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Sardine in Cosmos

Poetry by | July 27th, 2014

Think of this, poet,
when you write down your little truth:

We pry our heads open with a knife
and spill out the brain on a tin plate,

and pass it on to four or five people
squatting on the bamboo floor.

We sprinkle salt
onto the red nebula,

Have to offer them vinegar
with kisses of a million chili peppers, too.

What we’ve given out may not do much
than to fill their mouths

and trim their bodies
into thin bamboo sticks,

but one thing’s for sure:
We offer something new

in this universe of plates,
appeal to those wide-eyed

who rarely have such a feast.
They all sure take our red cosmos in,

and think of black heaven
in a country of lost fish heads.

Think of this, poet,
when you write down your truth.


Erika Navaja works in a call center and is in love.

Windowsill

Nonfiction by | July 27th, 2014

I stood outside our house, waiting for my best friend. I was holding a Tupperware of spaghetti and salad, which Nanay prepared last night for Noche Buena, and a white Coca-cola shirt from Ate. I guess the weather was moody on Christmas. It was a bit indecisive. It rained at dawn and became gloomy in the morning. Then it was sunny and rainy at the same time in the afternoon. I could almost inhale the mixture of dust and rain. It irritated my nose. If I was still a kid, for sure one of the elders would shout at me from the window to get inside for I might get a fever. The raindrops were getting bigger. I decided to go inside the house and get an umbrella. The umbrellas were neatly placed behind the house’s front door. I chose the white one with a blue floral design. I went back outside. Raymond finally arrived three minutes later. He was my best friend for eight long years and one of the reasons why I did not hurry in getting myself into a relationship. He brought me to movie houses at least once in three months. He bought me mefenamic acid whenever I had my period. He would come to my place on weekends and ask permission from my Tatay and Nanay if we could stroll around the neighborhood for the night. He was tall, skinny, and beautiful. He was the most beautiful gay guy in the world.

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Dagayday

Poetry by | July 27th, 2014

Pilua
ang habol
niadtong milabay
nga gabhiona.
Haw-ana
ang tapis
ug lilia
ang silahis
sa sanga-sanga,
motungha
sa imong bintana
Hinay-hinaya,
kutaw-kutawa,
lisu-lisua ang kutsarita.
salura ang gaasong
timbaya ning
kabuntaga.
Tunob,
ayaw kahadlok
sa paghaguros
ning adlawa.
Wala sa mugna
nga numero
sa Bandera
o sa badlis
anang kamota
ang agian
mong
bahada
ug subida.
Tiwasa
Hantod sa pagbagting
sa saktong taknaa.
Kon
Hagbong karon
Antoson.
Ugma puhon
Padayon


Born in Davao City and raised in General Santos City, Mark Arlo Segundo is third year Medical Laboratory Science student of the University of the Immaculate Conception.

Bright Yellow Ginkgo Leaf and Dark Green Mimosa

Nonfiction by | July 20th, 2014

I always looked up my hometown in Google Maps, counting the days till I went back.

In my hometown, Ok-Gwa, a small river flowed south and to the nearby mountain ranges; behind it loomed a hill. In spring, fragrant of wild chrysanthemums and dandelions, my friends and I would go to the nearby hill to harvest mugwort, shepherd’s purse, and other natural herbs that could be used for stew or mixed in a salad; by drying and brewing them, they served as alternative medicine. The entire day we spent harvesting these herbs, the birds and mountain rabbits seemed to hide, scared off by our loud laughter. We endlessly exchanged stories about our family, friends, the townspeople, and even celebrities. For the summer break, my cousins from the city would visit us and we packed watermelons and some refreshments and went to the river for a swim and to fish. In fall, we picked the prettiest leaves out of all the yellow and orange leaves that littered the streets and made bookmarks out of them. And in winter, when our nose and hands turned pink in freezing cold, my friends and I would go up the mountains to ski and sleigh until we got frostbites.

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Pauses, Fragments

Poetry by | July 20th, 2014

Here is rage,
Unfathomed,
Rushing back,
Like ancient seas,
Lies cocooned,
Sun-lined beach walks,
Leaving waves,
Words, disguised,
foreign, phonemes,
And then,
All at once,
It hits me,
It pauses,
But never ends,


Alton is an AB English Language and Literature Studies student from Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan. He is a fellow at the Iyas National Writers Workshop (St La Salle University, Bacolod) and the Cornelio Faigao Annual Writers Workshop (University of San Carlos, Cebu).

Awakening

Poetry by | July 20th, 2014

Her windows became
ribbons of glitter
layered through the glass.
A waterfall of peach
and cream roses became
her curtains.
Farewells to the moon
and welcoming dawn.
A pillow of tears
embraced her tangled
mane of nuts and wood.
Dreams of vividness,
escaping reality.
But alas, she
woke again from
unfinished words.
Just as her gaze
isn’t blind
anymore, she
forgets.
Except for his face
she no less remembered.

