Thursday, September 20, 2012

I Bleed Heavily on Shakespeare: A Tambacanon-Iliganon's Poem about the Summers and His Past

I admit, I don't write good poems nor short stories. Worse--I dont write short stories either! Apart from the passing mark I got from my literary class or creative writing about Philippine Literary Works such as poetry or short story, I could never say I have the edge in writing. As Professor Jaime An Lim used to say to us, " is not enough that you write about a real experience that makes your writing good, there are other things that makes a creative writer's work stand out.." And so there goes my creative writing--down the bin! 

However, sometimes in my own personal being, there are strange experiences that keep on coming back to my mind: my childhood and the summers in it. In the past years, after I graduated in college, there were moments that led me to write experiences during my childhood and I wrote them on short poems. I tell you guys, these poems are not Shakespeare in nature! I'm not good at Shakespeare nor do I really excel even against the locals we have in Iligan as far as creative writing is concerned!

Anyhow, I have to publish these poems that I personally made. I hope you guys like what I wrote in the previous years. I will provide you some points of each of them.

First stop, this poem:

“One afternoon, 1989”

The tingling of utensils being washed at the kitchen,
With brushings of ‘lubi ‘and some plant leaves
As the minute sea breeze passes—
All of them make that particular afternoon delight.

The shadows of trees and leaves paint the dry soil of the front yard,
With quiet surroundings under the sun—
Everyone must be sleeping or taking a nap.

As the suns rays gaze through the tiny holes of the ‘nipa’ roof,
Lola Maria is lying on the wooden floor reading
With a number of Pinoy komiks spread just by her.
I lying down the same,
Feeling the air as if it were lasting.
School is at 1 pm, and I would still have time to sleep;
Then, I thought, “Maybe I can be absent this afternoon from school.”

And then, a peculiar afternoon music pipes in,
A distant murmur from a neighbor’s transistor radio that says:
 “Handumanan … sa usa ka awit”, (memory of a song)

I would then feel the ho-hum of the noon break,
And so I go to sleep.


"One Afternoon, 1989" is almost as literal as it is: you don't see figures of speech nor the other expressions that you will find in western or Philippine poetry. However, the mood and the feeling tries to make one remember of an experience that's truly Filipino: the mood of seemingly summer-ish afternoon sun (just past noon) with the very detail of a particular setting rural and at the same time, relaxed feeling. For me, I personally create a "picturesque" detail of one of those afternoons I had with my grandmother when I was young.

Pinoy word meaning/s:
lubi - coconut tree/fruit
nipa - leaves used for roofs in Philippine bahay kubo

Next one is

“On A Typical Afternoon By The Beach”

 Sitting by the beach, I hear the distant waves breaking,
Up afar, the water is silvering
Wind is strong as sands keep hitting my legs and feet.

From where I am,
I can see ‘Nong Diego at the shore using his ‘sudsud’
With the market  visible at the background.

 ‘Twas past noon,
A normal time for him to catch some fish at the shore
As long as he has his delight as a ‘baon’:
a bottle of ‘lapad’ in his pocket.

This afternoon was typical and nothing special,
No boats to see, no kids playing at the beach.

But the day after the next was shocking:
I heard that ‘Nong Diego got enclosed by his own ‘sudsud’
And died on a typical afternoon—by the beach.


Again, not your typical western poetry and still trying to picturesquely capture a particular image, setting and mood of a particular experience during the afternoons of almost summer days. This time, the beach with the use of a particular character in the name of 'Nong Diego. The character is real and at the same time the history embedded in the poem is also real. What is so special with this for the writer? Well, the experience of being at the beach and having to see a particular day with no kids playing around or no boats to see on the shore. However, a particular day may hit every one of us in a normal day without us taking notice. And then, no one notices that one of those particular days anyone dies with anyone hardly noticing who, when or how.

Pinoy word meaning/s:

lapad - Tanduay Rhum
baon - snack or any food item to eat

The third poem is

“Under Ma’am Villanueva’s House, 1994”

School hasn’t finished and summer is clear.
Anong  and his playmates Tossed and spiked here yesterday.
This time no one is here:
No ball is around,
No ‘bog!’ as a sound;
Only the breeze to hug me,
and only the ocean to greet me.

Lalang and her sister are not around
And so I thought, maybe they are at school.
I like it here because their house makes a good Shade for me:
no one would see me,
no one to notice I didn’t go to school.

My delight is here because of this shade
As a sight entertains me from afar:
A kite flown by a small kid by the sands;
And a music piping in from a distant house.

I like to hear it over and over again
Because lola is at the house sleeping.
Or maybe lolo is at our other house on his ‘lumba-lumba’.

I hope this time never ends,
Because reality is always at helm of everything:
It never ceases to evade us,
As we are deeply entertained in a siesta like this
Or a sleep that’s as calm as peace.

This siesta only ends when the sun moves further to the west:
A time to tell when we need to go home to find peace and rest.


This poem is as identical with the first two poems that I posted earlier. This time the mood is okay but with a bit more of reality check. Sometimes, when we people try to relax on life--we may laugh, party or just have a pretty siesta; we still go back to the realities were we truly belong. And life in particular has a lot of that in the world we live in. In this poem, the reality check is there: everything is temporary  such as the siesta the first person is trying to experience in the poem. It is particularly described in the poem but the deeper meaning is seen in the last stanza of the poem. Again, the character named in the poem is real which is particular to the writer because the person/s were also present when that particular experience happened in those years of experience.

Pinoy word meaning/s:
lumba-lumba  - rocking chair

Overall, I really don't find something good at the poems that I made. They are just as simple as a high school made poem that everyone makes during their teeny years. But I do hope with the ones that I made, other kids may also be encouraged to do some of their own even once in their lifetime. 

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