Bamboo Raft

Poetry by , | March 22, 2020

he owns the place. Daboy,
a child who only dreams
in a bamboo raft
that moves within a limited space
while the rope tightens the grip,
the ocean current wants
the bamboo raft to separate. like Daboy

who told me about living in the slums – their roof
allows the rain to penetrate the fragile floor where
they pile at night to sleep.
their food never changes – a monotonous menu
of instant noodles with its taste drowned
by an enormous amount of water,
and canned sardines with the help of the pressure from the fork
to make it look like
they never lacked something on their table.

if only Daboy knew Maslow’s hierarchy of needs,
and could speak a language afforded as a privilege,
he will surely scold at Maslow for his logic.
he would probably argue that life
isn’t a linear staircase; but, a spontaneous battle for space,
survival, freedom, and love. life is a labyrinth, instead.
its uncertain exits and entrances
will either turn you numb of the challenges
or force you to believe in the enduring hopes and dreams

just like Daboy sitting at his bamboo raft – his possession.
while allowing the chaos of the slum remains a backdrop,
he sits at the carefully woven bamboo poles, looking at the horizon
he can never touch.

he always wonders when
will the ocean stop scoffing
his bamboo raft that gradually loses its strength.
the salt from the ocean thins the bamboo poles,
and its current cracks the ropes. it’s becoming more vulnerable.

every day, Daboy becomes the bamboo raft.


Jupiter Cabig Jr. is a graduate of AB Psychology at Ateneo de Davao University with units in Sociology. He is the former editor-in-chief of Atenews, the official student publication of AdDU. He has a mixed-breed dog named Foucault.