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5d · 94
Kapeng Barako X
Jun Lit 5d
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.
Feb 8 · 88
Coron
Jun Lit Feb 8
Seabeds prop Old Rocks.
Plants are shawls of Ancient Walls.
Spell serenity.
Feb 5 · 27
Love Potion (10w)
Jun Lit Feb 5
If love is poison . . .
I guess
You are
my antidote . . .
Jun Lit Jan 25
Tinuruan po ninyo kami
kung paano magsalita at sumulat nang taas-noó
sa isang wikang inampon,
na hindi naman namin Ina.
Ang balumbon ng panuntunan
at talaan ng mga tanggap na kataliwasan
kabisadung-kabisado po ninyo
at ipinagpakasanay po ninyo sa amin,
buung-tiyagang inalagaan
ang mahiyaing mga buko
masikap na hinamon kami
araw-araw, at ang iyong tinig
hanggang ngayon sa diwa’y naririnig –
“Correct practice makes perfect!”
Higit pa sa mga tugmaan ng simuno at panaguri
Ang inyo pong mga aralin sa balarila, na tila gintong may-uri
Ay tinuruan ang mga batang puso, bata sa puso,
Ang mga malambot pang isip:
the malleable minds:
Bawat lalaki o bawat babae ay – “Every man or every woman is”
Pero
Lahat ng lalaki at lahat ng babae ay – “Men or women are”
Anuman – “regardless or irrespective”
Ng pinagmulan – “of beginnings”
Ay kailangang malaman:
1. May mga panuntunang dapat sundin.
          - at isinabuhay namin ang bawat sinabi mo,
          At hindi lang sa aming mga saknong at pangungusap
2. May mga taliwas o eksepsyon na dapat isa-alang-alang.
          - di-tuwirang tinuruan po ninyo kami,
          Kilalanin ang mga pagkakaiba-iba
          At ang mga hirap sa pag-aaral at pagsasalita ng Ingles
          Ay katulad lamang ng mga kahinaan ng mga tao
          At mga katangi-tanging pag-uugali ng aming mga kaibigan
3. Mabuting magpakadalubhasa sa balarila
          - Pero katapatan sa sarili at sa kapwa ang pinakadakila!

Kung kaya, ang mga aralin **** pinakamahalaga
higit pa sa maayos at pusturang pananamit at sapin sa paa
at mga ebanghelyo ng tamang paggamit ng mga salita, syntax,
at ibang hiyas lingguwistika
ay naghatid ng mabuting pagkamamamayan
at butil ng paano maging mabuting kaibigan
Ang mahusay ng pag-i-Ingles na aming natutunan
ay mga aral ng araw-araw na pamumuhay
Mga kayamanang walang katapat na perang kabayaran.
Translation into Filipino (Tagalog) of a poem I wrote last year entitled "Beyond Grammar [https://hellopoetry.com/poem/2958926/beyond-grammar/], in memory of our teacher in English Grammar, Ms. Araceli M. Katigbak, in The Mabini Academy, Lipa City (Batangas Province, Philippines).
Dec 2019 · 94
Last Day of the Year
Jun Lit Dec 2019
It’s the last day of the year.
And like all yearends
of the past awakened decades,
an intricate web of discordant feelings
and inharmonious thoughts
flood the bludgeoned heart
and the superheated mind,
dehydrating whatever little piece
of limbo-bound soul or spirit dwells
in the foggy shadows
and misty corners
of poetic ethos.

I bid the painful memories
the bitter goodbyes they deserve
as I keep mementoes
of triumphs of good against evil
- whatever they are, whichever way
the social judges pronounced them to be -
or enshrine the make-believe trophies
of the victories over obstacles,
of conquests of one’s closeted fears.

Tomorrow the New Year promises
another basket of promises . . .
Against a backdrop of darkness
of 12th hour – the midnight of the past year,
the 0th of the coming one – a small candle
persists with its flickering light -
the eternal oratio imperata of hoping
against hope, the soldier of caring and loving,
defenseless but still fighting
- heroes dying “without seeing the dawn” -
May the flame rage, or if it can’t
May it last long enough till sunrise.
Dec 2019 · 379
Hindi Sa Salinlahing Ito
Jun Lit Dec 2019
Hayaan n’yong lumuha ang aking puso.
Malungkot na tanawin ang ganitong tagpo:
          Hinihiwa mo ang balat ng iyong kinabukasan
          at duguan na ang angking kasalukuyan
          gayong hindi pa nga naghihilom man lang
          ang mga sugat ng mapait nating nakaraan.

Subalit masahol ka pa sa putang bayaran
na katawan ang puhunan, kapalit ng panghapunan
at pagkain sa kinabukasan.
Ikaw - dalawa, tatlo, limang daan,
kapalit di lang ng iyong karangalan.
Idinamay mo pa ang kapakanan ng bayan.

Hindi na maaasahan ang dati’y sagradong balota.
Karaniwang papel na lamang ito na may mga nakalista
At tila tiyan **** nag-alboroto ang diniktahang makina,
na kung ano’ng isinubo, siya ring isusuka.
Pagkatapos kukulapulan ang daliri ng panandang tinta.
Nang humiga ka sa tae, nagmamalaki ka pa:
          Sapagkat ang makinang tila kumpisalan,
          may kapirasong tari ng makabagong sabungan
          na kahit na alin pang mga tandang ang maglaban,
          tukoy na ng kristo ang panalo sa pustahan.

