Ode to the Pomelo

Poetry by | May 24, 2009

It’s a contradiction, this curious round thing
changing from hard green to ripe yellow
with the bright blush of its hidden heart.
O pomelo, you filled my childhood in abundance
and you rolled down Davao streets like rain!

Familiar to my mouth as the mother tongue,
you defy my attempts at definition.
You’re too individual to be an orange,
and too charming to be called a lemon,
yet you mock the grapefruit’s pallid flesh.

How I struggle for words to contain
the thick bitter softness of your rind,
the juicy honeyed tang of your pulp!
But to hold you is to comprehend you
and to fathom you is to eat you.

In the artificial cold of supermarket stalls,
So small a gift from the Land of Promise,
I yearn to claim your ripening roundness
and partake your sweetness before it decays.
But they’ve put a price on you beyond my reach.

O pomelo, I long for you as I do my homeland
where we both were once free as eagles in flight.
I know inside you is full to bursting
with tales of home, much like my hidden heart
where my blood flows a bright pomelo pink.

Continue reading Ode to the Pomelo


Poetry by | May 24, 2009

ano ang hugis ng pag-ibig

ito ba’y parisukat
sa iyong bawat naisin

ito ba’y tatsulok
karibal ang haplos ng kahapon ang bukas

ito ba’y bilog
walang katiyakan

ito kaya’y walang hugis

hindi mayapos


dahil sa iyo

Continue reading Hugis

Tambag sa Maya

Poetry by | May 2, 2009

Ang pag-inusara dili aso nga makapahilak nga way lugar;
timan-i nga dili kini makumkom ug usahay di mahikit-an –
sama sa mga laraw ta nga di pirmi matuman…

Busa, ayaw ra tan-aw sa liki sa pwertahan kung adunay
migimaw nga kahayag gikan niini; buhia dayon ang suga
ug pahayagi imong matang nagalurat sa madugay.

Ang imong lawak dili hawla sa mayang bungol…

Continue reading Tambag sa Maya

Si Rakel ng Tawi-tawi

Poetry by | May 2, 2009

Bumuhos ang ulan
Isang takipsilim
Namatay si Francis M.

Sa tuktok, tawag ay Room C
Ngunit susi ay numero 303
Lumilipas ang gabi.

Di man lang patid ang umuugong na traysikel
Na laging natatanaw ni Rakel
May-ari ng hotel.

Habang si Mar at Lillian
Doon sa harapan
Nakatanaw sa hagdanan.

At hayun nga
Tapos na ang pagtunganga
May bisita galing Sanga-sanga.

Asalam Alaikum…
.Alaikum Asalam

Hanggang sa lumisan, bilin ang Sukran.

Continue reading Si Rakel ng Tawi-tawi

The Farmer's Wife

Poetry by | April 26, 2009

(After Dorriane Laux’s “The Shipfitter’s Wife”)
At dusk, after you have plowed
the vast field—grains of green
scattered beyond my vision, I will
Be drowned again in the incense
of your sweat, taste it like
I have never met salt in my cooking before.

I’ll play another wife, after the soil
which everyday you avow
to marry and toil.
I’ll be waiting, languid on this bamboo bed,
to be plowed—
and become whole again.