poet's sanctum Poetry Friday

Poetry Friday: Suites Ungarbled and Pearl and Blue Raincoat of Tala Mundi

In the two remaining Fridays of August, we would be sharing the three remaining Suites from Tita Lacambra Ayala’s newest publication entitled Tala Mundi edited by Ricardo M. de Ungria. Our Poetry Fridays for the months of July and August have been dedicated to Madam Tita, as part of our newest feature here in GatheringBooks which we call The Poet’s Sanctum.

The round-up for today’s Poetry Friday is at Doris at Doris Reads. Check out all the other poems in the round-up post that she has on for today. 

Suite Ungarbled and Pearl is a collection of Tala’s shorter poems – defined by de Ungria as staying within “20 lines maximum and with single immediate effect or image and with little or no rumination at all” (p. 162). He also elaborated on this section further:

Not many poets take easily or comfortably to this form of brokenness and intensity. Making snapshots of thoughts or emotions calls for a peculiar kind of sensibility honed by quick responses to emotional emergencies or perishable lucidities. Wit and humor, at times, define the poetic tone, while sharp, storied images compress the rhetoric to barest minimum.

TALA's Painting - yes, she is also a visual artist. Photo courtesy of her singer-songwriter daughter Cynthia Alexander.

The strength of this book not only comes from Tala’s musings and threads of thought – a great deal is likewise owed to de Ungria’s commentary – in and of themselves lyrical in essence – sharp in its incisive attempt to pin down the soul of Tala’s poetry for fragmentary and elusive examination. I will be sharing only one poem from this section as a teaser to get you, our dear readers, to want more of her poems.

Nocturne No. 4 by Tita Lacambra Ayala, 1962, p. 171 in Tala Mundi

Moons deepen the night with light
stalking like haunted hands
rifling through towns and trees
for the lost or undiscovered.
Dreams nestle against birdwings
pinfeather softness clings
around growth at rest
and buds smile at drying flowers.
Who said night is for sleep?
Tendrils clasp so much more intense,
saps run more rapid in the cores
when moons shed dew for them
whose death is sleep.

Suite Blue Raincoat in contrast to the section above deals more with Tala’s longer poems. De Ungria describes this collection as “personal and confessional in mode, whose intensities in thought and emotion fall neither victims of, nor preys to, the diminution and dilution that usually attend works of sustained length” (p. 220). Here is one poem from the collection that moved me.

Tone Poem by Tita Lacambra Ayala, 1998, pp 277-278 in Tala Mundi

Because the time for
tomorrow is what
it should not be
the water is troubled
the atmosphere is misty
clearing the air is like
clearing the mind –
a bit of circulation and
          the sun
drawing concentric circles
around everything
shadows in-between
Broken bones and nails
set back into place
pieces of one’s eyeglasses
mosaic upon the green
better to see how
the sky, the soil,
           the breaking skin.
the falling sound is
          caught falling
the rain drank straight
          without rum
the rainbow is only for trimming
          a gift box
time tips overflowing
god’s lips are parched and dry
blank spaces
explained as time warps
by selves warping –
some people fly with
          their ears
other with their feet
i fly with my eyes
i see you under me 
trying not to see
i fly with my eyes
i see you under me
trying not to see
your eyelids are violet
you must look at me
when you are tired
pretending to be blind
then we might break the 
and hear each other’s

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

17 comments on “Poetry Friday: Suites Ungarbled and Pearl and Blue Raincoat of Tala Mundi

  1. Thanks for sharing. I need to read more poetry!


  2. Thanks for introducing me to Tita’s beautiful poetry. Love Nocturne No. 4!


  3. “light stalking like haunted hands” — so beautiful. Thanks also for sharing the literary criticism, which had poetry of its own.


    • Hi Laura, the Editor de Ungria is an award-winning and celebrated Poet himself – it is no wonder that the literary criticism also resonates with such lyrical beauty. Thank you for visiting.


  4. These are so beautiful…very rich in imagery and sensory imaginings. Thank you for sharing – I shall have to read more by this poet!


    • Hi Tara! You definitely should. I read at least three poems before I retire in the evening. Gives me a sense of being ‘filled’ with quietness and warmth.


  5. Anne Stockwell

    I never heard of Tita Lacambra Ayala before reading your blog. Now I’m trying to buy Tala Mundi online & can’t find it — Has it been released yet? I’m anxious to read more.


    • Hi Anne! So great of you to stop by. As far as I know Tala Mundi should be available on Amazon. I just checked with Madam Tita’s daughters and I am sure they’d be able to give me more information – I’m very happy that you enjoyed the poetry. Can’t even describe how beautiful it is. Suffice it to say, it has inspired me to create our Poet’s Sanctum here in GatheringBooks – thus our bimonthly feature til end of August. 😉


  6. Just lovely, Myra. I really like your website also. Thanks for sharing these today.


  7. cynthialexander

    the restless rustling in Nocturne No.4..

    (Tala Mundi book inquiries may be coursed through me at cynthialexander@gmail.com)

    Thank you ever much, Myra!


  8. the restless rustling in Nocturne No.4..

    (Tala Mundi book inquiries may be coursed through me at cynthialexander@gmail.com)

    Thank you ever much, Myra!


  9. Pingback: Carnival of Children’s Literature and Round-up for August |

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