Gemino Abad

(05 February 1939 / Cebu / Philippines)

Toys - Poem by Gemino Abad

Now our boys have such toys
as my brother and I never dreamed;
Did the same spirit stir our make-believe?
Yet outdoor was where we took its measure.

But how could I wish it were otherwise
for them, and would it be wise
since other kids inhabit the same quarry
where X-men wage their fantastic wars?

Indeed we knew the hot spill of blood,
with slingshots searched the bushes and trees,
but also knew ourselves pierced
where the world’s songs first were made.

But those video games, those robots,
armaments of glory, sirens of terror,
must root their eyes in our politics
and scavenge for hope in the world’s rubble.

Something’s amiss, or toys perhaps
have changed their meaning.
In the overflood of their kind,
they’ve lost their round of seasons.

It may be the same with the world’s
weather, but in our time,
there was one season for kites
when the wind seemed to make the sky rounder;

There was another, for marbles and rubber bands,
the earth firmer, the blaze of sunshine brighter;
and yet another, for tops and wheels,
as streetwise we vied for dusty prizes.

And when the rains came,
and the skies fell with the thunderclap,
how we would run in drenched nakedness
to dare a lightning race to the edge of time.

But how shall I travel to my boys’ heart
and break their dreadnought of heroes,
and find, as when light breaks,
the pieces of their manhood whole?

O, their heroes create them,
but if they could invent their games
and stage their future, might they not
surprise the hero with their fate?


Poet's Notes about The Poem

Taken from Ordinary Time

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Poem Submitted: Monday, May 14, 2012



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