Tapos na ang kwento’t hindi na totoo
ang sinabi ng bayaning ang Pilipino
ay karapat-dapat sa buhay na nasasakripisyo.
Hindi na. Hindi sa salinlahing ito.
Sa darating pang mga kabataan, siguro,
sa kanila, magbabaka-sakali ako.
One hundred forty years ago Dr. Jose Rizal wrote that "youth is the hope of the Filipino nation." This year (2019), the Philippines celebrates the 123rd anniversary of his martyrdom. Whereas I agree with him on vesting his hope on the youth, I have doubts on the truth of such hope in the present generation of Filipinos. Here's a rough translation:
Not In This Generation

Let my heart weep
This is such a sad scene:
You're slashing the skin of your tomorrow
and the present that you claim is bloodied
and yet the wounds of painful yesterday
has not even started to heal

But you're worse than a *******
who lets her body for rent, to pay for dinner
and food for the next day.
You - two, three, five hundred bucks
in exchange for your honor and dignity
and the welfare of your nation as well, unfortunately.

The once-sacred ballot is not one savior we can rely upon
It has turned into an ordinary paper with roster of names listed on
And just like your troubled tummy goes the vote-counting machine
what you made it swallow, it will gag it whole just the same
After the indelible ink stains your finger and nail
You're lying down on ****, and yet you can brag of your shame
For that machine that's like a confessional
has a little piece of scythe of fighting ***** these modern times
whichever roosters fight on the line
the referee in the arena already knows the winners to proclaim.

The story's done and it has ceased to be true
as one hero said that the Filipino
is worth dying for
Not anymore. Not in this generation. No.
Among the young ones, maybe, my bets I'll throw,
on them, I'll try again, I'll have a go.
Dec 2019 · 258
December Solstice
Jun Lit Dec 2019
Tonight's our longest
And patiently we're waiting.
Tomorrow's Sun peeps.
Jun Lit Dec 2019
Huh!?
Come again!?
What were you
asking me?
Ahh . . .
ummm . . .
English version of Kumusta naman ang Karapatang Pantao sa Pilipinas?
Jun Lit Dec 2019
Ha?!
Ano nga uli
'yong tanong mo?
Pakiulit . . .
Ahh . . .
ummm . . .
In commemoration of World Human Rights Day
English version:
How's the Human Rights Situation in the Philippines? (10w)

Huh!?
Come again!?
What were you
asking me?
Ahh . . .
ummm . . .
Nov 2019 · 105
Kapeng Barako IX
Jun Lit Nov 2019
Noong musmos pa’y sabaw
sa isang malukong na pinggan
puno ng kaning may kaunting tutong
pagkaliban ko ng bakod, ika’y nakasalubong
kalooban ko’y kimi, dila ko noo’y urong

wala sa aking hinuhà,
walang sinangguning manghuhulà
sino ba’ng mag-aakalà
marmol **** bantayog
gatô palang kahoy ang loob
nang katotohana’y nabantog
sa kaunting yanig, gumuho ang moog

huwag daw sasamba sa mga d’yos-d’yosan
ngunit tila larawan ka ng may-kabanalan
haliging inasam na masasandalan
sa ilaw ko pala’y naging tampalasan

imaheng nadurog ay dagok sa aking likod,
at tila balisong na sa puso’y kumadyot
kulang ba ang hikbi ng pusang malambot?
labis bang nagmahal ang asong malikot?

Mahabang panahon ginugol, dumaan
Ang kapeng mainit lumamig,
Napanis na’t nakalimutan

Sa paglalakad, dinampot, hinimay
ang duming iniwan ng mga alamid
matiyagang pinagyaman
Isinangag ng paulit-ulit sa nagmumuning isipan
Giniling sa puso tumanaw sa pinagmulan
Tinimplahan ng matam-is na kapatawaran
Paglagok ng mainit, aking naramdaman
Tiwasay ang dibdib, may kapayapaan.
My ninth in my Brewed Coffee Poems series - poems much influenced by my memories of my old home and childhood in Lipa, Batangas.
Oct 2019 · 186
Pointing Navels
Jun Lit Oct 2019
Butterflies are guides
Where trees cheer and air is fresh.
Our navels point there.
Sep 2019 · 113
Silent Queens
Jun Lit Sep 2019
Simplicity bloomed
Silent scents lured fly fairies
Where ground orchids rule.
Aug 2019 · 317
Another one gone too soon
Jun Lit Aug 2019
I know this.
I knew this.
I’ve always known this -
that life
no matter how precious
could be snatched away
in the wink of an eye . . .
or even less . . .
even quicker.

Another tree
with so much promise,
cut in the careless gust
of a passing wind;
Another soul
who cared much
for this one and only Earth
had gone too soon.

I know this.
We know parting
but whenever parting comes
the sadness is never familiar.
We’re shocked
and need to be consoled:
This loving planet
never forgets its carers -
trees, butterflies, birds
and all it breathed to life
and all it nursed.

