Victor Penaranda

In the tropics whatever happens
Seems in excess of the expected:
The sun dazzles; the rain pours;
Typhoons visit the islands regularly,
So uncanny, we gave them names
So the most forceful and unsettling
Among them cannot be forgotten.

Our volcanic heritage is undeniable,
Restless or dormant beyond extinction;
Its awesome presence organic to the bone,
Electric in the manner we recognize
Or behold the morning or vein of lightning,
In the way we smile to defy gravity
Or what cannot be asserted in humidity.
The weather becomes unpredictable
As we grow older, as the earth trembles,
Tremors in our bodies silently, nervously,
As relationships fray nearly beyond repair,
Making us firm believers of uncertainty.
The fragile unity of the magical and practical
Compels us to school our children secretly
On the habits of chameleons and dragons,
To teach them to love like ocean without a shore
Until they find a familiar river in the dark night,
Learn how to swim upstream without a clear reason
And why they turn luminous on their way home.