and his Father have forsaken him. Crucified.

    On a good day, like this, on a Good Friday, too,
    I look back to the skies, as that man on the tree did,
    and see a sun glowing faintly through a penumbra

    like a rusty coin at the bottom of a broken fountain,
    and whisper a wish as would a perching whippoorwill:
    May I find rest today, a little respite from myself,

    And wish nothing for the lonely and the restless save
    a quiet day humming a hymn of hope on a hammock,
    and not the sour wine soaked on a hyssop branch.

    —Albert B. Casuga

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