The Farm

Poetry by | November 29, 2015

This will be yours, you said,
yours and your sister’s, though not
grandly, only as a matter of fact.

Five hectares of fruit trees sprawled
before and around us, paths
stamped through grass from

decades of walking, which you
were doing slow now but expertly.
Behind you, I swore and scratched

at cuts weeds scythed across my
shins, pausing only when I saw fruit
bruising on the ground,

wind and rain plucking them
from branches that would have
fed them sweet.

Such a shame, I said, but this
you only shrugged at. At sundown
the trees were fractal, the farmscape

a teeming code my urban eyes
could not probe, but I loved this strange,
living land and love it still

because you—gray-headed,
sure-footed—were on and within it,
as a matter of fact.

for Dad

Charisse-Fuschia “Peachy” A. Paderna finished high school at the Stella Maris Academy in Davao City and college at the Ateneo de Manila University (AB in Philosophy). Her poems have earned her the Ateneo de Manila University’s Loyola Schools Award for the Arts, and more recently, her collection “An Abundance of Selves” won first place in the 65th Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature in Poetry category English Division. She is currently based in Manila, where she works as a communications consultant for the Department of Budget and Management.

The Poem

Poetry by | November 29, 2015

It speaks where your world is:
the bending moan of a train speeding off,

your mother’s whistling in the kitchen.
It moves in the stories unknown to you,

the ones that escape your possession:
a war removed from you by decades,

a shrub blossoming in another country,
a letter unanswered.

It rises too, by the thousands,
from men and women lush with words,

here and there releasing their bodies
to a new language, a new

eloquence for ways of living
otherwise discordant.

It occupies song and silence,
the interstices from breath to breath.

It is born of thought aching or joyous,
of the quickening verb that is you.