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(Poem)

plunderers of public fund we are not
we did not purchase power
we did not crave for it
though oftentimes rumbling are our bellies
we did not swallow our honor and dignity
we did not masticate our shame
shadows we are holding vigil at night
amidst the glare of the lonely moon
in the hilly forest of liberating dreams
weaving we are the melodies of freedom
for our incarcerated land
in the bastion of lords
of injustices, penury and grief.

plunderers of public fund we are not
inside air-conditioned rooms we are not
that’s why
only the whirling wind
caresses our face and limbs
we have no porcelain plates
we have no expensive goblets
we have no steaming sopa de gallina
succulent pork lechon or sappy steaks
our callous hands are our spoons and forks
for our cold-cooked rice, fishes from creeks
camote and ampalaya shoots
we heartily relish on banana leaves.

plunderers of public fund we are not
that’s why we are always telling the truth
we are not hoodwinking the masses
with outright lies and illusions
of propagandized progress for all
hissing is our rebellious breath
flaming are our hands
seething are our brains
with sacred aspirations
to emancipate, at last, our enslaved land.

yes, plunderers of public fund we are not
like you we are not
pawning our beloved land’s future
just for you to stay in power more and more
we are dedicated warriors of freedom and honor
sacred purpose is our muse
the people’s welfare
our everlasting love
and fervently we cherish only
the yearnings of bleeding hearts
yes, a society not tormented
by the injustices and greed
of the exploitative class!


(panunumpa sa tungkulin ng mga pulitikong kawatan)

iniibig ko ang pilipinas
aking lupang ninanakawan
tahanan ng mga kauri kong tulisan
pinahihintulutan akong magnakaw magpakailanman
upang maging mayaman, makapangyarihan at mapanlinlang.
dahil mahal ko ang aking kapakanan
susuwayin ko ang mga batas
at lagi kong pangangalagaan ang aking lukbutan.
tatalikuran ko ang mga adhikaing marangal
kahit magdusa’y masang sambayanan.
buong sigasig akong magsisikap
na maragdagan pa ang aking kayamanan
kahit ikamatay ng aking nasasakupan.
sa aking buong buhay sa panunungkulan
tatalikuran ko ang karangalan
at magsisikap akong maging ganap na tulisan
sa isip, sa salita, at sa gawa
para sa pananatili ng aking kasakiman.
kasihan at pagpalain nawa ako ni satanas!


(Poem}

listen to us
speaking are our spirits…
not the deceiving words
of scheming charlatanic politicians
not the enticing words
of profit-greedy inhumane capitalists
not the drumbeatings
of the exploitative ruling class…
they who are plunderers and crooks
sucking our sweat and blood
they who always masticate
our flesh and limbs.
full of nauseating realities
are our words in a rotten society
paradise of a chosen few.

listen to us
and beware and be shocked…
incarcerated still is our beloved land
rapaciously being raped by your foreign gods
and unscrupulous gluttonous lords.
you bastards always make her suffer
in the calvary of penury and grief
you devils always nail her on the cross
of darkness and fear and hopelessness
you beasts vehemently torture her
our ever suffering la tierra pobreza.

listen to us
speaking are our spirits…
listen you bandits
in the palaces and mansions of power and greed
you with bulging bellies
and mouths always full
with stolen blessings and wealth.
listen to us
we, who have no house, no land, nothing at all
we, who are like rats
dwelling under the bridge
crawling on the estero’s putrid shoulders
meandering in criss-crossing dark alleys
of repugnant city’s intestine and breast.
yes, we also are like slumbering dogs
in parks and sidewalks
scavenging for leftover food
in some forsaken garbage dumps
to appease our empty stomachs
which most often than not
only air and bubbles dwell.

listen to us
speaking are our spirits…
we, who always begged then for pity and care
we, who always stared then
at the twinkling stars on a firmament serene
we, who always conversed then
with dancing fireflies on dark nights
we, who always looked up then
at the moon’s luminous face.
yes, kneeling and praying still we are
before the altar of grease and machines
in enslaving city’s factories of greed
yes, wailing still we are
before swaying stalks of palay
and robust sugarcanes
in haciendas and ricefields of grief
and mixing still our sweat and tears
with the dewdrops of grieving shrubs
as loneliness embraces every blades of grass
being kissed and caressed
by the tender or whirling wind.
when will the dark shadows of despair
vanish on our land’s heaving breast?

