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(Poem)

will search for you always
in the blazing fire
and fleeting embers
when gloomy is the night’s
horizon of fright
will search for you always
in the heart and blood
of the oppressed class
in the bended spines
of exploited workers
and enslaved farmers
yes, will search for you always
by the shore of my soul
while onrushing are the waves
and hissing is the lightning
and rumbling is the thunder
in the panorama of love
for our liberating aspirations.

yes, will search for you always
in the pricking amorseco
along the yellowish path of hope
of barren, grieving ricefield
will search for you always
in the intertwining cogon grass
on hills and savannas
in the crawling cadena de amor
on forgotten graves
of dedicated warriors
for the freedom and glory
of the downtrodden class
and the emancipation
of la tierra pobreza
from the manacles of injustices
and chains of exploitation.

yes, will search for you always
in every dusk bidding adieu
or on mornings the dews descend
on desolate blades of grass
hoping we’ll soon meet
as our veins are conjoined
by the onslaught of penury and grief
and our blood simmers
with the kiss
of the easterly wind
of rampaging protests
and our hearts embrace
the revolution of love’s dedication
for the emerald-filled future
of our beloved land.

yes, will search for you always
and we’ll meet and rejoice soon
when the talahib fully blooms
and blood flows
from the calvary’s ovary
and drown we will
the worm-infested face and body
of the exploitative ruling class!

(My English version of LAGI KITANG HAHANAPIN)


(Tula)

lagi kitang hahanapin
sa lagablab ng apoy
sa namamaalam
na mga alipato
kung gabing kulimlim
papawirin ng panimdim
lagi kitang hahanapin
sa puso’t dugo
ng mga sawimpalad
sa nahukot na gulugod
ng inaliping magsasaka
at binusabos na manggagawa
lagi kitang hahanapin
sa pasigan ng kaluluwa
sa ragasa ng mga alon
sa singasing ng kidlat
at dagundong ng kulog
sa kalawakan ng pagmamahal
sa mga layuning mapagpalaya.

oo, lagi kitang hahanapin
sa sundot ng amorseko
sa nanilaw na pilapil ng pag-asa
sa nagbitak na pinitak
ng bukiring naninimdim
sa naglilingkisang mga kugon
sa burol man at sabana
sa gumagapang na cadena de amor
sa limot nang libingan
ng mga mandirigma ng pag-asa
para sa laya’t ligaya
ng sambayanang masa
at katubusan ng la tierra pobreza
sa tanikala ng inhustisya
at kadena ng pagsasamantala.

oo,lagi kitang hahanapin
magmaliw man ang dapithapon
lumuha man ang mga damo
pagpitada ng umaga
magtatagpo rin kita
dahil pinagdugtong ang ating ugat
ng daluhong ng dalita’t dusa
dahil pinakulo ang ating dugo
ng habagat ng protesta
at pinaglapat ang ating puso
ng rebolusyon ng pagsinta
para sa pinakamamahal nating
la tierra pobreza
kadluan ng madugo nating mga alaala
pandayan ng ngitngit at himagsik
ng binubusabos nating lahi.

oo, lagi kitang hahanapin
at magtatagpo rin tayo’t magniniig
kapag ganap na namulaklak ang mga talahib
at agasan ng dugo ang obaryo ng kalbaryo
lulunurin sa wakas
inuuod na mukha’t katawan
ng uring hari-harian!

