Gonzalinho da Costa

Featured in ArLiJo Issue No. 86

To my father

Grappling for smallest advantage,
Shifting weight left, right,
Right, left,
He tugs, pulls, jostles,
Feints, hoists,
Wound-up athlete
Poised to hurl, fling, explode . . .
Coiled jumper,
Drawn bow,
Hidden in grass, wildcat
Eyeing prey, he waits . . .
It happens—
Momentary weakness,
Instant hesitation,
Pause off-balance,
Sliver-sized opening, door—
Sudden soundless bolt,
Swift glider in descent,
Juggernaut runaway truck,
He throws his opponent,
Alarm bells yelling,
Pins him down
Binds his arms
Gasping fish
Struggling like water
To hold its shape.

Copyright © 2016 by Gonzalinho da Costa.

After Basho

Chalk white moon, a disc of pooling light.
Round old pond, stillness unruffled,
Bird tucked inward. Behind
Embankment of clouds, a frog leaps—
Touchdown in water!

Black sky bursts, broken,
Beatific placid mirror shattered
By splash of a big blast,
Droplets, tremulous,
Subatomic particles scattering,
Tsunami unleashing gamma waves, X-rays,
70,000 instantly dead . . .

Genbaku Dome, UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Copyright © 2016 by Gonzalinho da Costa.

Gonzalinho da Costa is the pen name of Joseph I. B. Gonzales, Ph.D. He teaches Methods of Research in Management, and Managerial Statistics at the Ateneo Graduate School of Business, Makati City, Philippines. He is a management research and communication consultant, and Managing Director of Technikos Consulting, Inc. A lover of world literature, he has completed three humanities degrees and writes poetry as a hobby.