Glenn Vincent Atanacio

Glenn Vincent Kintanar Atanacio
obtained his AB Journalism from the University of Santo Tomas in 2005.

One of the most promising poets of
his generation, he has honed his craft on the streets of Manila as much as

in the conference halls of workshops
and seminars. He has been a writing

fellow to the UP, Ateneo and IYAS
National Writers Workshops and has received due recognition, including

the award Thomasian Poet of the
Year 2003-2004.

Glenn has served as associate editor
and literary editor of UST's The Flame

journals and the organization's head
literary folio, Dapitan, which was awarded Best Student Literary Folio

by the C atholic Mass Media Awards.
He has also been a features

contributor

to

AsiaGeographic

Magazine. As an aspiring media

practitioner,

Glenn

has

attended

various seminars and lectures on journalism. At present he is a staff

writer for Manila Standard Today.

Author Work(s) •Journey of Flowers 3 •Miles •Rekindling

Journey of Flowers

Glenn Vincent Atanacio

English

I I want to tell you that the world is flat, that We are all, after all, mistaken, And everything is possible. Feasible, logical, As daylight lost in the traps Of yesterday’s photographs, We fumble in the path of this morning’s Own flowering

This morning, reading Your text message, I realize that,

After the longest years, we
still move Aimlessly, still stay in the same places.

What has kept us waiting?

On my phone,
The old directions—a list of flowers to

prepare
And pack: anthuriums, gladiolas,

Further bundles of tulips to console
the customers—

I count The flowers; wait for the next bus to

Dangwa.
I can never trust this distance:

In the next hour, out
On the foggy path

of Halsema
Highway, the flowers

Will remain in
journey.

I walk back
home, certain that you are

Looking out your window, waiting for
the flowers

In the city—for old business in old
places, We wait but What is waiting for us?

II. I can never trust this distance. Anywhere along the road anything can happen. Passing Tarlac, the symmetry of flowers sits Back to watch the havoc of muck and boulders. Outside the bus’s window,

Life’s constant landslide is merely a glance away: Halfburied houses, Wounded parapets and backyards, Wares, vehicles— Only the vehicles are salvaged.

After the landslide, it seems, Every second calls to be rescued— Clock-ticks before now, Another should have happened. In Benguet, I shut my window to the cold. I study the garden and close my hand into a fist until It warms—

I read your message telling that
Few of the flowers failed to make the

journey intact.
Stalks are damaged; the petals have trips.

Somewhere along the road something else happened. Can’t you feel that we are always at the

edge of all movement— That always there are fumbles to protect Against, seconds to connect, Next instances for us to save? The flowers are braver than us;

This is a warning, not an admission.
I shiver and stare At the cold, bleak garden and Unclose my fist knowing that This movement is this moment’s blooming Root And flower.

III. And morning, mourning bottle green Grass, a day’s disconsolate weather—I wonder What happened before now: waking up early, Watching daylight move through curtains —-Or before I sent the flowers, before my fist opened,

What is the root beneath the rootedness of living? You linger at Dangwa, fingers firm around a cigarette. What happened before to move you, make you Wait for the flowers? Prior to the jeepney, journey Through half-asleep streets?

Each time you step forward always You keep a foot behind, a root so portable You never realize It’s there— The invisible fulcrum of life’s continuous torque. Sometimes, it’s a hand holding a seed, The soil we walk on,

flower patch
Of possibilities: I send the flowers; you

sell
Them—what we need is just A bus route away, Our comprehension of life’s

Miraculous cause And effect: The bus pulls up near Dimasalang. You rise, ready for the flowers. Sometimes, God comes down as a root, As the possibility of movement. You walk through this pathway, same Street you walked through yesterday.
Again, the same actions, languages

rehearsed by the body— That’s the way to learn it: I’d do anything to see And know exactly how The world is prompting your steps right now, How rooted you are as you bend forward To pick up the flowers.

But that’s a possibility we cannot
have Because no matter how much we learn

of our selves,

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