Skip to main content

Tropical Island Poems

I lived for 2 years on the island of Manila and have fond memories of my experiences there. I hiked through the jungle, climbed volcanic mountains, and visited an isolated village of head hunters. I discovered an abandoned Japanese munitions cave which I reported to the US military so that it could be cleared. I swam in flooded culverts and climbed mango trees to eat the green mangos with salt. I worshipped with my "ama" Helen in a Catholic Church with hard packed dirt floor swept with a brush broom. We stood during the Mass and chickens scurried about our feet. I learned to dance the Tinikling well enough to perform in public and I played many games of Sunka. I am posting 2 poems about tropical islands in honor of these wonderful memories of the Philippine Islands.

The Tropics

Love we the warmth and light of tropic lands,
The strange bright fruit,
the feathery fanspread leaves,
The glowing mornings and the mellow eves,
The strange shells scattered on the golden sands,
The curious handiwork of Eastern hands,
The little carts ambled by humpbacked beeves,
The narrow outrigged native boat which cleaves,
Unscathed, the surf outside the coral strands.
Love we the blaze of color, the rich red
Of broad tiled-roof and turban, the bright green
Of plantain-frond and paddy-field, nor dread
The fierceness of the noon. The sky serene,
The chill-less air, quaint sights, and tropic trees,
Seem like a dream fulfilled of lotus-ease.

Douglas Brooke Wheelton Sladen

Night by the River

The coldness that was brought about
by the shadows of the moon
With the flowing melody
of the river near the lagoon.

The music that the crickets
played for the lonely hearts.
With the non-stop drumming beats
of the croaking frogs.

Up, far away from me,
are the reality of dreams.
And beyond what I can see
lies a silver lined brim.

A ripple created, that shattered
the silence of the wind.
The darkness precipitated,
and swallow every green.

With every drop of rain
provides a bubbling sound.
The friction of the leaves
creates a double rebound.

Tonight in the silence
of the shouting whisper,
beside the lonely darkness,
and the rhythm of the river.

Arjane rona Cruz Torres, Philippines


Anonymous said…
Nice poem selections..

Popular posts from this blog

INDEX of Topics

Kayaking: A descriptive essay

Hannah O’Malley (Grade 7)

On clear days when we’re done with schoolwork, my mom will order my sister and me to go outside. We’ll tromp out in the afternoon light, unlock the garage door with a struggle, and fetch our orange life jackets and yellow paddles. If, as we click our life jackets on, we can hear and feel an inquisitive wind combing through the trees and brushing our faces with soft hands, we grin and say it will be a good day.

Since our twin kayaks are stored below the house, I always have to a venture there to fetch them. Impassively, they wait like faithful pets in the cold, stale air and the damp, orange sand which seems to be below every house. Ducking my head, I clamber down there, shoving the kayaks to the square of light so that my sister can pull them the rest of the way out, trying not to scrape their sandy undersides on the ground. Then I emerge back into the light, unfolding from the cramped position that the maze of pipes dictated.

Chatting and laughing about th…

Response to Sayers’ “Lost Tools of Learning”

Alice C. Linsley

I have been fond of Dorothy Sayers’ writing for over twenty years. It was while reading her Lord Peter Whimsey novels that I came to appreciate the power of literary fiction and I began to write fiction. I consider Sayers’ Nine Tailors and Gaudy Night to be the most finely crafted English mystery novels ever written. They reveal her exceptional eye for detail in story telling, her remarkable vocabulary and grasp of syntax, and her spiritual insights.

Sayers' facility with the English language rests on her exceptionally good classical training. In “The Lost Tools of Learning” Sayers begins by criticizing the modern tendency to regard specialized talking heads as “authorities” on everything from morals to DNA. She opines that the greatest authorities on the failure of modern education are those who learned nothing. We can imagine chuckles coming from some in her audience and frowns on the faces of self-important academics.

While Sayers is correct that we can’t “tu…