(for my beloved Jason)
In these cornered apartment walls
I drew a
a portrait of
painted with the brush of my fingertips
using the colors of whispered love
my fingers brush
the corners of your eyes
pupils like rare blue pearls from Samal
nose as high as Mount Apo
your cheeks and chin
covered by freshly cut bermuda grass
lips as pink as sweet pomelos
my fingers brush
down to your neck that Talomo River envies
to the gentle hill of your Adam’s apple
down to the crevices of your clavicles
shaped like two nipa baskets
that would catch wandering kisses
In these cornered apartment walls
what only remains
the imprints of suitcases on the rumpled bedsheets
the twisted bath towels in the shower rack
the unwashed plates and utensils hungrily
gulping the staccato drips from the faucet
cracking dry in the palette
Glyd Jun Arañes works as a professional linguist at Appen. He was a fellow at the 2010 ADDU Writers Workshop and the 2011 Davao Writers Workshop.
Because I need to erase you.
Don’t haunt me with your pictures
in Rudnik and Sanem.
Don’t make me remember
that I had dreamed of walking in the desolate streets
of your hometown
with you holding my hand.
Because while it is perpetually summer in Davao,
I don’t need to touch snow
to feel winter, the chill I felt
as I look into your dead eyes,
“Do widzenia” as our last words
shattering me like frosted glass
and you not planning to even carry
a shard of me.
Because I don’t want to remember
all of your warm smiles,
all dreams of our fingertips touching together,
all the postcards you sent me,
or the printed plane ticket to Davao.
They have all have been hidden
in the deepest layer of my cabinet
locked away into oblivion.
Because the flowers in Davao
do not need winter, nor spring
to grow and
to have a new life.
Glyd Jun Arañes works as a linguist at Appen. He was a fellow at the 2010 ADDU Writers Workshop and the 2011 Davao Writers Workshop.
it flows in a running stream,
scintillating under the sun
like a vein of liquid treasure.
You can barely cup it with your palms
as it only drips from your fingers,
But the coolness of it
makes you smile.
You take some into plastic bottles,
and share it with the nearby sun-baked children,
sweating as they toil the earth and mud.
They drink Hope,
not a drop escaping their lips,
and they smile.
And you smile too,
because you understand completely
Glyd Jun Arañes works as a research assistant at the Philippine Women’s College of Davao. This poem is dedicated to the refugees in Ban Mae Surin, Thailand.
I gaze at the morning sky,
My eyes following the plane
That carries you
And I know
you look outside the window,
Searching for me
Hidden in the shrinking Davao.
Because, while you disappear into the clouds,
You left your heart unfolded
With your clothes in the closet.
Because, no matter which foreign land
You belong here,
In our home I built with my arms
Here in my bed
That does not remember your distance,
But only your weight.
And you will come back
I shall be waiting
To welcome you back home.
Glyd Jun Arañes works as a research assistant at Philippine Women’s College of Davao. This poem is the English translation of his French language homework.
Si Jun-jun gipalitan og bag-ong baril-baril sa iyang papa.
Lagsik-lagisk laway ni Jun-jun
Syagit-syagit niya gawas sa balay.
Tanan di niya gusto, iyang barilon.
Gibaril niya ang iring kay banha magmeow-meow,
gibaril niya ang iyang manghud kay di manghatag og ice candy,
gibaril niya ang iyang silingan kay di magpahiram og trak-trak.
“Unsa gusto nimo pagdako?” nangutana iyang papa.
“SUNDALO!” syagit ni Jun-jun.
Glyd Jun Arañes works as a research assistant at Philippine Women’s College of Davao. He was a fellow at the 2010 ADDU Writers Workshop and the 2011 Davao Writers Workshop.
Oh mon copain, how I miss you!
I search for monay bread at the bakery,
But I only notice the baguettes
smiling at me.
And I hope you are riding the rame de métro
As I ride the jeepney to Matina.
Bonjour, you say,
And I reply good evening,
As we share chicken adobo and un verre de café
over a Skype call.
You said you got lost at le Louvre?
I wonder would you discover a secret trail to Davao,
going to my house?
You said you cried my name at the top
of the Eiffel Tower?
Then tomorrow I shall climb the peak of Mt. Apo
to hear your message.
Bonne nuit, you say,
As you vanish from the screen.
But those two words shall be the lullabies
I hear on the pillow,
until I walk barefoot in France and find you
dans mes rêves.
Glyd works as a research assistant at Philippine Women’s College of Davao and a part-time murderer of the French language. He was a fellow of ADDU Writers Workshop 2010 and Davao Writers Workshop 2011.
Mama, Papa, and I
are eating in the dining room,
Mama sitting opposite papa
on the dining table.
There is only silence
but the clang of my spoon
hitting the bowl
as I stir mom’s special law-uy.
Until Mama stabs her plate with a fork
and glares at Papa
and shouts at him about a woman
Papa scoots from his chair
but Mama throws her glass,
exploding on the wall.
Papa tells me to go to my room
and play with Barbie
but I hide near the dining room
and hear screams shattering like the
thrown glasses and plates.
When I hear Mama’s sobs,
because dinner time is over.
And I’m a bad girl
because I didn’t eat Mama’s special law-uy.
Glyd works as a research assistant at Philippine Women’s College of Davao. He was a fellow of ADDU Writers Workshop 2010 and Davao Writers Workshop 2011.
Akong mama naghigda sa sopa,
Singot murag gitanom na mga yamog sa iyang ilong
Tungod sa kainit sa hapon,
Ang iyang hagok naga-away sa syagit
Sa tigbaligya og taho sa gawas
Iyang kamot nagagunit gihapon sa silhig,
Pati sa iyang damgo walay undang og silhig.
Gitanggal nako ang silhig sa iyang kamot
Unya akong mga tudlo nagahilot sa iyang palad,
Ang kubal sa iyang kamot bagnol sa akong panit.
Pangutana nako mama,
Ma, gipanalipdan ba aning kubal ang imong mga kamot
Kadtong si papa, nakit-an nato
Ginakiyod atong silingan sa inyong kwarto
Unya imo siyang gisagpa-sagpa
Hantod iyang nawong maspula pa sa akong regla?
O Kadtong hubog si papa, nagmaoy,
Gusto ko kulatahon
Kay sige ko hilak, dili ko molingkod sa iyang paa
Unya gikumot nimo iyang buhok,
Gilabay nimo siya sa basurahan didto gawas sa balay?
O kadtong nilayas na si Papa,
Ikaw na tigluto didto sa karinderya ni Manang Marla,
Ikaw na tigbaligya sa mga kendi ni Manong Oli,
Ikaw na tiglaba sa mga panti og bra ni Manang Marla?
Ma, gipanalipdan ba aning kubal ang imong mga kamot?
Wala ni-abri ang mga mata ni mama
Pero iyang baba abri,
Hagok maslalom pa sa balon,
Og iyang kubalong kamot,
Nisirado sa akong kamot,
Mao ang tubag niya sa akong mga pangutana.
Glyd Jun Arañes is a research assistant of the Philippine Women’s College of Davao. He was a fellow at the 2011 Davao Writers Workshop and the 2010 ADDU Writers Workshop.