forfeitures of my race
stare me in the face
like little sins as peanut shells
dotting the ripe sea
When will the fugitive erase
the ransom he consigns upon himself
to live an idyll free
to withstand the tender lick
of foreign lions
and the lure of bright magnificent
There is no magic there to console
even as reprimand your fallen graces
until your strength is true
by your own heart’s fidelity.
With her various achievements, Tita Lacambra-Ayala is one of the finest poets of the country and identified as the mother of Davao Literature. She is a multi-awarded poet, fictionist, and multi-media artist. She is one of the founders of the Davao Writers Guild. Her life’s works have received numerous awards, including the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature and the Gawad Alagad ni Francisco Balagtas. She is the wife of the late artist Jose Ayala and the mother of musicians Joey Ayala and Cynthia Alexander. “O the Sad Brown” first appeared in her collection of poetry, Ordinary Poems being new poems. She interpreted the poem into an art installation, also entitled “O the Sad Brown”. The art installation is part of the Visual Aspect for Kumbira! 2016, a series of literary readings organized by the Davao Writers Guild in partnership with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts as part of the celebration of National Literature Month held last April 2016.