Life is a Stream of Questions

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Contributor: Jun Lit

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When the deep well of unwanted tears
have been emptied into deserts called pillows
but the orphaned sadness still flows,
where does one chase the smile
that brightened each day,
each day that stretched a step a mile?

If at the end of the dreaming rainbow
one finds not the proverbial wealth but naught,
where could one dig for the elusive pot of gold
that every pauper and prince sought?

When the last spring of cheer has dried up
and abandoned the riffles and pools
that used to be musical in the days of old,
where could one find the headwaters
of that reassuring look?

One thousand and one hundred questions
reached, discounting the ones uncounted,
now ages old and still unanswered.
And for every interested “What?”
and anxious “When?” that bade farewell,
one puzzled “Why?”,
or one astounded “How?”
and weary “Where?”
knocks at the doors of heart and mind.

Oft I was told by many,
almost a tyranny,
that one supernatural superhero
is the answer. Presto!,
Yet they didn’t know my question,
the questions.
Arrogance, the accusation -
but simply asking
not so simple poetic queries
on realities of nature – not poetry
and on nature of realities – that is poesy!
apparently, in nature,
is not that simple,
and the answers cannot be simplistic
and neither poetic.

I just know
that when I stop asking,
or writing lines, verses, rhyming
or not, and when questions stop coming -
that’s when life ceases
and I
would not

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Jun Lit (Ireneo L. Lit, Jr.) teaches biology and studies insects at the University of the Philippines Los Baños and writes poems about nature, people, and society.


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