June 2018 (Issue 22)

Introduction by Paul Randy P. Gumanao

FICTION
I’ll Be Home for Christmas by Erwin Cabucos
Manika by Mubarak Tahir

POETRY
Layers by Christine Joy G. Aban
To recreate that which I had seen in a dream 
by Almira Caryl Jane A. Calvo
Astral Demise 
by Florence Dianne D. Samson
Antler Series 
by Julius Marc Taborete
Makeup Kit 
by Mubarak Tahir

PLAY
Liar Goes to Hell by Allan Ace Dignadice

Editors and Contributors

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Antler Series

Julius Marc Taborete
Poetry

I
Song of the Moon River

Once has crossed
the River underneath the stark
roundness of Blood Moon
where one, but two
shrieks have struck his skimpy
Legs. Discordant ripples
break the current as the lean Toe
resonates ragged
waves of indecisiveness;
upon touching the manic flow,
bloodshot eyes waver
back and forth to each Vortexes
of the bewitching screech.
One
is from the downstream
and Other is from the upper;
tugging for directions
to occupy with.
Voids to fill in.

He stills
in the water,
waiting for
the decision;
to persist or accede
from the pressure.
For one last time,
and for the last time,
he goes with the flow
With the flow
comes defeat.
From his escape,
Hunger and oppression.

He dreamily rests
with the current;
He embraced
the current.
Washed with the blessing of the
Blood Moon,
he calmly succumbs to the raging
current.
And Once stood
in the middle of the River
has gone with the wave,
ebbing in His own
swirling pool, saying
“It’s Alright.”

 

II
It is the Call

You have the Wings of
my freedom,
the shackle to my lifeline;
the land where I pursue
the beatdown. I am not
to be captured
nor caged.
Not to sink nor swim
in the shadows.
Not to fly in foreign Wings
nor in foreign skies.

Propelled in Blue Hues
grazed by the Sun
once,
Mother had kissed
My skin with patches
of Brown, with the songs of
my ancestors but
swept away in
my Father’s proud façade,
Whitewashed with features of
the East.

In the land where my feat
seared the ground
thawed the color
once
my Mother had touched.
Turning into White
ashes, they have locked me in
my own freedom,
in the delusion I dwell.
They have singed me,
my roots;
and now
I
mock those
with Brown skins
pursuing the beatdown
I was once flying for.
It is the Call.

 

III
Antler

“Find the Antler”
in snow covered hills,
in icy patches of fields,
in cold whispers of barren cliffs.
“Find the Antler”
where stark eyed wolves search for prey,
where landslides melt villages,
where echoes resonate over
crystalized cries of nature.
She says,
“find the Antler”
who runs in the deep forest,
who glides in the mist of lakes,
who basks in the warm light of
Majesty.
Seen underneath the gleaming
rainbow butterflies
perched in the stalwart horns,
strewn with sonnets of Eve,
detached from the writhing blight
she rings in my ears,
“find the Antler.”

Strained in my naked eyes,
seeking for its loftiness
in the full bloom of its own
Spring yet runs
swiftly where
no one has seen or heard.
In its wake
a wind bites the frost,
heating my thought,
constricts with invisible thorns;
She appears in a chant
cracking
in my mind
that the Antler is near,
is here,
that the Antler stood
in the shadow of Her voice—
of my shadow.

For once I stopped
in search for the moment,
yet
for spare bats of my eyelids
She has escaped astray,
The Antler has run away.

Editors and Contributors

GUEST EDITOR

Paul Randy P. Gumanao hails from Kidapawan City and teaches Chemistry at Philippine Science High School-SOCCSKSARGEN Region Campus. He was a fellow for poetry at the 2009 Davao Writers Workshop and the 2010 IYAS National Creative Writing Workshop. He is a former editor in chief of Atenews, the official student publication of Ateneo de Davao University, and is currently finishing his MS in Chemistry from the same university.

REGULAR EDITOR

Jude Ortega is a short story writer from Senator Ninoy Aquino, Sultan Kudarat Province. He has been a fellow in two regional and four national writers workshop. In 2015, he received honorable mention at the inaugural F. Sionil José Young Writers Awards. His short story collection Seekers of Spirits is forthcoming from the University of the Philippines Press.

CONTRIBUTORS

Christine Joy G. Aban was born and raised in Cotabato City. In 2000, she went to Iligan to study in MSU-IIT. She is now married to an Iliganon and has two kids. She is currently pursuing a doctorate degree in UP Diliman, Quezon City. Her poem “Layers” won third place at the 2018 BalakBayi Poetry Writing Contest.

Erwin Cabucos, born and raised in Kabacan, Cotabato Province, is a teacher of English and religious education at Trinity College in Queensland, Australia. He received High Commendation literary awards from Roly Sussex Short Story Prize and Queensland Independent Education Union Literary Competition in 2016. His short stories have been published in Australia, Philippines, Singapore, and USA, including VerandahFourWPhilippines Graphic, and Quarterly Literary Review Singapore. He completed his master in English education from the University of New England.

Almira Caryl Jane A. Calvo is an AB English student of Mindanao State University-General Santos City. She is also a member of the book readers club Valoræx and a feature writer trainee in the university paper. Her poem “To recreate that which I had seen in a dream” won first place at the 2018 BalakBayi Poetry Writing Contest.

Allan Ace Dignadice is a nineteen-year-old playwright and poet from Koronadal, South Cotabato.

Florence Diane D. Samson is a third year AB English student at Mindanao State University-General Santos City. She grew up in the municipality of Datu Abdullah Sangki in Maguindano but is now residing in Esperanza, Sultan Kudarat, with her family.

Julius Marc Taborete is an AB English graduate of Mindanao State University-General Santos with latin honors. He was the editor in chief of the MSU College Social Sciences and Humanities’ student publication Pingkian and folio Ningas. He currently teaches Literature at Dole Philippines School, Kalsangi, Polomolok, South Cotabato.

Mubarak M. Tahir was born in the village of Kitango in Datu Piang, Maguindanao. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Filipino Language (cum laude) at Mindanao State University in Marawi City. He lived in General Santos City when he taught in the campus there of his alma mater. His essay “Aden Bon Besen Uyag-uyag” won the third prize for Sanaysay at the 2017 Palanca Awards. Currently, he is teaching at the Davao campus of Philippine Science High School.