listen to us
speaking are our spirits…
seething is our brain
simmering is our blood
revolting is our heart
our eyes see not
even a glimmer of pity and hope
while you continuously exploit us
trampling upon our dignity and rights
incarcerating our future
and selling it more and more.
listen to us
speaking are our spirits…
and beware you exploiters and crooks
we are now praying the new rosary of hope
not the litanies of begging as slaves
but flaming words are now rushing out
from our shivering mouths.

listen to us
speaking are our spirits…
we will sing no more the lyrics of despair
we will recite no more the poem of tender love
will dash out from our mouths
harsh words of unyielding struggle
for the freedom and glory
of our beloved land.
yes, because no more slumbering we are
in the darkness of night
dilated and full of hatred now are our eyes
seeing clearly the deceiving films
you always flash before us…
beware you crooks and exploiters
the hissing of lightning
the yelling of thunder
the wheezing of bullets
will slash to pieces
your face benumbed by slaps of silver and gold.
loathsome and hatred full
the trigger of freedom!


(Tula)

pakinggan ninyo kami
espiritu nami’y nagsasalita…
di ng doble-karang mga pangungusap
ng salamangkerong mga pulitiko
o ng ganid sa tubong kapitalistang hunyango
at iba pang kampon ng uring dorobo
silang lumalaklak sa aming pawis at dugo
ngumangasab sa aming bituka’t laman
manapa, mga salita nami’y hitik
sa nakasusukang reyalidad
ng lipunang bulok at dapat paghimagsikan.

pakinggan ninyo kami
at magimbal sana kayo…
nakakadena pa rin
kahabag-habag naming bayan
ginagahasa ng mga amo ninyong dayuhan
at iilang kabalat na naghahari-harian
lagi ninyong inilalampaso sa kalbaryo
ng dalita’t dusa’t inhustisya
lagi ninyong ibinabayubay sa krus
ng dilim at pangamba’t kawalang-pag-asa
lugami naming la tierra pobreza.

pakinggan ninyo kami
espiritu nami’y nagsasalita…
kayong mga diyus-diyosang
namumuwalan ang bibig
at bundat ang tiyan
sa yaman at grasyang inyong kinamkam.
pakinggan ninyo kami
kaming “walang bahay, walang lupa, walang-wala”
noon pa ma’y sabi nga ng isang makata
para kaming mga dagang naglulungga
sa ilalim ng mga tulay
gumagapang sa balikat ng mga estero
palikwad-likwad sa sanga-sangang eskinita
sa maalingasaw na bituka’t katawan ng kalunsuran
para rin kaming mga asong nakahimlay
sa mga parke, bangketa’t
gilid-gilid ng mga dalampasigan
nag-aabang ng tira-tirang pagkain
at nagbubungkal ng mga basurahan
para magkalaman lamang kumukulong tiyan.

pakinggan ninyo kami
espiritu nami’y nagsasalita…
kaming umaamot ng kalinga’t habag
sa mga bituin sa kalawakan
sa mga alitaptap sa karimlan
at mukha ng buwang malamlam.
nakaluhod kami at nagdarasal
sa mga makina’t grasa’t granahe
ng mapang-aliping pabrika sa kalunsuran
nananambitan kami
sa mabubulas na mga palayan at tubuhan
ng mga asyenda’t bukirin sa kanayunan
at lagi’t laging sumasanib aming pawis at luha
sa hamog ng damuhang nananambitan
dahil yakap-yakap ng kalungkutan
ng habagat man o amihan.
kailan mapapawi ang dilim
sa dibdib ng bayan naming
alipin ng lagim at sagimsim?

pakinggan ninyo kami
espiritu nami’y nagsasalita…
mga utak nami’y kumukulo
sumisilakbo ang aming dugo
naghihimagsik ang aming puso
di man lamang maaninag
ng mga mata namin ang pagsuyo
di man lamang namin marinig
mga bulong ng pag-asa
habang araw-araw
kami’y inyong sinasamantala
dignidad namin ay dinudusta
kinabukasan nami’y ibinabartolina
at walang pakundangang ibinibenta.

