FROM THE NEWSPAPER STAND
Along this foggy daybreak stroll,
I tread along the intersection
between Mabini Street and EDSA boulevard,
crossing number 25 Ortigas Road.
I breathe in the same grain
of Manila pollen and dust itching
my throat ; an acrid mound of city garbage
gathered by rain’s aftermath,
as if to beckon another tropical deluge;
and the loud chatter of headlines
from the newspaper stand pierces
the lobes with a burning jolt… a bundle
of political scoops and trade rumors
grating an otherwise neutral hour.
Few distances away, a flea market stand
vibrates with energy; pedestrians milling
around to check buko pies, plum bits,
and homemade guava jams… the exotic aromas
mixing with smoky flavor of dried bamboo leaves
on top of abaca wares; all these catering
to small pleasures of the low-middle working class.
Curving through Francis Square, a deluge
of movement initiates the 7 30 am rush…
buses, cars, and taxi- stands unload
a giant hive of wayfarers coming from
different points of the map; dragging
their skeletal frames like ticks of a clock.
Amidst a Friday hub, I stop to glance at the
towering statue of Mother Mary as a
cart-pusher slowly wanders by; his warm
smile bearing a contrast in a region
where the rat race of man is typical.
Surrounded by a collage of fragrant
eucalypti and mango trees, I breath in
a sense of delight likened to my
yard’s garden, this time, with heady scent.
The plump oaks at the front lobby
of Pharmo Industries are shedding
foliage, while a painted splash
of native robins cruises from laced twigs,
far beyond the clutter of newspaper stands,
market place, and taxi-stands.
My gaze casts inward to balance my thoughts,
as I begin my protracted stay at work.
Stand Contest of Debbie Guzzi
and Nathan's One of Your Best
by nette onclaud