To My Bereaved Beloved

Poetry by | February 10, 2019

I want my body to be cremated.
Weigh my ashes as against my flesh.
The difference would be of my soul’s.

Much of my leaving soul is water
from each of my cells after the long years of lingering
edema. Much of my soul would be water

gushing like geysers above my earthen remains
in the form of vapor trying to escape
from every crevice of the cold kiln.

And my soul would become clouds.
Find me in the sky, a tiny turtle in the sea
swimming among the flock of flying fish.

Later at night, it would rain
seawater from the sky.
Bathe in my soul.

Dance with me in the rain while all of my soul
would trail every inch of your tender skin
sealing with moist kisses the wounds you left hidden.

And in the morning, while still drenched
reach for the urn and mold my ashes into a rock
to be thrown into that stream at the back of our house.

A plop would signal the happy reunion of my remains,
and my soul, while freely flowing, would await another skyward journey
To reappear up above as a tiny turtle in the sea.

And we shall dance together again.

Paul Randy P. Gumanao hails from Kidapawan City and teaches Chemistry at Philippine Science High School-SOCCSKSARGEN Region Campus. He was a fellow for poetry at the 2009 Davao Writers Workshop and the 2010 IYAS Creative Writing Workshop. He is currently finishing his MS in Chemistry from the Ateneo de Davao University.

Sa Higayong Ako Angoangohon

Poetry by | August 13, 2017

Kon pananglit abton kog angoango
ayaw paila sa imong tinuod nga ngalan,
ayawg gakos ug labawng ayawg hilak.
Tugoti ko nga matag adlaw bunyagan
ko ikaw og lainlaing mga ngalan.
Ayawg halok. Timan-i nga utok
ug dili ang kasingkasing ang may
panumdoman. Ayaw na paghago
og pakli og bulak kay tingalig dili
nako dawaton, ug tungod giputol
lisod na isumpayg balik sa punoan.
Hulata nga angoangohon sab ka
aron patas tang wa makaila sa usag-usa.
Matag adlaw mag-ilhanay pag-usab.
Ug hinaot nga sa usa ka higayon
magkuyog tang duha sa baybayon
magdula-dula og balas, magtuon-tuon
sa pagtabon-tabon sa lawas.

Paul Randy Gumanao hails from Kidapawan City and teaches Chemistry at Philippine Science High School-SoCCSKSARGEN Campus. He was a fellow for poetry at the 2009 Davao Writers Workshop and the 2010 Iyas National Creative Writing Workshop.

A Heart for Madness

Poetry by | February 9, 2014

(after Paulo Coelho’s Veronika Decides to Die)

Visit my dreams, Veronika,
when you finally decide
to die. Wake me from my slumber
with the melody of your sonatas
behind the echoes of your cries.
Make me mad, make me mad,
if only madness would set me freer
than the rest of the humanity.

I’d love to have the freedom
of whom they call crazy:

the youth who love to taste tongues
without fear of nakedness,

the kids who believe that lizards talk
without fear of whips and pinches,

the man who first said that the earth is round
without fear of rolling down the dark abyss,

the young friar who gave his riches
just to live with beggars

to teach them to talk to birds
and to snakes and to flowers

when the sane do not know
how to listen.

I’d love to have their courage
to show their madness,
for the soul of insanity
is freedom.
Only madmen eat
leftover fried chicken
that the sane call waste.
Only madmen rise up
when the sane keep dreaming.
Only madmen scream to curse
poverty, which the sane
call blessedness.
Nobody’s freer than the madmen
who fear of losing nothing
but their chains.

Veronika, when you finally
decide to die, visit my dreams.
When I wake up, I shall be mad.
I will go to the mountains
to sing, to live, to kill,
to love.

And you will understand.

Paul Randy P. Gumanao is a licensed chemist, journalist and literature enthusiast. He was fellow at the 2009 Davao Writers Workshop & 2010 Iyas National Creative Writing Workshop in Bacolod. He writes poetry & fiction.

Alang Kang C.

Poetry by | August 25, 2013

Karong hapona, sama sa makadaghang higayon, napakyas na usab ako sa pag-abog
sa adlaw balik ngadtos sidlakan. Wa ko pa mahuman ang buot kong buhaton
nga balak, apan ang kape sa tasa hapit na tawon mahurot, ug ang papel,
napuno na sa kinurisang mga pulong nga di haom sa paghulagway
sa atong mga damgo alang sa kaugmaon sa atong nasud.
Kanus-a pa kaha adunay igong panahon, bisag usa
ra ka gutlo, nga way laing unod kining akong
hunahuna apan ikaw ra, ug sa imong
kasing-kasing, ako ra? Apan kay
kita nakigbisog, ang atong
gugma mosubida sab
sa mga bungtod.
Antos lang.

Webmaster’s note: the font size of this piece has been reduced to preserve the visual structure of the poem

Si Paul Randy Gumanao usa ka chemist ug magtutudlo gikan sa Kidapawan City. Nahigugma sab siya sa pagsulat ug kang C.