And when big trees go
the wildlings and saplings
the seeds you’ve sown will grow
in your steps, in your shadow
they’ll follow

the forest of our dreams lives
and that, as you rest in solemn space
you’d be happy to know
It would comfort us
who you’ve known , , ,
I know this . . .
To the memory of Ms. Eds Lopez, forester and environmentalist
Aug 2019 · 186
Molawin
Jun Lit Aug 2019
bukal na buhay, dalisay, malamig
agos ng pag-ibig
ni Mariang Makiling
mula sa kanyang dibdib

duyan ni Rana
nagpapatulog kay Troides
ipinaghehele si Buot
sa harana nina Balikasyaw at Tariktik
pook-sayawan ng mga bayawak
tuwing konsiyerto ng mga paagang
at mga kuliglig

ninuno ng Lawa
ina ng kapa-kapa
ama ni Strongylodon
kapatid ng tibig at lipa
among tunay ng kawayang-tinik
uway, gugo, saging na pula
Aristolochia

Kagalang-galang kay El Niño
kinakanti-kanti ni La Niña
paliguan ng mamang hubo
labahan ng aling maganda

naglalaro
ang batang takot sa engkanto –
bingwit, tampisaw, lukso
sa mga bato

subalit
ang polusyon –
tahimik na namamaybay
isang almuranin –
mabalasik
ang kamandag
nakalalason, nakamamatay
sapagkat
mga tao’y nagbubulag-bulagan,
bulag.
English Translation:
Molawin

a living spring, pure, cool,
flow of love
from the *****
of Maria of Makiling

cradle of the frog Rana
puts the birdwing butterfly Troides to sleep
sings lullabies to Buot, the cloud rat
accompanied by serenades from the passerine Balikasyaw
and the hornbill Tariktik.
dance floor of the monitor lizards
every time the cicadas and the crickets
have their concerts

ancestor of the Lake
mother of the magnificent Medinilla
father of the Jade vine Strongylodon
sibling of the riverine fig and the nettle tree
the true lord of the spiny bamboo,
among tunay ng kawayang-tinik
rattan, shampoo liana, red banana
the vine Aristolochia

Respected by El Niño
Tickled by La Niña
bathing place of the naked man
washing area of the pretty woman

there they play
children weary of the forest fairies –
line fishing, treading, hopping
among the boulders

but
pollution –
silently swims with the flows
like the cobra, that there also grows –
potent,
its venom
poisons, kills
because
humans feign blindness,
are blind.

Additional Notes:
Rana, Troides, Strongylodon, Medinilla and Aristolochia are scientific (genus) names of a frog, birdwing butterfly, the Jade vine, a magnificent-flowered shrub at a vine that serves as a butterfly larval host plant, respectively, all found along the areas of Molawin Creek; their use in this poem is an attempt to illustrate the important role of biology in understanding the intricacies, not only of Molawin Creek, but also of the entire Mount Makiling, a forest reserve in the southern part of Luzon Island, The Philippines..
Jul 2019 · 105
Punò ng Pag-ibig
Jun Lit Jul 2019
Kung dumating ang panahon
Ulap na lang, aking dahon
Kung sakaling may magtanong
Pag-ibig ang s’yang tutugon.
My poem in Tagalog written in traditional dalit form; dalit is a short poem with 4 lines per stanza, and 8 syllables per line.
English translation:
TREE OF LOVE
If and when does come that season
My leaves have dropped, just clouds to don
And someone asks where have I gone
My love for you shall speak, lives on.
Jul 2019 · 187
Haiku for Pinoy Pieta
Jun Lit Jul 2019
On her lap still warm
Hugging dear life and her man
Judged by social gun.
Inspired by a photo by Raffy Lerma of the Philippine Daily Inquirer: https://frame.inquirer.net/2694/la-pieta/
Jun Lit Jul 2019
[isang pagsasalin sa Tagalog, batay sa orihinal na
"When tomorrow starts without me" ni David Romano]

Kapag nagsimula ang bukas na di ako kasama,
at ako’y wala roon upang makita;
Kung sisilayan ng araw ang iyong mga mata,
na puno ng luhang para sa akin, Sinta;
Labis kong nais na hindi ka lumuha,
katulad ng sa araw na ito’y iyong ginawa,
habang inaalala ang maraming bagay at salita,
na hindi nasabi o hindi nawika.

Batid ko kung gaanong kamahal mo ako,
kasingsidhi ng pag-ibig kong tanging sa iyo,
at sa tuwinang ako’y iisipin mo,
Alam kong hahanap-hanapin mo ako;
Subalit kung ang bukas ay magsimulang wala ako,
nawa'y pakaunawain mo,
na isang sugo ang dumating at tinawag ang aking ngalan,
at ang kamay ko’y kanyang hinawakan,
at wika’y handa na ang aking paglulugaran,
sa malayo’t mataas na kalangitan,
at kailangang lumisa’t talikdan,
tanang sa aki’y mahal, lahat ay iiwan.