pakinggan ninyo kami
espiritu nami’y nagsasalita…
at magimbal sana kayo
nagdarasal na kami ng sariling rosaryo
kaming mga alipin at binubusabos ninyo
di na litanya ng pagmamakaawa
kundi mga butil na ng pagbabanta
naghahabulang mga salita
sa aming nanginginig na bunganga.
pakinggan ninyo kami
espiritu nami’y nagsasalita…
ayaw na naming awitin
kundiman ng pagkabigo
o tulain tagulaylay ng pagsuyo
dadagundong na sa mga bibig namin
mga nota ng magiting na pakikibaka
para sa pinakasisintang la tierra pobreza
at di na mga kuwerdas ng gitara
kakalbitin ng mga daliring
sumawa’t namanhid na sa paghaharana
at sapagkat kami’y namumulat na
at di nahirating humimbing na lamang
sa pusikit na karimlan ng gabi
nanlilisik na kami ngayon
sa mga eksenang mapanlinlang
ng pelikulang lagi’t laging ipinipiring
sa telon ng aming mga matang
matagal nang inulila ng luningning.
magimbal na sana kayo…
sagitsit ng kidlat
tungayaw ng kulog
daluyong ng galit
singasing ng punglo
dudurog sa inyong mukhang
nangapal sa sampal ng pilak at ginto
nagngingitngit na’t nagwawala
gatilyo ng paglaya!


{My English version of my MADALING-ARAW SA PUSO NG LA TIERRA POBREZA — my apologies for the influence of a few lines of a poem about Africa by Patrice Emery Lumumba, the first President of the Democratic Republic of Congo who was murdered by his political opponents on the alleged prodding of the CIA of America)

for a few years more than three centuries
you, indios, of my la tierra pobreza
suffered like a brute
pulverized and turned to ashes were your bones
scattered by the harsh wind
on grieving hills and ricefields
by the white lords of tyranny and grief.
your masters erected glittering temples
to protect your soul
to maintain your sufferings.
their right was to whip and torture you
your right was to weep and die.
they implanted and sculpted on your body
endless hunger, endless chains
death was like a large crawling snake
from the shrubbery forest
ready to treacherously bite you.
they laid on your neck poverty’s iron ball
they ravished your wife
the sparkling pearl of your home.
they raped your land and gold.
resounding like the sounds of drums
in the pitch-dark nights
the wailing of disgraced souls.
hustling like the rapids
the flow of tears and blood
of victims of injustices.
yes, from a foreign land
they travelled and docked
on the seashore of your motherland.
their cross and swords pierced your mind
to rapaciously rule your beloved land.
in every large tracts of land they grabbed
their beasts of burden were your sons.
in their factories of greed
the arms of your sons were their screws and hammers
while preaching god is merciful to his brethren
but you are always grieving, indios…
till your blood boiled
till your heart revolted
and you strewn to the wind
the melody of grief and pain
and kindled the fire of revolution
and slashed the necks of your oppressors.
but hence came new demigods
who again enslaved you
and still continuously enslaving you
in cahoots with your plunderers fellow indios!

yes, indios, of my la tierra pobreza
you were slaves for centuries
and still are slaves today
of the lords of sorrow and exploitation
but in the blazing fire
ignited by shadows now mere heap of skeletons
your valiant sons and daughters
will continuously dance
will always be vigilant
in the darkness of night
on mountains and fields of grief
and they will pour their blood
on now yellowish grass of hope
for the freedom and glory
you so fervently desire
for your beloved la tierra pobreza.
stare at the breaking of dawn
smell the scent of joy
the tender wind will wipe-out from your face
the tears of grief of our race
when, alas, at last
the talahib is on fire
blazing with embers full
on mournful hills and savannahs…
rejoice, indios…
gloriously dance
dawn will inevitably turn-up
in the heart of our la tierra pobreza!


