Dabaw (Dalagang Kabaw)

Poetry by | July 7, 2019

Ako usa ka dalagang kabaw
Nag sige’g barog biskan dili adlaw
Sa Tionko nangitag ilimnon nga matin-aw
Makuhuran lamang ang gibating pagkauhaw

Ako usa ka dalagang kabaw
Sa nagpundong lapok nakigsawsaw
Aron malikayan ang mga nagtabing langaw
Ug matabunan ang mga isturyang naglatagaw

Busa ako usa ra ka dalagang kabaw
Sama sa uban, dali ra mabaligya sa langyaw

Marianne Hazzale J. Bullos, 18, is from General Santos City and an alumna of Philippine Science High School-SOCCSKSARGEN Region campus. She is a student during weekdays, a master crammer on weekends, and an eagle for lifetime.

Kon Imong Namatikdan

Poetry by | May 19, 2019

Sa kadugayon sa inyong panag-uban
kon tan-awon iyang hulagway
murag wa may kabag-ohan.

Parehong nawonga ang mamukaw,
mangasaba ug mosugat kanimo
kon di ka matulog sa udto.

Pero kon tutukan nimo’g ayo
sama sa paglutok sa iyang mata
sa platong wala nahugasan, makita mo

ang mga abog nga namilit sa aping
ug liog, sa imong tsinelas, abuhan,
sa kalsada na gisuroyan og binaki

ug ginanggang. Daghan nang linya
sa agtang kada badlis pagpabadlong.
Kahumot na pud siya sa bareta ug klorox.

Sa binugkos niyang buhok nagtabun
sa nalagas nga bahin sa ulo. Napagaw na sab
sa kakapoy sa sige’g yawyaw

kada buntag, nga karon igo na lang
sa pagmaymay
ug tambag.

John Carlo Patriana Beronio kay usa sa mga poetry fellows sa niaging 2018 Davao Writer’s Workshop.

To the Passengers I Sat Beside with on the Bus Home

Poetry by | May 5, 2019

Forgive me for not looking
or for looking at you too
intensely in the eyes before
I settled myself in, or before I
answered, “no, lingkod lang” when
you asked if I was with someone.
I apologize for letting my arms
graze yours, accidentally,
sometimes, only to see what
it is like, again.

Once, I let myself think you
were someone else, or I
a different person. I hope
you didn’t find my presence
too big, as it often, always, takes
up more space than it deserves.

David Jayson Oquendo is an Electrical Engineer based in Davao City, Philippines. His works have appeared in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Voice & Verse Poetry Magazine, Dagmay, and Cotabato Literary Journal.

How Are You?

Poetry by | May 5, 2019

A writer is sometimes vague
with the world and its gentlest demands,
it finds itself from being vague and all,
the pen is an irony;
it truly ensnares the subtlety,
the ardor, and the incongruity;
and yet it incarcerates the hand
that harnesses it
from the ordinary and the naïve,
what disaster it truly brings
only the heart can truly fathom,
and when no word can bear the slight,
only the soul can truly writhe,
the solitude of a writer’s shadow,
enchanting to the dream,
agonizing as reality in the dawn,
what are we but fainting letters
amidst the wave of life,
what are we but troubled outlines
wrestled into oblivion,
and yet the pen is incognito
lashing hearts within
truly tempting, truly cunning
for the human heart is but naïve
but a writer disdains the humor
refutes the slumber
encumbers the pain
for there is luxury in writing
a thousand words
into the deep
for there is no one surer
left alone and forsaken
but the writer who cannot sleep
heeds the cry of the river
and hears the echo of forever,
a writers walks ingloriously
in this world or the next
entrenched into the bosom of life
estranged from this withered road
all but tread the footsteps
of the cold, damp feet
what price does a writer pay?
to make known
the last gasp of light
from feeling and deceiving
from shedding the greatness
of life in a glimpse;
tis’ the life that knew
the pen never forgets
how vague summers can be
and in the burrow of crowdedness
I lay still and vague
and where these trenches may lead
only the pen knows.

Paulo Morales is a senior high school teacher at Badas National High School in Mati City.


Poetry by | May 5, 2019

There’s a vein – blue
running across your face
a striking contrast
to your pale skin
like grains to a marble
add character to
an otherwise expressionless
mask you wear playing
a geisha China doll

There’s a light – green
flashing in front of me
a persistent signal
to my eager hands
like trained lab rats
my fingers trace
the contours of your face
which is smooth and gentle
and cold and dead

There’s a thought – red
ready for a full stop]
an intention killed
before it can free
trapped desires and
demons from pretty boxes
your dwelling place
in most cases outlined
by faraway glances

Rory Ian is a physics teacher.


Poetry by | April 14, 2019

More to roses than their roots
they fake love swaying
with the wind,
the inevitability of change.

Night attends
to the garden
to lull them
to sleep.

             The weak let go
and weather with the season;
yellow leaves go first.

Roots dig deep,
below the surface
wider than branches.

By the day
the gardener names
roses, and only roses;

the leaves have all

Darylle Rubino is a faculty member of the Department of Humanities in UP Mindanao. This poem was published in an anthology entitled Continue reading Tokhang

The Troll in the Woods

Poetry by | April 14, 2019

(In collaboration with Hannah Green)

We felt a milder breeze upon our stroll
Although a hatred looms inside the space.
Which made us look around the spooky place.
The face which made us shout looked like a troll.
Whose facial hair is longer than them all.
Its body big just like a large suit case.
Its width is wider than the city’s space.
we felt like we were pinned against a wall
It made my heart quiver just like a lamb.
It made me think of what my fate would be.
This was a close call between death and life.
Its mouth opened and swallowed up a man.
I’m happy that it didn’t follow me.
But If it did, I would have used my knife.

David Paolo Brigole graduated at the University of Winnepeg with a BA English degree. He grew up and studied in Davao City during his primary years. His passion for poetry stemmed from when he used to play with words as a toddler. He is also passionate about drawing bizarre and beautiful objects and loves to indulge in gastrointestinal delights.

Dalagang Ina

Poetry by | April 7, 2019

Katulad ng aking paa ang mga ugat
Ngunit ayaw kong kumakapit sa lupa kapag nakatindig

Walang kaparis ang aking tamis
Subalit hindi mo ako matitikman katulad ng mansanas

Lumililim ka sa aking may hapis
Gayong ako’y naambunan rin ng sariling luha.

Akala mo siguro’y matingkad itong ating mundo
Samantalang dilim at liwanang lang ang mga kulay nito.

Heto at kinakabog na nga ng takot itong aking puso (paano na pagdating mo?)
Parang bungang tahimik lang na mag-papayugyog, mahuhulog.

Kahit walang lupang sumalo,
Sisibul itong binhi sukat mang nag-iisa ako.

Avelth Castro Belicena. Pagkatapos sumali sa palihan ng IYAS, naligaw siya sa Mindanaw at nag-iwan ng marka sa Surigao, Misamis, Lanao, Butuan, Tagum at Davao bilang isang milagrosang mandirigma. Ngayon ay nahanap niya ang daan pauwi bilang reyna kasama ng kanyang dalawang prinsesa sa puso ng QC.