FROM THE NEWSPAPER STAND

Written by: nette onclaud


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