Subalit pagtalikod kong palayo,
Isang patak ng luha ko’y tumulo,
pagkat buong buhay, lagi kong kinukuro,
Ayokong mamatay.
Maraming dahilan para ako’y mabuhay,
maraming gagawin pang mga bagay,
Tila imposible, hindi kailanman,
na ikaw mahal ko’y iiwan.

Bumalik sa ala-ala ko ang mga araw na nagdaan,
ang masasaya’t ang mga kalungkutan,
Pumuno sa isip ang pag-ibig nating pinagsaluhan,
at lahat ng ating galak at kaligayahan.

Kung sa kahapo’y mabubuhay akong muli,
kahit man lamang kaunting sandali,
Magpapaalam ako’t hahagkan ka
at marahil, makikita kong ngingiti ka.

Ngunit lubos kong napagtanto,
na hindi na kailanman mangyayari ito,
sapagkat pagkawala’t mga ala-ala na lamang,
ang sa aki’y papalit at maiiwan.

At nang maalala ko ang sa mundo’y mga kasayahan,
na bukas ay di ko na matitikman,
ikaw ang naging laman ng isipan,
at puso ko’y napuno ng kalungkutan.

Ngunit pagpasok ko sa pinto ng kalangitan,
Ramdam ko’y ako’y nakauwi sa tahanan.
Pagdungaw ng Bathala’t ako’y nginitian,
mula sa kanyang gintong luklukan,

Wika’y “Ito ang Walang Hanggan,
at lahat ng pangakong sa ‘yo’y inilaan".
Sa araw na ito, natapos ang buhay sa lupa,
ngunit dito ngayon ang simula.
Di ko ipapangako ang kinabukasan,
ngunit ang ngayon ay magpakaylanman,
at dahil bawat araw ay pareho lamang,
ang nakaraa’y hindi na kasasabikan.

Ngunit ikaw ay naging matapat at naniwala,
tunay at totoo, lubos na nagtiwala.
Kahit may panahong may mga hindi tama,
na alam **** hindi dapat ginawa.

Ngunit ikaw ay pinatawad na
at ngayon sa wakas ay malaya na.
Kaya’t kamay ko ba’y hindi mo hahawakan
at sa buhay ko, ako’y sasamahan?

Kaya pag sumulong na ang bukas at wala na ako,
huwag **** iisiping nagkalayo tayo,
dahil sa tuwinang iisipin mo ako,
Nandito lang ako, diyan sa puso mo.
My translation into Tagalog of David Romano's "When Tomorrow Starts Without Me" -
"When tomorrow starts without me,
and I'm not there to see;
If the sun should rise and find your eyes,
all filled with tears for me;
I wish so much you wouldn't cry,
the way you did today,
while thinking of the many things,
we didn't get to say.

I know how much you love me,
as much as I love you,
and each time that you think of me,
I know you'll miss me too;
But when tomorrow starts without me,
please try to understand,
that an Angel came and called my name,
and took me by the hand,
and said my place was ready,
in heaven far above,
and that I'd have to leave behind,
all those I dearly love.

But as I turned to walk away,
a tear fell from my eye,
for all life, I'd always thought,
I didn't want to die.
I had so much to live for,
so much yet to do,
it seemed almost impossible,
that I was leaving you.

I thought of all the yesterdays,
the good ones and the bad,
I thought of all the love we shared,
and all the fun we had.

If I could relive yesterday,
just even for awhile,
I'd say goodbye and kiss you
and maybe see you smile.

But then I fully realized,
that this could never be,
for emptiness and memories,
would take the place of me.

And when I thought of worldly things,
I might miss come tomorrow,
I thought of you, and when I did,
my heart was filled with sorrow.

But when I walked through heaven's gates,
I felt so much at home.
When God looked down and smiled at me,
from His great golden throne,

He said, "This is eternity,
and all I've promised you".
Today for life on earth is past,
but here it starts anew.
I promise no tomorrow,
but today will always last,
and since each day's the same day,
there's no longing for the past.

But you have been so faithful,
so trusting and so true.
Though there were times you did some things,
you knew you shouldn't do.

But you have been forgiven
and now at last you're free.
So won't you take my hand
and share my life with me?

So when tomorrow starts without me,
don't think we're far apart,
for every time you think of me,
I'm right here, in your heart."
Jul 2019 · 122
Beyond Genetics
Jun Lit Jul 2019
(To Dr. Adelina A. Barrion,
September 9, 1954-July 10, 2010)

You expertly explained to me
sources of variation,
and the role of mutation,
much of the raw material
for the mighty driver - selection
and along the way
I also learned acceptance.
Everything, everyone
can be the same and unique
at the same time
And it’s perfectly alright
to be different.

You demonstrated
how encoded messages
for passing on traits
within populations
change in frequencies
and distributions,
how nature makes blind choices
how the fittest survives
and I learned deeper
my evolution.

Unconsciously, you made
aspiring for genuine honor
and excellence
more deeply rooted
in the loci of the heart
and the helices of the mind.

You taught me genetics
but you made me learn
Life is to be enjoyed,
much, much greater
than its four letters.

