Last Friday, we announced the launching of The Poet’s Sanctum here at GatheringBooks. For July and August, we are honored and thrilled to feature Tita Lacambra Ayala’s poetry.
Our feature also comes at a serendipitous time since yesterday marked the 30th year of Road Map Series, a “voice-in-the-wilderness publication” that is spearheaded and edited by Tita Lacambra Ayala.
The Road Map Series (or RMS) has been decribed as a ‘launching pad’ for many aspiring writers. As of 21 July, there are a total of 83 issues in all which feature various authors, artists, poets, and budding writers.
For today’s Poetry Friday which is being hosted by Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference, I shall be featuring Madam Tita’s “Ordinary Poems – Being New Poems” originally published by Erehwon Publishing House in 1967 and recently republished by Road Map Series in 2011. This little booklet has a total of 30 poems in all with Jolico Cuadra writing the Foreword.
Since it is summer time in other parts of the world (winter though to our friends in Australia and New Zealand), I feel that Tita Lacambra Ayala’s Summer Song would be perfect:
Summer Song by Tita Lacambra Ayala (published in the book Ordinary Poems by Erehwon Manila, 1967, reprinted by Road Map Series in 2011)That morning you opened the window there was reverence in your face and an April look saying: there is none more beautiful than the world waking up. Since then you have become too much part of summer, of deep-breathing black coffee steam, of hair wet from a swim nestled in pillows, of naked footprint centered on polished floor. Since then you have become too much part of waking: to sights I have been blind to to sounds I never heard and nuances I never could accept before you. Now I am all music and if I remember too strongly the beating of your breath upon my hair, if I wish too much you had not travelled out of touch, pass this off as another fever of an overactive brain. Once in a while my year should pass unnoticed, sparing me summer the season that remembers you.
As I read through the pages, struggling to find another one that made me catch my breath in its lyrical beauty, I find it extremely difficult – all the poems move me in countless of ways. However, I must choose only one – to give you a teaser, a taste of Madam Tita’s sweetness, occasionally tinged with soulful darkness and enchantment. Here is Fragments:
Fragments by Tita Lacambra Ayala (published in the book Ordinary Poems by Erehwon Manila, 1967, reprinted by Road Map Series in 2011)Burn bright as candle column of rain spoken for. The Sphinx grew roots where it stood or sat roots so long they broke out to the other sided globe gathered and pounded out into fibers to make a robe. Be my lemon peel be my drink be the dream that drives me the despair that wilts. Nostalgia is a leaf lying on a window stain on a sheet or a day’s weather. If you think this encounter with you excessive and deep wipe it away with a rain of silence or inanely remark how long the day is. Are you bright and early needle in the hay? Are you lost for granted at the break of day? Turn your heart to candy or a golden egg or a bright sunflower tattooed on a leg.