Inside the library reading Camille Rankine

Poetry by | February 23, 2020

Sunlight creases through my face.
I look at it, robbing myself of sight,
Loving blindness.

One more time, day ends.
One more time, I’m still a day alive.
And I breathe, thank god.

But not of fresh air.
The rooftop now is chilly. Bodies
can’t be sunning in winter.

Inside the library, books eat me.
I know they will outlive me.
But now I will outlive the sun.

In summer, my black hair
Becomes the golden rays of the world.
And the sun will already sleep

to gain strength in the coming months.
I let it crease my lips, sip my own
youth – whatever it wants

before it leaves. I refuse to refuse.
Books eat me and yet no knowledge
knows all of me. Maybe only the sun.

And maybe the sky. Whatever I want
they still can’t give, as books too.
Maybe someday I want to fly

or sleep inside the Danube. Maybe
I will write stories, still mind babbles.
Maybe I would outlive myself,

in the form of dying, as I become
a book, a paper, a word. Maybe the sun
would remain bright, even if evenings

rob me of sanity. Maybe I would dream
tonight of losing sight – I would dig
my own eyes and then face the sun.

 


Ian is an overseas Filipino student. He misses home.

Bangka 

Poetry by | February 23, 2020

Gatuya – tuya ang bangka sa naga lumpat nga indak sa balod,
Kauban ang tugtog sa gadumbol nga habagat sa kiliran.

Sama sa kakiat sa mga gasalom nga isda,
Padayon kining nakigbisog sa tubig sa wa mailhing dagan.

Samtang gasakay, gahangad ang ulo sa kawanangan,
Mata galurat sa mga gasidlak – sidlak nga mga bituon nga nakigtigi sa kahayag sa dakbayan.

Sa imong pagpangisda sa buntag, na murag pagpanghabol nimo sa akong nipis nga lawas
Inig kagabii, dagat ang habol mong gagakos sa akong gitugnaw nga kasing – kasing.

Pa? bangka pod diay kong dili makab – ot ang imong panganod.
Ang imong gugma.

Ang kahumot nalang sa zonrox nga nikapyot sa imong kamot
Ang magpabilin nga baho nga pangitaon sa akong ilong sa matag kabuntagon.

Tingog mong gadahunog sama sa kampana sa San Pedro
Ang mudu – aw sa akong dunggan sa unsa ko nimo patulugon matag udto.

Naglaroy – laroy akong huna – huna sa imong dagway
Busa ang kabuluyagun sa gahuyop nga habagat

Ang nisagpa kanako arun halukan ang samarang adlaw.
Dili nako mapasanginlan ang inosenteng sulog sa dagat.

Busa, kabalo kang mubalik ko kung asa una nakit – an nato ang matag usa.

 


Ivan Ridge Arbizo is a grade 12 student from Davao City National High School.

 

 

 

 

Ning Ika-pulo sa Pebrero

Poetry by | February 23, 2020

Katingad-an ang kabugnaw
ning napulong gabii sa Pebrero.
Makalisang, kay di nako masuta
Kon diin kini nagikan:
sa bugnawng huyohoy sa lasang
o sa mapanglimbawot nga taghoy sa kasingkasing?

Makalisang!

Pero usa ra akong nabantayan,
Gapangurog ang akong kamot.
Igo sad nga makatagik tag balak
Samtang gapaabot
Sa iyang mainitong mga halok.

 

 


 

Si Angelito Nambatac JR usa ka lumulupyo sa Dakbayan sa Iligan ug kasamtangang naghuman sa kursong Masters in Culture and Arts Studies (MCAS) sa MSU-Iligan Institute of Technology. Sakop sa sumusunod nga hugpong sa mga magsusulat: BATHALAD-Mindanao, Himugso Kolektibo , ug Tigsugilon.

One Wash, One Dry

Poetry by | February 9, 2020

The box was too small for the bulk
Of clothes made to fit inside its enclosure.
Stuffed, like marshmallows shoved onto
One’s mouth, pushing the walls of the cheek.
Barely holding, barely holding, clinging
Only to their brothers
Who share their filth.
Water flowed from all sides—gushing,
Seeking refuge in cotton,
Finding solace in polyester.
Then, the water swirled,
Banging the clothes to the edges—slamming
Them against the transparent wall. Circling.
They would shout for help
If they could.
But the stain was not removed by the white grains
Rubbing its soul.
Not removed, only transferred.
Red, purple, green, yellow—it was a masterpiece
Had there been no pain, no injury.
The water stopped swirling
And it was time to dry the clothes,
Forced out the water in them,
Then locked in unbearable heat.
For this is the only way
That clothes get cleansed and dirt gets scrapped.
Grime is removed with pressure, with heat, with torture.
And when the clothes get out of the tiny box,
They are purified—cleansed, birthed once again.
Then they’re welcomed
To the brotherhood.

