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Jun Lit Apr 30
Squabbles over scrabble,
Dictionary over google.
Gadgets settle,
Lovers quarrel.
Millenior is coined from Millennials and Seniors - arbitrarily somewhere between ages 50 and 65 or older - LOL
Jun Lit Apr 19
Flying kisses,
        smiling glances,
        heartfelt wishes . . .
Little things,
        mountainous meanings.
Jun Lit Apr 5
Your elegance popped
right in the midst of nowhere
Awe's frozen me here.
Jun Lit Mar 21
Our story starts as the song began
to play, asking where should one begin,
astonished at how great a love can be.
‘Twas not as infectious as the Time of Cholera
not as romantic as Marquez’s novela clásica,
or perhaps it is, in its own right, our own right.

Those were the days of living dangerously
in these islands fair, an archipelagic country
our chains were shorter and barking was difficult
as it was the first time, postwar, we’ve gone to the dogs
and the fake war hero proclaimed himself emperor
edifices hid the emptying of coffers by the great robbers
in the guise of benevolence, murderers drew terrors.

We survived the winters of Canberra
judged as mild by the lands of auroras
and back in the humid slopes of the tropics
perspiring to survive the inhospitable heat
and when respite’s within reach, suddenly
Yolandas of all sorts would pass by
and humbled, but still composed
we stood our ground. It seems the force
was with us, whatever that means.
Natural selection favored us, or did it?

These days are the times when little things
mean a whole lot more. Perhaps far more
than old friends and friends of Old
recount, Kitty Kallens of night shifts
and days of overtime work down under
in the land of gums and wattles
and jumping moms with their joeys.
Memories of the immense joys
that chancing upon an Aussie two-dollar coin brings
along the road to Civic – enough to buy veggies
to be mixed with instant Chinese noodles or some
fish and chips for a late brekkie. The grasses
on the friendly neighbors’ lawns are frozen
and could not be mowed and manicured
to yield ten dollars an hour. No weekend three hours.
And yet, and still, we lived. Had a life, our lives.

These days, indeed, little things
mean a whole lot more. Social distancing.
That’s the rule. And so we blow a kiss
from across the room. But tell me I’m nice
only after I’ve showered and changed my clothes
to decent office wear. We’re officially on work from home
so please don’t take a video of me sleeping on the couch
or singing a line or two on online videoke channel.
Can’t touch your hair, until I’ve washed my hands
with soap and water while singing ‘Happy Birthday’ twice
- no more alcohol nor sanitizer in the supermarkets -
nor pass near one’s chair. We’re on self-quarantine,
fearing unwanted previous exposure to the dreaded,
dreadful Wuhan virus, while shopping, and holding hands
while walking. The long-term asthmatic cough a suspect.
And we better be detained as no formal charge is possible
no trial could be done in a fair court, for we are the victims,
actual or potential, imagined or real, pauper or royal.

COVID19 is the villain in this so grandiose reality
of a horror booth show, and its molecules point to an ancestry
related to the bats or the pangolin or the engineering laboratory.
The plot is set with the sweet unraveling of our love – we need
not hoard this feeling, our hearts aren’t rolls of Oz tissue paper.  

Love has evolutionary history – the length of time’s an eon of we,
approaching senior years but still together, gracefully, lovingly
growing old in decades-long phylogeny – a novel, a love story
that will go beyond this Covidocene, this epoch, this age that’s crazy
and full of misery - brought to life human’s inhumanity.
But still no choice but to give another chance, patiently,
to the forever young Muse named Hope, shall we, shouldn’t we?
as the WHO preaches that ‘Solidarity is the Key.’
written for World Poetry Day 2020
Jun Lit Mar 14
Could writing a poem
inspired by a disease
be or become a crime?
How absurd is it
to find inspiration
out of a dreaded virus?

The emperor rudely wears indecent robes
worse than the legendary one without clothes,
more distorted than a crippled plastic ware
deformed by immoral, pretentious heat.

Incoherent recitations of tongues,
chants but not the solemn Gregorian
Pretenses at smartness of the ignorant
And all worshippers continue to be blind
Defending their King as they the headless
chess pieces are pawned,
fiercely loyally they guard their golden calf,
and all protesting Moseses, the King's men
painted with the yellow mark of wrath.

