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Archive for December, 2012

Awit 1


(Tula –inilathala sa PILIPINO FREE PRESS, Disyembre 18, 1968 at, kaugnay nito, pakidalaw na rin ang “Di Hinaplos ng Pasko ang Puso” — Dis. 29, 2010 sa arkibo ng plumaatpapel).

huwag mong pagmasdan
nagsayaw-sayaw na mga parol
at nagkikindatang pula, dilaw
asul at berdeng mga ilaw sa bintana
huwag mong namnamin
nakahaing hamon, keso at alak
sa iyong kumikislap na mesa.
ikaw, ikaw na may pusong kristiyano
ay dapat tumanaw sa dako pa roon…
sa pook na libingan
ng mga buhay na kalansay.
masdan mo, masdan mo
ang humpak na pisngi
ng isang batang naglalaway
sa isang mansanas
o isang kumpol na ubas…
masdan mo ang isang platong kanin
at ilang butil ng asin
na tinititigan ng matang malungkot.
sa lamig ng madaling-araw
masdan mo ang butuhang mga daliri
at gulanit na balabal
ng isang matandang
nakayukayok sa pinto ng simbahan.
sa sikat ng araw sa katanghalian
sulyapan mo ang pudpod na takong
at butas na suwelas ng sapatos
ng isang pawisang trabahador
at tingnan mo pagkatapos
ang naglulunoy na water lily
sa estero at sa ilog pasig.
sa butas-butas na bubong
ng isang dampa
subukan mong titigan ang araw
katasin mo ang pait at dusa
at madarama ng iyong pusong kristiyano
ang kahungkagan ng isang pasko!

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A Poem There Is


(Poem — my English version of “May Tula”)

yes, poets of an enslaved race
a poem there is
in crawling ants
on scattered sugar granules
in wriggling worms
on flesh decomposing
or in flies flirting
on hands with sores oozing.
also a poem there is
in the bleeding heart
of one derangely forsaken
by love’s unfathomable angst
with besetting shadows of loneliness
cold as the harsh, snowy wind.
yes, there is also a poem
in confused, wandering ideas
in the dark, thick foliage
of fantasy and ignorance
or wallowing in the murky brooks
of emptiness and elusive dreams.

yes, also a poem there is
in the moon’s luminous face
in the stars sparkling
on a firmament serene
yes, a poem there is
in the hissing
of bamboo plants
or in the tender caress
of the gentle wind
or in the surging waves
smacking the shore.
poetic also is the solitary flower
on a long-forgotten grave
and poetic also are the tears of morning dew
on yellowish, desolate blades of grass.
a poem also there is
in feverish, quivering loins
in sudden lust’s ejaculation
on an orgasmic, howling night.

but poets of an enslaved race
more poetic is a mother’s grieving face
than the staring full moon in the sky
her son abducted by military brutes
now a bit of bone or slice of flesh no more
desaparecido like a lonely
bursting, evaporating bubble
on the parched earth of despair.
more poetic are the tot’s mournful eyes
than the twinkling billion stars
his stomach devoid
of milk and bread
in it only air dwells.
yes, more lyrical is the music
of those crucified by tears of grief
fed with vile of injustices
chained, tortured by demigods
in thick prison walls
of humiliating miseries.

yes, poets of an enslaved race
more poetic is the poem
in the creaking bones
of an emaciated worker
in cruel factories of greed
more poetic in the dripping sweat
of a sacada in vast sugarcane field
yes, more poetic
in the cries and lamentations
of victims of an exploitative few
yes, poets of an enslaved race
more melodious is the poem
in the cadences
of rebellious feet
on the heaving breast
of the streets of protests
more poetic
in the sonnet of gunfires
in the elegy of bombs
in the epic of struggles
of the exploited class.
yes, poets of an enslaved race
what is more sacred and pure
than society’s abominable realities
and the miserable lives
of the masses long-oppressed
longing every minute to be free
from bondage and poverty?

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