For the past two Fridays, we shared poems from Professor Gemino H. Abad’s award-winning book In Ordinary Time. This Friday, I shall be sharing a poem that I enjoyed and read again and again from another one of his books entitled Care of Light: New Poems and Found published by Anvil in 2009.
Make sure that you also head over to Fomagrams who is hosting this week’s Poetry Friday. It will give you a chance to visit other fellow-poetry-lovers who come together for a few hours in celebration of verse. Trust me when I say that Friday is my favorite day of the week, primarily because I get to explore so many websites with soul-enriching posts.
Here is my offering this week from the poignant and all-too-real voice of Sir Jimmy:Care of Light, from the book of the same title, 2009 As soon as it gets dark, I turn on the lights in my old professor’s cottage, and the following morning before office, turn them off again. With one key I open the iron gate, and with two, the main door. I turn the lamp on in her library, the vigil light for the Sacred Heart on the shelf jutting out a wall; then I switch on the single electric bulb outside the kitchen, and last, the red and green halogen like Christmas lights below the front eaves. I follow strictly her instructions. She loves order in her life, and requires a similar order in other people’s behavior – a discipline of mind sometimes terrorized by the haps and hazards of thieving time. She needs to be always in control, but she’s old now and frail, can hardly walk, deaf and half-blind, and often ill, so that, having no choice, no housemaid able to endure her sense for order, she had to leave and stay at her sister’s place, finally dependent. In the half-darkness and mustiness now of her deserted cottage, all its windows closed, her books and papers, once alive with breath of her impetuous quests, are filmed with dust on her long working table, awaiting it seems her return. I think of how a time ago she’d walk briskly to her early morning class, dressed in style to shame old maids; then call our names as though each had irreplaceable post in her invincible order of things; and then, her shoulders hunched, teach with a passion that, before the imperious gale of her questioning, drove us bleating on the open plain of the world’s sharp winds. So; at the day’s end, I’m her lamplighter on her silent asteroid, among books, papers, rubble of chalk. I close the gate behind me as I stride out, making sure I hear the lock’s tiny click. I follow strictly her instructions. Down her street the street lamps cast my shadow ahead. Crickets in the bushes whirr according to their nature. In the same order, the sun too will rise tomorrow, and I shall be back.