You proved -
great teachers never die,
they always live
in the lessons they give.
Jun 2019 · 224
Soil is Life
Jun Lit Jun 2019
Tiny springtails jump
As mites haste, return the keys
Where all life begins.
Jun 2019 · 114
Exuvia
Jun Lit Jun 2019
Go, leave it behind.
Cast away painful mem’ries.
Hope springs eternal.
Inspired by sights of exuviae (cast skins) of cicadas in the Makiling Forest Reserve in April-June 2019.
Jun 2019 · 190
Abandoned Nest
Jun Lit Jun 2019
Our world’s much disturbed.
All that’s left hangs by a thread.
A view of sadness.
May 2019 · 676
Bawat araw ay biyaya
Jun Lit May 2019
Lulubog ang araw upang magpahinga.
Anuman ang nangyari’y may aral na bunga
Bukas sa pagsikat babantayan ko s’ya
Magpapasalamat na kasama kita.
Each day is a gift

The tired sun is about to set, it needs to rest.
Whatever had transpired are lessons we've been blessed
Tomorrow at sunrise, I've got words to be said
I'll say my thanks that you're with me, and that's the best.
May 2019 · 63
In Defense of the Bats
Jun Lit May 2019
The leaf-nosed bats are in a hurry
All’s set for the nightly party
Today the feast starts at six thirty
Come as you are, no need for jewelry
Fresh mossies for dinner are ready
Sprinkles of midges, aren’t they yummy?
With swings and swoops, feeding in frenzy.

Bigger bats and flying foxes are also busy
As nectar and fruits are not quite many
Were it not for figs they’ll sure go hungry
For they can’t gate crash for the mushi sushi
In their upside down world, there is mutuality
Respect for each niche and common territory
Services are coincident, not obligatory.

The lives of bats are quite simple but happy
Much maligned, as humans look only
At whitish images, icons of perceived angelicity
But if we learn to look at the larger picture, we’ll see
A great range of diversity, earth’s own art gallery
And regardless of biased values, there is beauty
For Nature selects and I tell you, no bats, no glory.
May 2019 · 83
Forest Choral Ensemble
Jun Lit May 2019
Cicadas sing love
Chants of Gregorian tenors.  
Nature’s selections.
Note: Only male cicadas sing, to court females, aggregate and/or advertise territories.
Jun Lit May 2019
[Para kay Emerson David V. Jacinto, February 16, 1962 - May 02, 2011)

Mula paglilihi sa ningas ng ilawang gasera
sa sulok ng angking dunong, kaisipa’y namunga,
hanggang sa pagluwal, kasaliw ang palakpak ng sigla,
ulilang panaghoy at sigaw ng malayong pag-asa
- sa panawaga’t tinig ng Inang Bayan, tumugon ka.

Kusang-loob, inihandog, buhay at panahon
Walang alinlangan, payak na pamumuhay ay tugon
Sa lamig ng gabing kamao’y nagkuyom
Kumot mo’y pusong malasakit ang nilikom
- Unan ay konsyensyang malinis at tapat sa layon.

Mapait na dagta ang sa damdami’y nanalaytay
tila ipinahid ng mahabang paghihintay
sa mayamang dibdib ng ating kinagisnang Inay
- ang Inang Kalikasan. Doon ka humimlay,
- Makabuluhang buhay ang iyong tagumpay
Apr 2019 · 205
Armored
Jun Lit Apr 2019
I can’t always offer my other cheek
for you to have some sad surface to slap
I don’t have to.
                            Maybe because I’m not
your holy friend, and I don’t have to be
what people set -
                                someone or somebody
in this planet where paper roses bloom
inside plastic boxes.

I don’t think that I’ll throw away to you
a piece of bread, a slice of precious loaf
in return for that hard stone you did cast.
I don’t have to.
                             Maybe because I’m not
your haloed friend, and I don’t have to be
what people set -
                                standards, morals decreed.
Rigid squares, straight lines drawn.
                                                                Old World pretends
to be modern.
                          And . . . . . accommodating.

Oh no! It’s not. It’s not!
                                           The limits, too narrow,
define the soul,
                            poison minds,
                                                      choke the heart.

Life’s lessons
                         safeguard
                                            the survivor . . .

The journey’s still long
                                          along this
                                                             lonely road.
Apr 2019 · 223
Mother's Webs
Jun Lit Apr 2019
Earth makes silken webs.
Break one strand, you break the rest.
Humans’ fate is sealed.
Commemorating Earth Day 2019
Apr 2019 · 434
Strangling Fig - 3
Jun Lit Apr 2019
Trees win life’s struggles
Bats feeding, fireflies swarming.
Humans find meanings.
Apr 2019 · 95
Dalit para kay Jalil
Jun Lit Apr 2019
Tagbulaklak uli ngayon
Sa manggahang nililingon
Na sa nagdaang panahon
Saksi sa ating maghapon.

Mula Lunes laro’t aral
Hanggang B’yernes, walang tumal
Puti’t asul di nagtubal
Buhok hippie sadyang bawal.

Kabataan no’ng nangarap
Maabot ang alapaap
Ngayong layo’y lubos-ganap
‘Igan pa ring nakaharap.

Kaibiga’y nasusukat
Di sa yaman ni sa agwat
Tunay yaong di napuknat
Mula musmos ay matapat.