To Hear No More


(Poem)

i wish to hear no more
the rhythmic melodies of words
in vague phrases and paragraphs
no more do i like to hear
the clanking of rhetorics
like galvanized sheets
molded on the roof of an old bus
that could hardly run on a stony road
no more, no more do i like to hear
the marching cadence of lyricism
in many blindfolded lines
of crawling stanzas of poems
no more will my heart beat
through the touch
and caress of stunted syllables
my mind would just be tormented
by convoluted messages
shattered might be my eardrums
by the deafening cries
of a lonely heart swimming
in the sea of despair
singing only the sadness
of two separated grieving souls
weaving in poems the litanies of grief
and the delusion of a mind
enslaved by the love-stricken moon.

on the paper’s face
i wish to see the sputum of words
the bloody arms of lines
the rebellious metaphors of sacred dreams
of the prostrate masses on clayish soil
the flaming lyrics of the people’s brain
yes, i wish to hear in every stanza
the hissing of bullets
the roaring of bombs
in the poetic struggle
of the oppressed class
i wish to hear
in the encoded hymns
on the masses’ breast
the cussing of the wind
in the deep night
the dashing of lightning
on the face of darkness
the earsplitting thunder
in barren hills
the exploding protests
in the city’s bosom
the reverberating shouts
of a noble soul
cohabiting always
with the country
he loves forevermore.

yes, i wish to see no more
the framed pictures of deluded love
or torrid kisses of lustful lips
am oftenly blindfolded
by love’s illusions
you’ve painted
on the curtain of my eyes
lurking in my mind’s room
are numerous revolting images
slaves of darkness
tortured by the starless nights
when shall all these metamorphose?
scrawny arms
wrinkled faces
bended backs
emaciated bodies
twisted intestines
while feasting are the lords
on the abundant table
of flesh and blood
of slaves with rumbling bellies
while they
the demigods in gold palaces
savor the aged wines
the roasted pig
the sexy lass
when would they drop a speck of pity
on the palms of the downtrodden class
from whom they derived their awesome wealth?
when would they give the dispossessed
a scoop of rice
to satisfy the kid’s growling stomach
where only air so oftenly dwells?

no more, no more
i wish to hear
the melancholic elegy
the praying ode
the squeaking epic
the toothless words
the lame stanzas
that don’t spit
on the greedy face
of rapacious crooks
now, i wish to see
on wrinkled papers
flaming letters
in barren fields
burning words
reducing to ashes
the oppressors of the poor
i wish to see razor-like stanzas
slashing the breast
of fear and grief.
i wish to see no more
the lethargic words
so weak to invigorate
the people’s consciousness
yes, i like to see words
with violent waves
with surging storm
smashing the shores
of exploitation and injustices
let glare the sun’s heat
let shout the thousand words
let the rain be sharp arrows
or angry onrushing bullets
piercing the black heart
of the exploitative class
cracking the skulls of those
who’ve betrayed
the now and then
of a nation slaughtered
by the insatiable ruling class
blazing letters
flaming words
stanzas invectives full
armed with bombs and guns
would murderously incinerate
the shady palaces
of lords of corruption and greed!

(My English version of AYOKO NA!)


(Poem)

how many packs of cigarettes, lolo hugo,
do you have to sell through the day
to buy pancit guisado
in be ho’s restaurant
at the corner of elizondo
for your waiting grandchild
inside a kneeling praying shanty
on the shoulder of the murky estero?
could you not just take home
plenty of holy bread
from the altar of father san pedro
and soak in holy water your cold rice?
the food might taste like stewed lamb
in the mouth of your crying haggard wife.

still sleeping is the black nazarene
inside the glossy glass coffin.

even you walk on oftentimes, lolo hugo,
from the spouting mouth
of the streets of r. hidalgo
down to the pulsating breast
of bilibid viejo
your feet could not kick a peso
nor a bread from heaven falls
nor your hands
be wet with porridge
cigarettes of those addicted like you
yes, cigarettes, and cigarettes
would make your eyes glare, lolo hugo.

still sleeping is the black nazarene
inside the glossy glass coffin.

how many decades had past, lolo hugo,
yet you’re still retailing cigarettes?
we’ve met so many times
at the bosom of plaza miranda
during the many seething bloody protests
against the grim unjust dictatorship
we’re both young and strong then
and could still run and board a jeepney
but now we’re both jerking grandpas
struggling so hard to survive
hoping against hope for a better life.

