Saturday, June 12, 2010


I'm pleased to be part of the Poets for Living Waters project curated by Amy King and Heidi Lynn Staples in response to the BP oil spill disaster. Innit with a poem, statement of conscience and explication of Michael and his anti-colony collapse disorder beekeeping. The poem was one I wrote after the disastrous landslides in Guinsaugon, Leyte, Philippines on February 17, 2006.

I was happy, too, to be able to meld some Babaylan Poetics/indigenized POV into that conscience-statement, which I replicate here:

I am also to blame for the BP oil disaster. I am part of the demand for oil. I do try to limit my footprint on the natural environment, in energy and other matters. For the former, say, a solar field; for the latter, say, hosting bee hives to help mitigate “colony collapse disorder” which also is a way to introduce my son to environmental concerns. But regardless of these steps, I do not wish to avoid acknowledging that I am part of the cause for the tragedy in the Gulf and many other environmental damages—to recognize blame’s expanse is a condition precedent for being part of any solution. As Acoma Pueblo poet Simon J. Ortiz has noted, there is a “moral imperative” to the making of interconnections that require, among other things, pro-active awareness including self-awareness—a stance also inherent in the Filipino indigenous trait of “kapwa” and what I call “Babaylan Poetics.” Ergo, for the BP oil disaster: I am very sorry—I will try to do better.

Colony collapse disorder, landslides from reaping trees from mountain, BP's oil spill in the Gulf -- we are all complicit, because we are interconnected.


Cynthia said...

Yes, Eileen, you are so right.
I realize that my lack of awareness
has become, in my comfortable life
a talent and I am culpable in this
horrible quiet chaos.

I read you poem on the gulf site &
as usual your prose was understated
{minus bouquet adjectives} and
magnifying at once.

EILEEN said...

Thanks, Cynthia, for sharing your input.

Kathang Pinay2 said...

thanks for leading me to Simon Ortiz....he's been in the backburner for a long time...

yes, we are all complicit. children of empire that we are.

EILEEN said...

I happened to have Simon Ortiz's book WOVEN STONE nearby. I opened it at random...and from this excerpt, you can easily glean the indigenized POV :-) and kapwa:

Shake the log
and the fire flares up
into stars.
Watch the moon
for the earth's time
when it doesn't need time.
Moon sets in the crotch
of a pinon and the forest
is full of smoke.


Kathang Pinay2 said...

yes, i plan to immerse myself in his! thanks for this Beauty.

Jean Vengua said...

I'm sorry too!