On Facing the Guernica

Poetry by | March 7, 2022

On facing the Guernica in a dream,
It stops talking. Just like how speech
Happens in the Sandman’s realm,
There is a wordless arrival
To an agreement or deterioration.
For a century the picture is saying
A lot of things. Its choreographed
Exertion of brutality, horror, plight—
Suggests more of Pablo’s disgust
Than apathy. The Guernica is finally
Mute. Stumbling into disillusion,
As the picture tires of its constant
Reminder. To whom? To what gain
Do we seek? The gored bull, women
In hysteria, must see through their
Purpose. Light the bonfire with
This canvas; a good fuel to burn
The world. Pablo, with all his fluency
With lines, stutters the clear language
Of horror. It is not easy to be speaking
All the time of serious things
In fragmented and abstracted form.
We deserve our quiet now. Go on,
Say the things your heart desires.
Alter is 42 years old and lives with his mother. He teaches English and literature at La Salle University in Ozamis City. He is trying to finish his MA in Creative Writing at Silliman University. He plays tennis and ponders on writing a book of poetry about the game and the people who play it. He was a fellow for poetry in the 28th Iligan National Writers Workshop.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.