still sleeping is the black nazarene
inside the glossy glass coffin.

how many bell’s tolls, lolo hugo,
reverberated in your ears?
how many hymns and psalms
made you dream forevermore?
cigarettes! cigarettes!
though forbidden to be smoked everywhere
but poisonous is not the carbon dioxide
from the vehicles exhaust pipes
for us scavengers of whatever graces
from the pockets of our merciful god
how would you feed then
your dear waiting grandchild?

still sleeping is the black nazarene
inside the glossy glass coffin.

but we couldn’t tell, lolo hugo,
soon the black nazarene might wake up
through the kisses and embraces
of his millions of devotees
he might stand up and move
through the masses and prayers
of blessed father san pedro
then the nazarene would brandish
his big wooden cross
and behead the greedy mammals
in the palace of injustices
and slash open
the bellies of bureaucratic crooks
so they couldn’t grab and monopolize
the blessings we so rightly deserve.

still sleeping is the black nazarene
inside the glossy glass coffin.

yes, we couldn’t tell, lolo hugo,
once the black nazarene wakes up
we’ll raise the chalice of blood
we’ll make the enslaving haciendas
and factories of greed and penury
and the moss-covered bastions
of the rapacious ruling class
hear the chorus of gunfires and bombs
and the rampaging procession of the masses
would surge on to liberate
the oppressed-downtrodden class
from the manacles of injustices and greed
so, you, lolo hugo,
could take home pork lechon and adobo
for your waiting dear grandchild.

yet, now, lolo hugo,
still sleeping is the black nazarene
inside the glossy glass coffin!

(My English version of NATUTULOG PA RIN NAZARENONG ITIM. Lolo is the common term in Filipino for grandfather; estero is a murky stinking canal usually within the city; pancit guisado is sauted noodles.)

2012 in review


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

19,000 people fit into the new Barclays Center to see Jay-Z perform. This blog was viewed about 90,000 times in 2012. If it were a concert at the Barclays Center, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

2013 in review


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 79,000 times in 2013. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 3 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.


(Poem)

we’ll sharpen our bolos
when fear lurks in the heart
when the stars are bleak and sad
and the sun’s rays are cold and pale
we’ll sharpen our bolos
when withering are the flowers
when the trash is not on fire
when the dews glitter not on the grass
and not a single firefly twinkles in the night.

yes, we’ll sharpen our bolos
when more fortunate are the rats
than the poor like us
we, “the wretched of the earth”
we, the workers and peasants
enslaved by the soil and machine
of the gluttonous ruling class
yet our belly groans most of the time
while they wallow in the blessings
coming out from our sweat and blood.

we’ll sharpen our bolos
especially when feverish are our tots
their stomachs aching through the night
and not a drop of milk comes out
from the sagging breasts of their moms
long tormented by poverty and despair
we’ll sharpen our bolos
when even the cold cooked-rice in our pots
is devoured by our avaricious landlords
and our anemic coffee and arm’s sweat
are gulped by our predator ruling class.

we’ll sharpen our bolos
when your justice is elusive as the clouds
when slow-paced as the crawling snails
with no pangs for the rich and powerful
and plunderers of public funds
but repressive for the weak and poor
sharp spears they are piercing our hearts
bulldozers trampling upon our sacred rights
stunting our growth and dimming our hopes
for a better, peaceful, democratic life.

yes, we’ll sharpen our bolos
when our beloved la tierra pobreza
is rapaciously being raped
when foreign masters are mashing
her luscious milky breasts
and her sacred sovereignty
is being disgraced and sold
by the lords of power and gold
yes, we’ll sharpen our bolos
till social justice reigns
till our beloved land
is set free from the clutches
of injustices and penury
till the rampaging waves of change
and the hurricane of discontent
demolish and pulverize her prison walls!

(My English version of IHAHASA NAMIN ANG ITAK)

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