Ang Gising na Lupa
Isang igkas ng kaibuturan
nitong lupang tinutuntungan
at magsusugat ang mga bundok
Lalamunin ng ilog
ang mga dating hangganan,
alingawngaw ng pagbabagong
iglap lang sa kasaysayan.
At tayo na matatag
kung matatag ang kinatatayuan,
magugunitang kay rupok
ng hibla nating hinahabi.
Nakatitig sa atin ang gising
na lupa, dinidilaan ng ilog
ang mga paa nating
This poem appears in my collection BAHA-BAHAGDANG KARUPUKAN (shortlisted for the National Book Award in the Philippines)
The Earth Awake
One thrust from the depths
of this ground we stand on
and the mountains bleed,
The river will sprawl
where it was once edged,
echoes of changes
that are but a second in history.
And we who stand firm
when we stand on firm ground,
remember the fragile
threads we weave.
The earth, awake, stares
at us, the river
licks at our
7.2 Earthquake news from Inquirer News
The news of what befell the people of Japan on Friday continues to shock us. It is a tragedy made worse with the threat of terrible nuclear meltdown – ah, nuclear energy, that “safest energy source” according to some.
In 1995 I wrote a poem (in both English and Filipino) about a tsunami that hit an island in my homeland. It would be nearly a decade later that the most devastating tsunami would strike many countries.
That poem was posted HERE in 2009. The Filipino version is included in my book Baha-bahagdang Karupukan.
This morning I practically forced my way into the local Post Office with a slip of paper saying there was a parcel that was too big to fit in my postbox. The guy who handles most items there is called David — and he always calls me by my surname which makes me feel like someone important (yeah right, I keep thinking he’s referring to my late father whom he never met).
Anyway, David hands this parcel and I try to hold it but it drops to the table. It was heavier than I thought (or I was suffering from a worse bout of flu than I thought, messing with my sense of coordination and balance!). I laughed instinctively and apologized.
I get to the car and quickly open the parcel to see my contributor’s copies of RHINO POETRY! Makes up for this stinking flu and stormy weather.
It looks really grand! And thanks to my dad’s surname I got to be first in the contents and about the contributors pages. Ha! All those years in high school when I was usually near the front — in line for a firing squad, it felt like — are now a distant nightmare. 😛
The poem they decided to publish is called “Until Nothing is Left.”
If you love poetry and would like to support the fantastic effort by these guys, please do go and order a copy!
PHILIPPINES. Five lines of text
about earthquake and flood in
Mindoro. Children drowned and
left hanging in trees. My country
in five lines, no more.
PILIPINAS. Limang linya ng teksto
tungkol sa lindol at baha sa Mindoro.
Mga batang nalunod at naiwang
nakabitin sa mga puno. Ang aking
bansa sa limang linya, hindi lalabis.
These were written at the same time on 21 April 1995.