—-
Born in General Santos City, Monique is a Second Year student at UP Mindanao. She’s currently studying BS Biology.

Sky

Poetry by | July 20th, 2014

One last time,
Let’s buy our wings
Pretend to be angels
As feathers flutter in the air
Let’s stretch our arms
Pretend to be heroes
Our capes will dance with the wind
Let’s shine
Pretend to be falling stars
And in the last seconds
I’ll tell you
It would be the last
The last del of pain —


Ten Ilajas recently graduated from Ateneo de Davao University.

Kon Ako Usa ka Bitoon 

Poetry by | July 20th, 2014

Kon ako usa pa ka bitoon
buot unta nako nga masiplatan
sa takna nga dawaton
sa kahayag ang panamilit
sa kangitngit.
Bisan tuod dili magdugay
mahanaw ra gihapon inig
sabwag sa adlaw, dawaton ko
gihapon sa kinasingkasing
nga pagpaubos,
ug pagsunod sa kaalam
sa sidlakan nga kanunay
gapadayon bisan mapalong
sa higayon nga motugyan
sa kaugalingon.


Si Dr. Jondy M. Arpilleda usa ka magtutudlo sa Kapalong College of Agriculture, Sciences and Technology. Usa siya ka myembro sa Davao Writers Guild ug sa Bathalan-ong Halad sa Mindanao.

Ninth Day

Poetry by | July 13th, 2014

‘Dy, thank you for visiting me
on this ninth day after my passing. 
It gets lonely here, the quiet nights,
the days I mistake for night.
Though I think I know
when it rains — the padded tapping
descends on me, smells of soil,
warmed by loam. It feels good.

‘My, it is already the ninth so quickly. 
But days pass by more slowly 
the fewer people there are at home. 
It gets lonely here, the empty bed,
the rustling drapes I mistake for you.
Though I would like to think
it is you who swings the doors
sometimes. It feels good.

‘My, the tree you wanted planted 
beside you is here, was here 
all along. Lucky you.
Rest now, you are in heaven now 
– you are beyond these things 
that people merely say. You are larger, 
like this tree taller than any of us.
Watch over me.

‘Dy, the sound of your steps on mud 
are as they were on our wooden floor.
Only moister. I am getting used
to this spot; over there some roots
reach out to me, keep me company.
After this ninth is the fortieth, but come too
on the tenth, eleventh… I feel warm 
when you watch over me.


Bj A. Patiño is currently working towards a masters degree in anthropology. A member of the Davao Writers Guild, he hopes that 2014 will be the year when he finally goes back to writing creatively.

Suok

Poetry by | July 13th, 2014

Sa tibuok adlaw natong
pagdawat sa
abog
singot
ulan
dalugdog
kilat
init
igang
kasaba
busina
pliti
sukli
sweldo
pagpanguhit
pagpanglimus
pagpangusi
pagpangasaba
ug pagpangulata
niining dakbayan
sa atong lawas,
Karong higayuna
Sa atong kaugalingong
Suok niining lugara
Kita ang hari ug rayna.
Ate/Kuya
usa ka long neck
guha ka platitong mani
usa ka large nga Nova
Unsa’y chaser, Ma’am?
Unsa may naa?
Apple blend
Calamansi blend
Dalandan
Pineapple
Pineapple, Ate/Kuya
Mura’g ritwal nga gisugdan
Ang pagpanaguban og
Kumusta naman?
Okay lang. Busy.
Kahilom
Niabot ang gi-order
og gisugdan na
Ang rason sa paganhi
mao kaha?
Kada yarok sa rhum
mao puy pagpanggawas
sa kainit sa
aping
liog
dughan
ug pagpangaslum sa
dila
kuto-kuto
tiyan
ug pagpanghapdus sa
mata
ilong
tuntunlan
Mga pangutanang
dugay na gilubong
sa kinasuokan
sa akong
alimpatakan
namuhi sa akong baba
sama sa mga batang
taud-taud nang
wala makalaag
Sa imong panghuna-huna
Nagsuroy-suroy sila
Kinabugatan sa tanan
Ngano?
Ug imo kining natubag sa kahilom
Niining suoka
Ikaw ang hari
Ako ang rayna
Apan, nilubad na ang lumay
Manguli na kita
sa atong kaugalingong
mga suok


Mai Santillan is a freelance content writer in Cagayan de Oro City. She, along with her friends from Xavier University, founded NAGMAC (Nagkahiusang Magbabalak sa CDO), a community of young poetry enthusiasts in the city. Once a month, they organize CDO Poetry Night.