Sea Memories

“Sea Memories”, “Mesmerizing Munia’ and “Memories to a Saturday Customer”

In Poetry by Eric Peter

Sea Memories

The red fish dangles

Among a set of pictures

Stuck to a wall with tape

Which won’t stick for too long

The photos depict sea nomads

In a generation’s past

When fish was abundant

And boats were still scarce

The sun-touched hair of a youngster

Waves on the wind

Of a speeding boat at open sea

The Yamaha motor echoing

Towards coastal dwellings

Passing a large vessel

The eyes are distracted

Thoughts directed at a life not anymore

Small fish bite, but bigger ones

Are from a decade ago

The spear pierces a rainbow fish

A faraway blast destroys the coral reef

But on Isaw’s boat in shallow waters

A pot boils three portions of rice

The youngster climbs back into the boat

Alas, the red fish loosens

And drifts slowly on hot air

Falling onto a floor

The piece of tape still sticking

To its fabric body

Mesmerizing Munia

An olive-backed sunbird

Witnesses from the flower-tree

A munia’s singing

Some branches away

If not my hat had flown off

My ears would’ve been

A deaf man’s truth

To the two of birds just named

Bām—coconut drops

A ten-metre height

Beyond the munia’s cry

Dug deep in darkish clay

Another melody now

Its tones highly irresistible

I can’t find focus

On the work to do

Resting upon my rake

Balance lost

The sunbird takes off swiftly

And I raise the rake

Then pick up again that munia

How or what

Will be alone

Is not the coco forest

From a cacophony of birds

But the farmer’s husband

If mesmerized during

Those toiling days

Amidst sweat and singing

Memories to a Saturday Customer

A sudden flashback causes her

To ponder on their meeting

Not a fling some years ago

But when he bought lemoncitos

On the third Saturday last month

She could not recount its exact numbers

Or whether his hair was light or darker

But his tone of voice was what made her

Distinguish this one here from others there

The small woman holding bell peppers

As she familiarly touches buttons

Of a system weighing and counting

Minimizing efforts of the brain

The stained thumb touches coins

And she purposely slides her palms

Against his finger tips

In a sudden surprise

Garlic and pepper

String beans with okra

Folded inside old tabloids

Then put into his basket attentively

The body moves outside the market

Taking with it, thoughts of a woman

Remembering the man from a crowd

Of a hundreds a week

Entering her stall after leaving the pisos

In her line-written palms

About the Author

Eric Peter

Website

Eric Peter (b. 1989) is an artist living and working between The Hague, The Netherlands and Davao City, The Philippines. Having developed a performance-based practice, projects can entail installations, discussions, gatherings, workshops, performances, drawings, text or video works. In his semi-anthropological and associative excursions, socio-political subjects are being explored to question the normative in history making as well as cultural and social norms. The context of other voices, beliefs, processes or narratives within his deeply personal works, gives way to alternative interpretations of reality. A reality which exists beyond the pattern of expectations, biases and stigmas made evident through investigative and often collaborative projects. He holds a BFA in Interdisciplinary Attitudes from the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague and currently pursues an MFA in Art Praxis at the Dutch Art Institute (DAI). Recent presentations include: ‘First Karachi Biennale’, Karachi, Pakistan, group (2017); 'Prospects & Concepts', Art Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, group (2017); 'Ondertussen', Stroom, The Hague, The Netherlands, solo (2016); 'Everybody's Perfect', Spoutnik, Geneva, Switzerland, group (2016); 'Conversation Piece', 1646, The Hague, The Netherlands, duo (2016); 'Shifting Spaces', W139, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, group (2016); 'Conversations on the Near Future', 98B, Manila, The Philippines, solo (2015); 'Between Thinking, Seeing, Saying and Nothing', IVS Gallery, Karachi, Pakistan, group (2015)