Ricky de Ungria

The Luminous Politics of Travel

She sits on the edge of light
looking away with the ten thousand things
in her mind. This is Venice, 2013.
And the yellow boat across her in the Rio de Miracoli
pinned by the morning rays to its moor
has sped off already to the ponte Santa Maria Nova
trailed by quiet spumes of forking waves.
Behind her in the dark and narrow landing,
a colorful but unused beach umbrella
brought in to measure the distance
between opposite walls, has multiplied
itself already into thousands of hand-
carried and handmade yellow umbrellas in Hong
Kong a year later where it remains unfolded
and is shield and symbol both at once,
sheltering new and hidden suns
with its thousand shades
behind barricades and barbed wires
on unpassable and untrodden roads.

1 December 2014

Ricardo M. de Ungria

Ricardo M. de Ungria has published eight books of poetry and edited a number of anthologies, for which he has won seven National Book Awards. On a Fulbright Grant, he received his MFA in Creative Writing from Washington University in St. Louis. He is a founding member of the Philippine Literary Arts Council (1981) and the Davao Writers Guild (1999). He has served as Chancellor of the University of the Philippines in Mindanao (2001–07) and Commissioner for the Arts at the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (2009–11) and now teaches at the UP Mindanao in Davao.