Guavung (drought)

Poetry by | May 8, 2016

The ‘pipip’ is chirping a rhythmic pattern,
which it is named from among the branches
of blossoming Lanahon and Katii trees.

The signs are all pointing to one end:
guavung is coming; a rainless period
and intense heat for 7 months to one year.

The loamy clay soil of barangay Manobo
cracks and Kabacan River is covered
with crawling vines taking the part

of the river where the water flows.
People cannot till their lands–
there is little to no water at all.

Therese Tinio is a fourth year BA Anthropology student at the University of the Philippines Mindanao. The poem was written after her field school in Magpet, North Cotabato, for her academic paper on the types of violence that affect their agriculture and livelihood.