Ay Na Lang

Ni Generoso Opulencia
Binalaybay

Ang otsentahon nga tawo
panan-aw nya maayo
kay daw Starry Night ni van Gogh.

Ang tanan nga mabatian
ginayuhumyuhuman lang
daw iya sang kalangitan.

Pinirito o tinola
sa baba gakarambola.
Tunlon na lang kay kapoy na.

Balikawang nya kag tuhod
wala patay ginahagud.
Luyag nya kabay maglantyog.

Sa iya tagiposoon
hapos na lang nya kab-oton
ang tuodtuod nga handum

Kalipay kuno nga padayon.

Mga Editor kag Manug-amot

MGA EDITOR

Naghalin sa probinsya sang Antique kag isa ka propesor sa De La Salle University si John Iremil Teodoro, ang bisita nga editor sa sini nga isyu sang Cotabato Literary Journal. Nagasulat sya sa Kinaray-a, Filipino, Hiligaynon, kag English. Sobra dose na nya ka libro ang nabalhag, kag nakabaton sya sang madamo nga pagpasidungog, apil na ang Palanca Award, National Book Award, kag Gawad Ka Amado. Sya karon ang nagapungko nga secretary general sang Unyon ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas (UMPIL).

Si Jude Ortega ang nagsulat sang Seekers of Spirits, nagdaug sang Cirilo F. Bautista Prize for Best Book of Short Fiction in English sa 38th National Book Awards (2019). Nakadawat man sya sang honorable mention sa F. Sionil José Young Writers Awards kag sa Nick Joaquin Literary Awards. Nagdaku kag nagaistar sya sa Senator Ninoy Aquino, Sultan Kudarat, kag nakatapos sang AB Political Science sa Notre Dame of Marbel University sa Koronadal City, South Cotabato.

MGA MANUG-AMOT

Isa ka master teacher kag department head si Wilma A. Barcelona sa Santo Niño National High School sa Santo Niño, South Cotabato. Natapos nya ang iya bachelor of science in secondary education (major in history) sa Mindanao State University sa General Santos City.

Nagatudlo si Cris John Bryan C. Dela Cruz sa Sultan Kudarat State University kag nagaeskwela sang doctor of philosophy in social development sa University of Mindanao sa Davao City.

Naghalin sa Esperanza, Sultan Kudarat, si Stalingrad Samulde Dollosa kag nagaeskwela sang Accountancy, Business and Management (ABM) sa senior high school sang Mindanao State University sa General Santos City. Sya ang dumalaug sa paindis-indis sa pagsulat sang sugilanon sang Sultan Kudarat Writers Association sang 2020 kag sa paindis-indis sa pagsulat sang binalaybay sang Facebook page nga Sulat SOX karon nga 2021.

Nagatudlo si Lino Gayanilo Jr. sa Bagumbayan National High School sa Bagumbayan, Sultan Kudarat, kag natapos nya ang iya bachelor’s degree sa education (major sa biological sciences) sa Sultan Kudarat State University. Nangin runner-up ang isa nya ka dinalayday sa 3rd Lagulad Prize (2020) sang Cotabato Literary Journal.

Naghalin sa Tantangan, South Cotabato, si Philip Jay Leaño, kag estudyante sya sang AB Psychology sa Notre Dame of Marbel University sa Koronadal City, South Cotabato. Nagdaug sya sa Diwang Sagisag Kultura Balagtasan National Finals nga ginhiwat sang National Commission for Culture and the Arts.

Isa ka retirado nga propesor si Generoso Opulencia sang Notre Dame of Marbel University sa Koronadal City, South Cotabato, kag nagatudlo sya karon sa St. Alexius College sa parehas nga banwa. Nagasulat sya sa English, Hiligaynon, kag Kinaray-a, kag nabalhag na ang iya mga binalaybay kag sugilanon sa nagkalainlain nga pamantalaan. Kaduha sya nagdaug sa Home Life magazine poetry contest.

Nagatudlo si Nilyn Gamuza Pacariem sang Filipino sa Guinsang-an National High School sa Santo Niño, South Cotabato. Ang iya mga obra nakadawat sang Peter’s Prize sang 2016 kag 2017. Natapos nya ang iya bachelor’s degree sa education sa Mindanao State University sa General Santos City.

Naghalin sa Banga, South Cotabato, si Adrian Pete Medina Pregonir, kag yara sya sa una nya nga tuig bilang estudyante sang secondary education (major sa Filipino) sa Notre Dame of Marbel University sa Koronadal City, South Cotabato. Nakadaug sya sang ikatatlo nga padya sa Kabataan Sanaysay sang  69th Palanca Awards (2019). Isa man sya ka disc jockey sa isa ka istasyon sang radyo sa Koronadal.

Naghalin sa Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat, si Steve Kierr E. Sajorga, kag estudyante sya sang BS Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering sa University of Southeastern Philippines sa Tagum City, Davao del Norte. Nangin finalist sya sa isa ka paindis-indis sa pagsulat sang sugilanon nga ginhiwat sang Sultan Kudarat Writers Association.