Si Mabini nagwika rin
Katapatan ang habilin
Kapatid ang sadyang turing
Noon, ngayon at bukas din.
Apr 2019 · 731
May Isáng Tagóng Poók
Jun Lit Apr 2019
Pook na may kalayuan
Di madali kung puntahan
Kubli’t payapang kanlungan,
Malayo sa kaguluhan.

Minsan kita’y papasyalan
Pag isip may katanungan
Doon ko matatagpuan
Puso mo ang kasagutan.
Translation:
There is a Hidden Place

There is a place quite far away
Not easy to reach, I should say
Hidden refuge, peaceful to stay
'Far from the madding crowds' they say

I'd visit you when stakes are high
When my mind's bugged with endless 'Why?'
There I would find, and can't deny
Your heart is where the answers lie.
Apr 2019 · 69
Strangling Fig - 2
Jun Lit Apr 2019
Home of ghosts, folks fear
But I find flies, wasps, bugs dear.
Diversity’s here.
Apr 2019 · 80
Strangling Fig - 1
Jun Lit Apr 2019
Uninvited one . . .
You stayed, rooted, hugged so tight.
Strangled life gave life.
Mar 2019 · 115
Rafflesia
Jun Lit Mar 2019
Woody vine’s poor friend
Gave all up for Beauteous end.
Nature’s investment.
Inspired by my seeing blooms of Rafflesia lagascae, a rare parasitic plant, that depends entirely on a wild woody vine called Tetrastigma, on Mount Makiling in Laguna, Philippines
Mar 2019 · 972
Dalit sa Pagkakaibigan
Jun Lit Mar 2019
Hindi yaman ang sukatan
Ng matapat na kaybigan
Kundi subók nang samahan
Tapat at walang iwanan
Translation: Dalit-Poem to Friendship

It’s not by wealth that we measure
How true a friend worth to treasure
But comradeship that did endure
The tests of time and love that’s pure.

Dalit is a traditional Tagalog poem that consists of 4 lines per stanza, each line with 8 syllables.
Mar 2019 · 272
Hinahanap Kita, Kapatid
Jun Lit Mar 2019
Hinahanap kita, Kaibigan . . .
Tinatawagan kita, Kapatid . . .
Sabay tayong nanghiram ng aklat,
sa Aklatan ng Pag-asa,
Kaya’t sakdal-pait nang nabalitaan ko
ang talaan ng buhay mo’y binawi na
Pilit pinapawi
Ng paroo’t paritong mga alon
at ihip ng hangin
Ang mga impit naming pahatid
Na iniukit
Ng mga palihim na hikbi
Sa tila natutulog na buhanginan
Sa dalampasigan
Ng ‘yong puso. Namamahinga ka na ba
aming Kasama?

Hindi mawawala
ang iyong pangalan
sa harap ng pinid na pintuan
Ng kani-kanina lang
Ay dambana
Ng iyong tila hindi nangangalay na panulat
At tabernakulo
Ng namimitig na mga binti
Ng nagtalumpating tinig.

Namamahinga ka na kapatid.
Ngunit hindi mapipipi ang batingaw
Na kahapon, ngayon at bukas ay magtatawag
Ng mga kapanalig,
Pagmamahal sa kapwa, sa bayan, sa kalikasan, sa daigdig.

Sumisilip na ang araw.
Mamamaalam na ang mga tala.
Patuloy na nagliliwanag ang bituing
Ikaw, oo, ikaw, maningning.

Hihimlay kang tahimik
sa puntod at bantayog
ng mga hindi namin malilimutang
Paninindigan. Pahayag. Panawagan. Paala-ala.
dahil sa isip at puso namin, isang Bayani ka
at maraming salamat na ikaw ay nakilala
at aming nakasama.
para kay Dr. Perry S. Ong, Oktubre 2, 1960-Marso 2, 2019;
Bayani ng Laksambuhay at Agham sa Pilipinas
[This poem is dedicated to Dr. Perry S. Ong, Dean of the College of Science, University of the Philippines Diliman and the most prominent leader of the conservation movement in the Philippines until his untimely demise.].
Jun Lit Feb 2019
Kupas na ang ‘yong larawan
Ala-ala kong sulyapan
Ang kahapong s’yang tahanan
Anino na lang nang bal’kan.
Dalit is a form of traditional poetry in Tagalog (southern part of Luzon Island, Philippines) with four lines, each with eight syllables. Here's an English translation:
Dalit Poem to a photograph of our old home

Your photograph's faded with thee.
I threw a glance at your mem'ry
The yesterday that was my Home
now just a shadow I reckon.
Feb 2019 · 160
Tsuki
Jun Lit Feb 2019
Amidst dark moments
One brightly lit moon's shining . . .
We're always hoping.
Feb 2019 · 104
Sick Poems - I
Jun Lit Feb 2019
Finding poetry in a disease
is like looking for a nugget
of gold in one Smokey Mountain
of revolting, rotting *******.

A poem is precious.
It breathes us life.
Even one about death
brings hope of imagined
heavens and dreads of
eternal incomplete combustion,
but dengue ***** dry
its hapless victims.

