Trill and Mordent by Luisa Igloria

Accidentals are symbols that change the pitch
with just the slightest touch of dissonance

in music— the flats, the sharps, the double
sharps’ spiked banners that appear sometimes once

on a page, sometimes in a series. Ascending or descending
they become appoggiatura— trills or mordents. The trills

are as random birdsong strewn over a field. The mordents
slip down, enough to remind me of their root in morbid

things, in falling, in death. The French, too, remind us
how even in pleasure the body dies a little: la petite mort.

The furtive kiss on the earlobe, the flick of a tongue
at the base of the throat— thin blade of a shudder that rises

to the heart and nicks it like a wound, that attaches
like a shadow. It takes so little to upset the mechanism

of everyday life, the rapid adjustment and tumbling of gears
from one set of teeth to another. As though the hand could choose

without error, the composer made these precise marks on sheets
of music. They bristle like little reports, like explosions

from the snout of a rifle angled through the window of a van,
aimed at any head smooth as the next one that steps

out on a veranda, out of a building; that stoops
momentarily to tie a shoelace, to fumble for car keys.

Now the news every day is filled with how little
it takes to ignite the blunt wick of fear.

Late in the year, the body’s fat thickens like tallow.
Ungathered fruit redden and fall in the yard,

and the afternoons descend a little faster toward night.
Who can blame the one who becomes tired of the brooding

darkness, who wants to open the window and move
toward the leaves’ quick gesturings, to see what voice

repeats her name in a way she has not heard
since childhood, to discover which room in her body

houses the accidental sound of a tuning fork
struck and echoing in the middle of her life.

- Trill and Mordent by Luisa Igloria, September 2005

12 Little Things Every Filipino Can Do to Help Our Country

1. Follow traffic rules. Follow the law. 2. Whenever you buy or pay for anything, always ask for an official receipt. 3. Don’t buy smuggled goods. Buy Local. Buy Filipino. 4. When you talk to others, especially foreigners, speak positively about us and our country. 5. Respect your traffic officer, policeman and soldier. 6. Do not litter. Dispose your garbage properly. Segregate. Recycle. Conserve. 7. Support your church. 8. During elections, do your solemn duty. 9. Pay your employees well. 10. Pay your taxes. 11. Adopt a scholar or a poor child. 12. Be a good parent. Teach your kids to follow the law and love our country. - Alexander L. Lacson, Lawyer and Author