Her brute force rattles you
To the core, even from a distance.
She drops with such heaviness,
Such strength, that she sends spray
Back up the air, higher than her,
Ramming the forested slopes around
With her rumble, causing leaves
To tremble, your heart to flutter.
The most beautiful is the most
Terrifying, you tell yourself, humbled
By your smallness, by the mortality
Of your body. You stand still
Before her, and in mere minutes—
In your ears and eyes, her roar lowers
To a murmur, her fall slows
To a flow. She becomes something
Whose power you can harness,
Whose beauty you can sell.
Beasts stalk their prey, and before
They devour it, they pray.
Lake Sebu, South Cotabato
Jude Ortega is from Sultan Kudarat Province. He was a fellow for fiction at the 2016 UP National Writers Workshop.