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Carabao Grass
(for Luisa Igloria)

My mother too planted our front lawn

With Bermuda grass in the 50s,

When I suppose it was politically correct

To pine after magic carpets,

Not exactly of the Persian kind.

That is how I found that they were soft

Only to the eyes, but not to the butt.

What short, sharp blades they had

Beneath their seeming thick cushion

Of woolly, wavy wonder.

Good only for those who wear

Rubber soles underneath their feet.

Later generations were to find

They took up too much precious water

To maintain, and so the love for

What is now called blue grass-

As blue as bleu cheese is not blue-

Was suspended, indefinitely I fear.

But my heart's at ease. My son,

Now grown, recently re-did

His grandmother's garden, planting it

To carabao grass with its long, soft blades

Gentle to the touch and even

Gentler to the soul, weaving it about

Irregular little mounds and winding paths

And all sizes of bamboos

Exactly as your forefathers would have,

Without saying, "I celebrate myself. …

Why should I pray? Why should I venerate

And be ceremonious?"

4-Feb-03
9:10-9:41 PM

Written in response to Luisa Igloria's poem, "Grass" which appeared in the January 2003 issue of Our Own Voice.

© Mila D. Aguilar

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Excerpts from Love Gathers All Recipient, Global Filipino Literary Award

SIMEON DUMDUM JR.
Love Makes the
World Go Round


RICARDO M.
DE UNGRIA
Spirits of Their Glass

LUISA IGLORIA
Homily

MARNE L. KILATES
A Cloud Named Looking-for-You*

ALFIAN BIN SA'AT
Ghazal of Love

CYRIL WONG
Fundamental

TENG QIAN XI
Waterlights

Responsive Poems

MILA D. AGUILAR
83Eighty Three

Carabao Grass

Bibingkang Malagkit

NADINE L. SARREAL
A Thousand Ears
(for Mila, who shares poems in cyberspace)


JESSIE BADILLO
A Filipina Poet Plays Hide and Seek
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