 


James Limon is a beginning writer from Davao City and is currently a second year BS Psychology student in UP Diliman

 

Pit Senyor

Poetry by | January 26, 2020

Pit Senyor!

This is your thirty-first
candle this month. Your fervent hopes
of being with her,
walking in the rain,
sharing one umbrella,
trudging a journey,
together.

Your candles vary
every day. Some days, you lit them
golden and warm.
Some days, the wind
blows them stone cold.

You always say that once I light a candle,
Sto. Nino will eventually hear my prayer.

“Believe me, the unlit candles
are wishes in a state of sleep.”

But, do I need to light one?

Perhaps.

In silence,
I am with my prayer.

In silence,
I burn,
I melt,
I disintegrate
everyday,

alone.


Henrietta Diana de Guzman is a graduate of Creative Writing at UP Mindanao. She was a fellow for poetry at the 2009 Davao Writers Workshop and at the 2nd Sulat DULA: Playwriting Workshop at Xavier University (Ateneo de Cagayan University). Some of her works have appeared in SunStar Davao and the Best of Dagmay anthology.

Smokestack

Poetry by | January 5, 2020

I saw a smokestack jutting out
from a tin roof behind high walls
topped with barbed wire, belching
ink-black clouds that swirled
across a grey sky weighed down
with the low rumble of rain.

Here was a middle finger
cast from iron, pointed skyward,
goading wind and water both
with endless waves of poison
to beat it down to rubble,
yet they never could.

Here was a slow burn
unto itself, made self-sustaining
by an unseen fuel that drives it
despite the growing signs of wear:
rust on the metal, creaking gates,
hairline cracks on the concrete
growing wider every year.

Here was a ruin
awaiting the work of other hands
to strip it clean, and hammerheads
to tear into its rebar, pipes, and tiles,
yet still it hides behind its distance,
its faded signs, its old facade,
away from outside eyes.

I saw myself one evening
standing in a rooftop bar – drink
in one hand, cigarette in another –
mouth unglued after silence,
and nonsense, like sickness
sealed in a box, escaped in puffs
with the sultry wind, drifting
out into cityscape.


John Oliver Ladaga hails from Iligan City but is currently based in Davao, and hopes to teach writing classes for a living one day.

Urom

Poetry by | December 15, 2019

Gibira ka sa imong pagdamgo
ug nitugpa balik sa kalibutan.
Namukaw ang bugnaw mong singot
nga nikamang gikan sa agtang
paingon sa imong tutunlan.
Nipis ang hangin karong gabhiuna.
Nilalom imong pagginhawa.
Nituskig imong lawas sa katre
ug napabiling naghinanok.
Maskin gusto nimo tawgon
imong igsuon sa pikas kwarto
apan way mogawas sa baba.
Imong kauban mao imong gihunahuna
nga kini na ang kataposan.
Nipaspas og pitik imong dughan.

Sa wa pagdugay
niuyon imong mata sa kangitngit.
Hinayhinay nagporma ang usa ka tawo.
Nagtuk-ong ibabaw nimo,
nagtan-aw sa imong pagtulog.


Si John Carlo Patriana Beronio kay usa sa mga poetry fellows sa niaging 2018 Davao Writers Workshop.

Libro

Poetry by | December 15, 2019

Kini nahisamag atabay
ug lagutmon.

makainom ang giuhaw
sa kahibulong

mahimo sab busgon ang gakutoy
nga alimpatakan.

sa matag kitkit
nimo sa mga pulong

usapa pag-ayo hilabina ang
mga pakli sa tanghaga

ug ilad-ok sab
ang gaawas nga
pagtulon-an

aron dii mahaw-ang
sa kakulangon.

diha sa imong panumdoman.


Fellow si Renner Sasil sa 2019 Davao Writers Workshop. Miyembro pod sa Himugso Kolektibo ug BATHALAD-Mindanao. Waiter sa buntag ug sa gabii usa ka magbabalak nga nakig-asoy sa iyang musa mahitungod sa iyang kapakyasan sa gugma.