(pasintabi sa ilang linya ni Juan Hernandez Cruz ng Puerto Rico)

kapag ang mga tula’y
nagsisimulang gumiba’t dumurog sa mga pader
para bigtihin ang mga pulitiko
at mapagsamantalang uri sa nabubulok na lipunan
kapag naghuhumiyaw ang mga tula
at umiilanlang at rumaragasa sa hangin…
iyon ang oras ng totoong mga makata
iyon ang oras na dakila…
parang palaso’t punglong itutudla
ng tunay na makata ang kanyang mga tula
habang pinagmamasdan
ang pagbagsak sa lupa
ng mga tinudla…
iyon ang araw na dakila!


(A poem NOT for lovers per se)

suddenly, yes, suddenly,
i know all will end
in a fleeting moment of awakening
those lingering illusions of love
those tempting stares and smiles
and  tender caresses on the arms
are mere pieces of shattered glass
scattered on desolate blades of grass.
i know everything will come to pass
like footsteps on the sand
like flashes of lightning on the sky
or the last gasps of a dying man.

so cruel to think of adieu
for am certain after parting
painful memories will scorch my flesh
and pierce my mind.
your shadow will stalk me
in every deserted streets
together we’ve strolled
in every poetic places
we’ve built our castles
of liberating dreams.
how can i learn to forget
when in every minute
memories cascade
in the waterfall of my brain?

but can you still remember me
as time silently passes by
especially at dusks
when loneliness is as cold
as the dewy december dawns?
can you still remember me
in the years to come
in your world of sacred dreams
even faded are the pictures
and  tenderly, so tenderly,
the dried leaves of memories
begin to fall and kiss
the parched earth of despair?
can you still remember
the old rag you most needed then
when your shivering soul
feverishly groped for love’s embrace?

when gone you are
and wish no more
to glimpse at me and behold
what can i do
but to embrace my solitude
and hope forevermore
that in this time and space
in the rebellious moment
of my forsaken life
you will again walk by
like my favorite music
so many, many times
am always yearning to hear
though violently slashing my heart
and continuously paralyzing
my meandering tormented soul.
so cruel, yes, so cruel
to always think of goodbye!

———————————
KAY LUPIT ISIPIN ANG PAMAMAALAM

alam kong matatapos ang lahat
sa isang iglap lamang
sa isang sandali ng pagkamulat
madudurog na parang salamin
ang ilusyon ng pagmamahal
gayundin ang mapang-akit
na mga ngiti at titig
at masuyong haplos sa bisig.
alam kong mapapawi ang lahat
gaya ng mga bakas ng paa
sa buhanginan
o saglit na pagguhit ng kidlat
sa kalawakan.

kay lupit isipin ang pamamaalam
dahil tiyak kong pagkatapos ng lahat
dadalawin ako ng mga gunitang
magpapakirot sa kaisipan
at papaso sa kalamnan.
susundan akong lagi ng iyong anino
sa mga lansangang niyapakan
sa mga pook na naging kastilyo
ng ating mga katawan.
paano nga ba mapag-aaralan ang paglimot
kung sa bawat sandali ng pag-iisa
parang tubig na bumubulwak
ang mga alaala?

ngunit maalaala mo pa kaya ako
sa paglipas ng mga panahon
lalo na kung mga dapithapong
ang karimlan ay nagpapatindi sa pangungulila
at ang kalungkutan ay sinlamig
ng mga madaling-araw ng disyembre?
maalaala mo pa kaya ako
sa paglipas ng mga panahon
sa iyong daigdig ng mga pangarap
kahit malabo na ang mga larawan
at banayad na nangalalaglag
at humahalik sa lupa
ang mga tuyong dahon ng gunita?
maalaala mo pa kaya ang isang lumang balabal
na kinailangan sa mga sandaling
ang kaluluwa’y nagiginaw sa pagmamahal?

kung wala ka na
at tuluyang ayaw na akong makita
ano pa nga ba ang magagawa
kundi yakapin ang pag-iisa
at patuloy na asahang
sa isang iglap na sandali ng buhay
ay muli kang magdaraan
kagaya ng musikang
paulit-ulit na pinakikinggan
kahit humihiwa sa puso
at nagpapamanhid sa kaisipan…
kay lupit isipin ang pamamaalam!

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