Inscrutable Sonnets


Everyone takes to the hills. And why not? The air is still
always cooler. Afternoons are shrouded with fog. Lowlanders take
their sweaters out of mothballs, pose for pictures at the pony trail.
Or they can don highland garb at the promontory overlooking what’s left
of silver and copper mines established in American colonial times. A work
force from many cultures carved access roads from sheer mountainsides—
Who wouldn’t stay, after such arduous toil? The future once nestled
like an oasis here. I remember Hindu shopkeepers, Chinese dim sum cooks,
the old Spaniard who put up an ice cream parlor and soda fountain; a Belgian
priest who left his order to marry the pharmacist. These days, the migrants
are mostly Korean, Japanese; they set up restaurants, send their children
to ESL classes. My ex- used to joke— for all we knew, there could be
a community of aging Nazis living out their days in some dusty highland
town: nothing and no one to answer to but councils of immoveable stone.

(Baguio City)

Poet Luisa A. Igloria (Poetry Foundation web page, author webpage ) is the winner of the 2015 Resurgence Prize (UK), the world’s first major award for ecopoetry, selected by former UK poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion, Alice Oswald, and Jo Shapcott. She is the author of What is Left of Wings, I Ask (2018 Center for the Book Arts Letterpress Chapbook Prize, selected by Natasha Trethewey); Bright as Mirrors Left in the Grass (Kudzu House Press eChapbook selection for Spring 2015), Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser (Utah State University Press, 2014 May Swenson Prize), Night Willow (Phoenicia Publishing, 2014), The Saints of Streets (University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, 2013), Juan Luna’s Revolver (2009 Ernest Sandeen Prize, University of Notre Dame Press), and nine other books. She is a member of the core faculty of the MFA Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University which she directed from 2009-2015. In 2018, she was the inaugural Glasgow Distinguished Writer in Residence at Washington and Lee University. When she isn’t writing, reading, or teaching, she cooks with her family, knits, hand-binds books, and listens to tango music.

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