This nation’s bound to decompose -
of mountains of unpaid and unpayable debts,
of liars who have made lies the accepted truth
of gospels preached that are none but rotten fruit
of thieves and shameless robbers who lead
of nation’s coffers they bleed
of blind beggars who follow
of multitudes numb with sorrow
of misfortunes often told and retold
And all our souls to the devil’s sold.

No Davids to rise and fight the Goliaths as told
The candle in this dimly lit room refuses to turn cold
The candle burns out soon, as history's last page does unfold.
Jun Lit Mar 4
Mali ang ginawa mo
Diumano . . .
Nambihag ka ng mga inosenteng tao
Hinusgahan ka agad na isang sanggano

Sa likod ng lahat ng ito
Ang nanunulak sa mga tao
sa sulok na laging talo
Ang mga abusadong amo
Ang sistemang malupit at lilo
Ang pagturing sa manggagawa'y abo
Ang mga kawani'y putik - di p'wedeng magreklamo

Ang totoong nambibihag ay abswelto
Ang taong nagsakripisyo
at ang sanlaksang biktima ng mapang-abuso
- kalakaran sa paggawa'y kalaboso

Ay! Ay! hanggang kailan magiging ganito?
Hostaged Guard

What you did was wrong
They alleged
You hostaged innocent people
You're a troublemaker. They alleged.

Behind all of these
Those who push people
to walls unwinnable
Abusive masters
A system that's harsh and crooked
The treatment of labor as ash
The crew member as dirt - no right to complain

The true hostage-taker is scot-free
The sacrificial lamb
and the thousands of victims
of unfair labor practices are incarcerated.

Oh! Oh! When will these injustices end?

Note: "Jaguar" is used here as the colloquial term for 'guwardiya' from the Spanish 'guardia' (English - guard)
Jun Lit Feb 15
Ikasampung lagok na
at higit pa
ng mainit **** ala-ala
subalit malapit man
wari kung aking tinitingnan
sa sulok ng napadpad na isipan
sa kabilang ibayo ng mga pananaw
sa malayong dalampasigan ng pagkatao,
hindi ko kayang abutin
ang pinutol kong pusod
na sa puting lampin ay ibinalot,
at ibiniting tila bituin sa mga alapaap.

Maghapon ko mang lakarin
mula sa aking pusong pinabango
ng galapong na bagong giling,
na kung saa’y tiniis ang init ng kahirapan
habang isinasangag ang bawat butil
ng sanlibo’t sandaang ari-muhunan
mula sa masuyong pinagsikapan,
pinagtiyagaang alagaan -
puno ng liberikang kape
ng lupang sinilangan.

Malayo, malayo na ang Lipa
madaling lakbayin sa malawak na kalsada
na dumaraan na ngayon sa kabundukan
ng Malarayat
na noong musmos pa’y
malayo, malayo, malayo . . .
tanging nakakarating lamang ay mga uwak
at sabay-sabay na lumilipad na tagak
sa takip-silim nama’y mga nagsasalimbayang kabag.
Noo’y maliliit pa ang puno ng sintunis
Ngayo’y natabunan na ng palitadang makinis
Hinahanap ko ang lungga ng dagang bulilit
At puno ng bitungol sa unahan ng lumang bahay
na inaakyat ng mga paslit
napawi na rin ang matayog na tahanan
tila binura ng kapalaran
at mistulang iginuhit ng chalk lamang
sa pisara’y kumupas na larawan.

Natabunan na ng bundok
ng mga alikabok ng ala-ala,
wala na tahanan, o ang lumang pisara
tila nawaglit ang apat na dekada

Malayo na ang lumang Lipa
at katulad ng dahong alamat ng ngalan nya
makating-masakit at di makakalimutan
ang mga karanasan at mga aral na dala

Kung wala na ang bigas na kinanda
magtitiis ako sa samyo ng binlid at ipa
Kung wala na ang pinipig at nilupak sa baraka
kahit budbod at lumang latik ay yayamanin na
Lalakbayin ko’y lubhang malayo pa
Ngunit sinisinta
ika’y makakaasa:
     Ang pinanggalingan,
          ang pinagmulan,
               lilingunin tuwina.
Brewed Coffee - 10; 10th in a series of poems mostly focusing on my memories of Lipa, the place of my birth, childhood and teenage years.
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