Breakwater Girls

Poetry by | October 28, 2007

Little girls, little girls
Dancing by the breakwater
Their faces bloated like balloons
With electric plugs tucked behind their ears
Their eyeballs starting to fall from their sockets
Smiles turn to sneers
Maggots crawl all over their skin
Skin and bones visible through the naked eye
Blood on their clothes never lie
And whenever people pass the breakwater by midnight
Little girls with decayed teeth, torn-out clothes, electric plugs by their side and holes in their chests
Will come out to play with you
And make you wish they were locked in their baggage.

Madaling araw kung dumalaw ang kalungkutan

Poetry by | October 14, 2007

Madaling araw kung dumalaw ang kalungkutan
Sumasabay siya sa marahas na haplit ng hangin
at ragasa ng ulan
Katabi mo siya sa iyong paggising.

Muli,
Hahagilapin ang mga lumang larawan,
Bubuksan ang baul at babasahing muli
ang mga lumang liham,
Dadampian ng malamyos na halik
ang mga alaalang naiwan.

Madaling araw kung dumalaw ang kalungkutan
Mapipilitan kang magtimpla ng kape’t
Almusalin ang agam-agam.

Bukidnon

Poetry by | October 14, 2007

Wala na ang dating lamig.
Naglaho na ang gubat.
Subalit may naiwan pa ring halina
at kulay ang kalikasan:
Sinusuyod ng makapal na hamog ang hita’t dibdib ng kabundukan
Habang banayad na naglalakbay ang puti-abuhing ulap
sa ibabaw ng amoy-pinipig na palayan.
Sa pagitan ng maalikabok at pakiwalkiwal na daan
Nagpapaligsahan sa pag-aagaw ng pansin
ang mga ligaw na sanplawer
sa malawak na plantasyon ng tubo, saging at pinya
At sa makikisig na kabayong sa kaburula’y
Waring mga tanod ng Bathala sa lupa.

Himutok ng Isang Nanakawan

Poetry by | October 14, 2007

(Para kay Teng)

Kung nanakawan ka’t nagising
Na wala na ang iyong pitaka, relos o singsing
o dili kaya’y ang nakasabit na pantalong mamahalin,
Saan ibubunton ang hinaing?
Sa aso bang di man lang tumahol at nanggising,
sa bombilya bang antukin
o sa bakod na kay daling lundagin?
Sino ang sisisihin?
Ay! Sana’y di na ako nagising
at ngayo’y parang torong sumisingasing
Ay! Ayaw ko nang muli pang malasing!

a new york poem

Poetry by | September 30, 2007

ten minutes before mass
you slip through the church doors
wrapped with time

you watch the sermon drone on
lifting its message
heavy with guilt
towards the blue
eggshell-painted arches
pillars pointing long white fingers
like stems, elongating
the shadows behind you

you bow your head
and close your eyes
in a brief murmur of amens
golden censers and fragrant incense
chasten your secret sins
dissolving the end of words
as your fingers trace the cross
laid bare on your withered chest

forty minutes later
you step over autumn’s dry leaves
feeling less brittle and
lighter for now.

Heaven is Just Beyond the Cathedral Window

Poetry by | September 23, 2007

Half way between
one corner to the next
the soul walks right through neon

lighted city traffic
across the space where the doors
of the blue stained-glass cathedral opens

to walls painted
faces of innocent angels
their eyes chipped off

from age
looking vaguely at
the years passing.

Every thousand years or so
clouds gather above,

voices echo in chorus with
wind and the honk of city buses
all holy hymns, Hallelujah

Wandering their ears linger to
listen awhile then go
their busy ways to the beat of jazz

Beyond the cathedral window
one surely knows
Heaven is in there.