An Account of a Street Light

Poetry by | April 26, 2015

They also¹ call it “lamppost.” It is a raised² spring of light commonly on the edge of a walkway or a road. Technically, it only lights up when needed³. However, sometimes they are lit in the brightness of the day, but it doesn’t matter anyway. No one cares about it, as long as it won’t bother the light people needed as they cross the street.

¹You know I am fond of inventing names for the things I like. People might have emulated the same behaviour.
²This is the thing I was talking about. You know I call it not on its name but on how it behaves.
³Something not really necessary, something I can invent.

The early street lights were used by the Greek and the Romans. Predominantly, it was oil lamps that gave light to the street as they provide moderate and enduring flame. Interestingly, the Romans have laternarius ̶ a slave⁴ assigned to light the lamps in front of villas⁵. Until the Middle Age, the task⁶ remained but passed to a person tagged in different⁷ name: link boy.

⁴When I met you, I knew, you are. But you are meant to enslave me on some point.
⁵I don’t know if you know what it means. In our little talk you told me: Darkness is the thickest wall.
⁶To stand still. The only thing you are obliged to do. And the only thing you did.
⁷Light on the street is way up, vertical. I went down. Light.

Candlelight was engaged in cities before incandescent. A lamplighter was made in-charge of touring the city to light up the lamps until an automatic ignition⁸ device was employed to strike the flame once the gas supply become activated. Then in 1417, Sir Henry Barton, a mayor of London, mandated a public⁹ illumination*.

⁸I start. I start to think that we are all worth keeping. To be kept in memory, in the heart. This time, to keep you in a room or in a shed at least, is a good plan to start with. I start.
⁹Who would not know something always on the street? Who would mind things so common?
* I want to help you hold the light remaining on you. But you have way familiarized darkness. You go.

Jessrel E. Gilbuena is an islander who longs for more islands.


Poetry by | September 2, 2012

bisan pa nag-atubangay tang duha
buot kong moatubang pa gyod nimo
buot tutokan pag-ayo imong pahiyom
buot gakson ang matag takna
ug kon mahimo pa lang
tukohan ang gaway sa orasan

apan wala na koy mahimo kon
buot nimong molingiw
ug sa imong paglakang palayo
buot ko na lamang pamuniton

imong nagkahanaw nga mga tunob

Kining balak ni Jessrel E. Gilbuena nga taga-Cebu maoy nakadaog sa unang ganti sa balak sa 2012 JY Balacuit Memorial Literary Awards, ika-19 nga Iligan National Writers Workshop, Mayo 14-18, 2012.