Baby mossies
are cheering,
wriggling,
today, detritus feeding . . .
Tomorrow, the girls among them turning
into little vampires blood feeding;
and the boys will have for drinking
plant juices like wines brewing.
Rightly or not, the winged being
receives much of the blame, poor thing!

The greater pain, the bigger burden,
felt greatly by the downtrodden,
however, lies not so much in the bitten
nor the biter - always the villain.

When those whose tasks are meant to serve,
serve not the ones who need, but only themselves
When solicitors utter Hippocratic mantras
Like gurus descended from Oriental Olympuses
but in truth are Proud Marys burning with empty heads . . .

And when the multitudes blind and blinded,
in Plato’s Cave chained, demented
faithfully follow the falsehoods preached
by the High Priests and Priestesses:
I recall the scenarios of old tales told
of Pied Pipers leading kids out of Hamelin’s fold
to a treacherous realm of eternal repose.

And a nation’s bound to decompose.
Feb 2019 · 144
In the Company of Giants
Jun Lit Feb 2019
Rows and rows of friends,
tall and mighty trunks, ancients.
Humbled, I am home.
Feb 2019 · 374
Liku-likong landas - 1
Jun Lit Feb 2019
Lakad, akyat, kahit pagód, dala ay tuwâ.
May pakanta-kanta pa ng Beatles, sadyâ.
Buti classic, edad ay 'di-ga'nong" halata . . .
Translation:
Long and Winding Road - 1
Walking, hiking, although tiring, joy it does bring.
with matching humming, Beatles, of course, we're singing.
Good, it's classic, so it isn't obvious, we're aging.]
Jan 2019 · 189
The Road
Jun Lit Jan 2019
Life is a journey -
the road may be very long.
We need to go on . . .
Jan 2019 · 1.2k
Beyond Grammar
Jun Lit Jan 2019
(In Memory of Miss Araceli M. Katigbak, TMA’s Miss Grammar)

You taught us
to talk and write head up high
in a tongue to foster,
that is not our mother
The scroll of rules
and the roster of exceptions
you’ve mastered
and you made us master,
patiently you nurtured
the timid buds
diligently you challenged us
daily, and your voice
still reverberates –
Correct practice makes perfect!
Beyond subject-predicate agreements
Your treasured grammar lessons
taught the young at heart,
the malleable minds:
Every man or every woman is
but
Men or women are,
regardless or irrespective
of beginnings,
required to know:
1. There are rules to be followed.
- and we expanded this to our lives,
and not just our paragraphs and sentences
2. There are exceptions to be considered.
- and you indirectly taught us,
to recognize differences
and that difficulties of the English language
are just like people’s frailties
and our friends’ idiosyncracies
3. Mastering grammar is good
but honesty is the best!

And thus, your lessons most precious
are far above your prim and proper dress and shoes
and your gospels of correct usage, syntax and other linguistic gems
delivered good citizenship and how-to-be-a-good-friend items.
The Good English we learned are words to live by
You’ve given us treasures no money can buy.
TMA - refers to The Mabini Academy, in Lipa City, the school that the author that the author attended during his high school years and from where he graduated in 1977.
Jan 2019 · 79
Pliant Giants
Jun Lit Jan 2019
Leaves green and swaying
Bamboos dancing with the wind
Hope shoots eternal.
Shoots refer to bamboo shoots
Dec 2018 · 390
Paghimlay
Jun Lit Dec 2018
Nais kong humimlay
ang tibok ng puso
sa saliw ng taludturan
Subalit pipi ang mga daliri
sa pagdiin sa tipaan.
Mga hikbi’y nalulunod
sa naiwang bakas
naghihingalong daing
kalungkutang di-matawaran

Para na kitang anak, at maraming salamat
Itinuring mo akong tila pangalawang tatay mo rin
At sa wika ng sabong, sa lalawigan nating alamat
hindi ka na tatyaw, kundi mahusay na talisayin

Narating mo ang rurok
At iyong hinawakan ang mga alapaap
ng iyong malaon nang pangarap
Sa musmos **** puso
namulaklak ang maliwanag
Sa isip na pinagpala
nagbunga ng pang-unawa,
karunungan at syensya’y para sa madla,
ipamahaging parang kawanggawa.  

Hinahanap ka ng mga kabag
na kinatakutan ng iba
ngunit iyong kinilala’t niyakap:
“Nasaan na si Kuya namin?
Bakit di pa dumarating?
Tutubusin niya kaming pawa
sa panganib ng pagkasira.”

Naghihintay mga bundok at gubat
May luklukan pa sa yungib
kung saan namamahinga ang malayang pangkat.
Subalit tahimik, walang sumasagot . . .
Puyat ka sa magdamag
ng buhay **** makulay at tampok.
Hindi ka sumasagot -
Naabot mo na pala ang tugatog.