Isa ka senior high school teacher si Rexcel Samulde sa Lamian National High School sa Surallah, South Cotabato. Natapos nya ang iya bachelor’s degree sa education (major sa English) sa Sultan Kudarat State University. Ang isa nya ka dinalayday sa Filipino nangin dumalaug sa 3rd Lagulad Prize (2020) sang Cotabato Literary Journal.

Nakatapos si Yves Tedera sang BS Public Health kag nagatudlo karon sa senior high school sang Notre Dame of Surala, sa Surallah, South Cotabato.

Two Mindanao Poems

by Generoso Opulencia (Poetry)

(These poems were first published in the Mindanao issue of Ani in June 1990.)

Epiphany

for Nene

you smell
of the cogon hills of Tupi
after the burning
and the rain
where first blades
of rice seedlings
renew the burden of
that fiery star.

you smell
of our child’s
becoming.

*

Ars Poetica

Go to the root of things.
Stalk them as they surface
and tip
wordless like shoots
in your mother’s gabi patch
unguents for stomachs
afternoons in long March.

Watch them.
Watch as beginnings
close upon ends

and October noon
when storms find shelter
under shaking gabi leaves
with a brazen snake entangled
among a mother hen and her motley brood
you’ll have joys
stinging in your guts.

In the Presence of My Enemies

by Generoso Opulencia (Poetry)

They sup the sun.
Their streams flow
cubits up the sky
through trunks, twigs
and foliage
to nourish and heal
by their essences
our infirmities. So long as
there are rainforests
to ax and to hack,
this our earth
need not
self-destroy,
I,
a botanist
from the north,
have been commissioned
in this forest
deep in Mindanao,
to have
all of them
felled
dismembered
on behalf
of the hungry maws
of progress.
I am casting my suicidal cloak
in the presence of my enemies.

On Your 68th Birthday

By Generoso Opulencia (Poetry)

I believe in the scent of sainthood
of those tortured by men,
demons or lifelong self-denial.
I believe in the unique scent
that each nook in the house
exudes.
And our home is filled
with your warm scent:
our dining-living room
where meals are served
on plates that you have cleaned
the silverware that you have
carefully chosen and arranged;
the rooms where our grandchildren’s
playthings are put in place
after each play;
the vase on the window sill
filled with sweet white things
from the garden.

I don’t know when our meals
will be served no more
or our great-great grandchildren
play with virtual toys,
your garden becoming a history.
Only, I know that ten thousand years, zillion year
won’t wipe away the scent
that you have infused in me.

Rorate Coeli

By Generoso Opulencia (Poetry)
(For Dr. Zd)

The sound of peltings
on leaves, grass, and roofs
is slowly coming in

As we share the blessings
of the sea and the fields
in a bowl of steaming
tamarind broth.

We talk of funerals
mutual acquaintances
the Papal visit
judgments from
workshop seats.

Views of the sea from
a hillside dwelling:
flinging the past
piece by piece

Till we joy in the drowning
raw acquaintance with the
evening breeze after the rain

(Editors’ note: Rorate coeli is the opening line of the Advent hymn “Rorate coeli desuper et nubes pluant iustum,” which means “Bring, heavens, dew from above, and, clouds, give rain to the just.”)

Oras sang Panira

By Generoso Opulencia (Poetry)

Sa ila tapangko
Sa sanag bombilya
Mga manog-isda
Gaisip sinsilyo

Garhom sang kargador
Gatulod karito
May kahon sang isda
Liwat pailada.

Sa hulugasan sang kamot
Waay untat ang tulo
Sang gripo nga buslot.

Si lola ang mata
Sa katuyo pula na
Gatabon sing dahon
Sa salin niyang utanon.

Diri ako sa iya sa gwaan tinda
Gabitbit sang wa’y unod nga basket ni lola
Gahulathulat sa iya
Kag gakulukanta

Kay dugay-dugay maniro
Sang pispis nga dalagko
Sa nami kong damgo.

To a Son Learning the Art of Cooking

By Generoso Opulencia

(This poem won the first prize in the 2000 Home Life Poetry Contest.)

Every herb, red, yellow or green
has its proper cooking time—
You are beginning to know
as we pour
okra bits into the pan
of carrots, onions, shrimps
and sliced white gourd:
a goodly smell from fatherly bond this noon
that seems to know no bounds.

Your mother’s finishing
her laundry
at the steps of the kitchen
door

in the shadow
of shroudlike sheets
shielding her
from the sun.
as you carry the pan
away from the fire
I recall
your grandfather
one week now in his grave:

how he’d pour pail after pail
of clear well water
into the tub
where your mother
was rinsing our clothes.

Regarding Flowers from La Trinidad

By Generoso Opulencia

(This poem won the second prize in the 1999 Home Life Poetry Contest.)

A heron perched
above emerging fog
this faded cerulean bundle

arrests
in a wink
the heart

a world of dew on granite steps,
below tiered pubescent slopes
sweeping upon
the molding cross and the fish-eyed
crucified

that stares at windows
beyond smell of pine needles
and crumbled twigs,
bringing the chill
from high places.