Mga Bidlisiw Sa Awit

Poetry by | April 14, 2013

Kanunay, ang adlaw ug ang sayaw*
dungang motungha sa kabuntagon.
Dili nimo bation ang katugnaw.
Pananglit wa nimo namatikdi ang sayaw,
ang adlaw daw dakong langgam
sa pugaran nga mga bungtod,
gapamukaw pinaagi sa awit.
Pananglit wa nimo lingia ang adlaw,
ang sayaw daw gamayng adlaw
sa sangahong panganod, gapanaghoy
og gagmayng bidlisiw sa kainit.
Nakamatikod ko kay kaniadto,
sayo kong mobangon, magpaabot
sa imong mensahe nga maoy
motagbaw sa akong kamingaw.
Kagahapon, pagmata ko, mitungha
ang adlaw sa wa pa ang sayaw.
Ug karon, mitaghoy ang sayaw
bisag wa pa ang adlaw.


*Sayaw (o balinsasayaw) – usa ka gamayng langgam


Paul Randy P. Gumanao is a licensed chemist, political activist, journalist and literature enthusiast. He was fellow at the 2009 Davao Writers Workshop & 2010 Iyas National Creative Writing Workshop in Bacolod. He writes poetry & fiction.

One afternoon, in a third world lab

Poetry by | June 17, 2012

I catch you bite your lip while you inspect
the test tube if it has cracks
and scratches. But I would like to believe
that you just check how well it resembles
your finger,and you remember how pleasurable
is your finger as it lingers on a thing
that doesn’t touch back, or sometimes,
on a thing that grips by surprise.
Behind you, I watch and enjoy the scene
as I pretend to boil the liquid inside
this round-bottom flask. Then you turn
to look at me, and I quickly pick
the thermometer to check the rise
in temperature of the boiling liquid
until it distills and purifies. I, too,
wish to purify my feelings into impulse.
I can see in the edges of my eyes that you
are glancing. And when it’s my turn to glance,
you get back washing your test tube,
by plunging the brush, in and out,and in, ahh
and out, ahh, and wet bubbles flow. In my seat,
I am intoxicated by the familiar smell of vapor
and the smell of something that, I know, comes
from you, comes from you, comes, come, com…
…until the rusty iron clamp breaks,
the erlenmeyer flask falls and spills some
unknown broths on the floor. The room echoes
the sounds of broken glass and a lady’s moan.
Until all I can utter is, ”sorry, this is just
a third world lab”. And you take me by surprise
with your response, ”It’s getting dark.
Would you like to finish this somewhere else?”

Paul Randy P. Gumanao studied BS Chemistry at AdDU.

Sometimes on the Road to Kidapawan

Poetry by | April 22, 2012

Long have I been loving to love
a nameless, whose face remains
faceless amidst all attempts
of masking her the looks of every
leading lady in the romance movies
I so dearly enjoy in the afternoons
when there is nothing better to do but
to pretend to love, be loved, to imagine.
This is also one reason why I’d like
to travel home to Kidapawan.

In the van, I like it when I lean
on my own shoulder, thinking
it was your breath wafting on
my skin as I imagine you
sleeping, while I look farther, until I
forget you because of the rubber trees
and the occasional drizzles of Makilala,
the signals of the proximal embrace
of a mother, perhaps, or an old friend,
or of our high school memories
of little fondness. And there, memories!

Ah, another reason why I love
to travel home to Kidapawan.
The nearer I get, the clearer
you appear, smiling.

Slowly, I remember your name.

Paul Randy Gumanao is BS Chemistry graduate of Ateneo de Davao University who loves words the way he loves elements.

Sa Kalsada, Part 2

Fiction by | December 18, 2011

Miabot ang grupo didto sa usa ka abandonadong bilyaran sa Jacinto. Mao kadto’y giila nilang hideout. Sa dihang nakasulod na tanang Spiders, mipaduol si Stella sa bilyaran. Pagsilip niya sa gamay nga bangag, nakita niya nga nanaka ang mga lalaki sa second floor. Sa kagustuhan ni Stella nga makahibalo, misulod siya ug gibilin iyang bag sa usa ka lamesa sa silong. Mikamang siya pasaka ug gisilip ang gihimo sa mga Spiders. Nakita niya ang iyang kuya Lucas nga dunay taptap sa mga mata ug nakaluhod samtang nagpalibot kaniya ang ubang myembro. Sa atubangan ni Lucas nagtindog si Louie ug dunay mga gipangyawyaw. Nakadungog si Stella sa mga pulong apan wala na niya gipaminaw. Ang iyang tuyo mao ang masayran kung unsaon ang iyang kuya.

Taud-taud, gitunol ni Ben kang Louie ang usa ka injection nga puno og berde nga likidong. Gituruk ang maong droga kang Lucas. Mipiyong lang ang mata ni Lucas samtang ginapaak ang iyang ngabil. Gikuha dayon ni Louie ang usa ka baseball bat. Gihalok-halokan kini ni Louie, dayon gimandoan si Lucas nga motindog.

Continue reading Sa Kalsada, Part 2