          Magkaganun man, malayo pa ang layunin
          Kami’y tutuloy pa sa ating lakbayin
          Paalam kasama, kaibigan namin.
          Mga aral na naiwan, laging aalalahanin.
Dedicated to the memory of James de Villa Alvarez, 21 April 1991-08 December 2018, who perished while on fieldwork as a wildlife biologist on Mount Apo in Mindanao, The Philippines. The poem summarizes my appreciation for him as well as my feelings of sadness and great loss, he being a protege who we expected to continue our science and advocacies.
Dec 2018 · 578
Little Vampires
Jun Lit Dec 2018
Crawling and feeding
on flying bats blood pumping
Vampires keep clinging
This short poem, using the haiku form (not necessarily the real haiku essence) but embodying a theme of nature, focuses on tiny wingless insects that cling to bats and **** their blood, and have become not just part of the natural world but also indispensable associates of bats that help perform services of ecosystems.
Nov 2018 · 240
Kapeng Barako VIII
Jun Lit Nov 2018
Sa sulok ng isipang dinadaluyong
ng mga sanlibong sala-salabat na tanong
may paanyaya kang pagdamay ang layon
mula unang lagok, mainit ang pagsalubong.

Maraming katanungang pumapatak sa diwa
Tila ulang tikatik, ulang walang sawa
Hindi lang ‘ano?’, ‘sino?’, o ‘saan?’ ang humiwa
Puso’y sinugatan ng ‘paano?’, ‘bakit’ at ‘kailan kaya?’

Sa bawat pagsikat ng araw sa Malarayat sa Silangan
Lulubog din ito tan’aw ang Maculot sa kinahapunan
Tagumpay at sigla noong kapanahunan
Mga bituing nawawala, pagsapit ng sangang-daan

Kaya’t hindi dapat malasing, malango
Sa naabot na rurok o kayamanang lumago
Pagka’t batas ng Kalikasan ang siyang nagtuturo
Na lahat ng ito sa malaon o madali’y maglalaho

Pag-ibig na busilak, mananatiling buo.
My eighth in my Brewed Coffee Poems series; poems much influenced by my memories of my old home and childhood in Lipa, Batangas.
Nov 2018 · 2.5k
Ang Wheelchair
Jun Lit Nov 2018
Ang Wheelchair, [Bow!]

Alalay sa may karamdaman
Sandigan ng may kapansanan
Kublihan ng mga tampalasan ng bayan
Gamit sa pang-uuto sa sambayanan . . .

Ang Wheelchair . . .

Translation:
The Wheelchair, [Bow!]

Assistant to the sick human
Support for the disabled man and woman
Convenient cover of the corrupt gang
Used for fooling the people all and one . . .

The Wheelchair . . .
Through this I wish to express utmost dismay at how big-time corruption flourishes in the Philippines where convicted politician plunderers and thieves feign pain, pretend sickness, and gain release from incarceration on plea of humanitarian or health reasons - these things really make me sick.
Nov 2018 · 310
Dalit-Pasalamat
Jun Lit Nov 2018
Ang buhay ay paglalakbay
At nang minsang nakasabay
Kaagad kang umalalay -
Kapwa tulong ating pakay.

Kulisap ng karunungan,
Naging susi ng samahan,
Naging tulay na ugnayan -
Agham na para sa bayan.

Sa iyo aming kaibigan,
Salamat ay walang hanggan.
Ngalan mo’y kaligayahan
Hindi makakalimutan.
Dedicated to the memory of the late Dr. Jocelyn "Joy" E. Eusebio. "Dalit" is a a style of poetry that flourished early in the Tagalog Region of the Philippines, where each stanza is composed of four rhyming lines, each line with eight syllables. "Pasalamat" [or pasasalamat] roughly means thanking or thankful. Rough translation:
Poem of Thankfulness -
Life is a trek, a long journey
Once, in same lap and step, were we
Your big helping hand was ready -
To serve was what we both did see.

The knowledge that insects inspired
Became the key to friendship fired
Served as the bridge linking and wired -
Science that serves people, aspired.

To you our dear departed friend,
Our thanks to you, forever spend.
You are Joy, joy you did extend
We won't forget you till no end.
Nov 2018 · 79
Shooting Stars
Jun Lit Nov 2018
Meteor showers hang
Pink, red, yellow royal crowns
Scent enchants the swarm
dedicated to Hoya Lovers & Enthusiasts
Jun Lit Oct 2018
Trapped we’ve been, believers
and non-believers alike, in this dungeon
- a room full of venomous vipers
- a hall that in the not-so-distant season
of economic lepers, here was where a patient recovers
- hope was glistening, hope was a reason
to hold on, to holding on

Honey-cured tongues scooped,
facts fudged and frothed, truth looped
Alas! we’ve all been duped
Instant change, six months quickly pooped
- rights became wrong, right stooped
- wrong became right,
- villains became heroes overnight
- immorality is might
- and quest for justice a seeker’s fright
This side, this race, these islands of many beaches white
- oft said as worth one’s dying for, one’s lonely fight
suddenly plunged deep into this Pitch Black night

Here Dark prevails, dark thoughts are tools
to maim the wise, the good. Pedestaled mules
treat us like canned sardines – fools
who locked themselves jam-packed inside
but left the key mindlessly outside
now Hope is flickering, seems to hide
After all the sacrifices far and wide
Is this all that there is - a place to deride?

Here Dark prevails, dark thoughts are raging bulls
But behind the door, I know the Great Light rules
Peep through the keyhole, see the fire
burning. Just one lit candle in straits dire
Strong winds blowing, to put it out with hate
Rush, before that last flame dies, we should not wait.
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