The Rose

By Reylan Gyll J. Padernilla

Have your ever loved a rose
And watched her slowly bloom?
As her petals unfold, you grow
Drunk on her perfume.
You swear every night to let
The memory fade.

Have you ever seen its dance?
It quivers catching the dew
And with the passing of the wind.
You swear every night to let
The memory fade.

Have you ever loved a rose?
You can bleed by touching her thorns?


Ang Buaya sa Marsh

By Marianne Hazzale J. Bullos

Ang buaya sa marsh
Ay! Ay! Pagkadako-dako!

Ang buaya sa marsh
Naghulat sa kangitngit,
Naghulat og biktimahon.

Ang buaya sa marsh
Astang siroka!
Gipanilok og kaon
Biskan iyang mga igsoon.

Ang buaya sa marsh
Nihabhab pa gyod og bulawan
Pangtunaw sa gipangkaon.

Ang buaya sa marsh
Gihugasan ang pula sa panit
Og tubig nga limpiyo.

Ang buaya sa marsh
Buotan pod ra ba usahay.
Sa niaging Mayo,
Nilamano siya kang Tatay!


By Christine Joy G. Aban

Woman: Take the coat, what’s left behind?
Take the dress, what’s there inside?
Take my breast, can you still see
a girl’s inner beauty?

Man: Leave your coat, and your dress on.
Blind my eyes, in my mind will spawn
images and sounds, music and laughter,
lovely memories, friendly banter.

Woman: If vital parts of me are gone,
can I still be one?
If the core to be a woman is taken,
can I still be a woman again?

Man: That depends partly on where you stand.
In some cultures men do understand
that womanhood is a state of mind
and that selves should not by society be defined.

Woman: What does it take to be a lady?
What is a woman’s fragility?
What role a girl can achieve
so that respect she can fully achieve?

Man: I think one should not try to achieve
respect. In doing so, a woman’s senses take leave
of the beautiful things she has inside;
inside, where soul and real beauty do reside.

To recreate that which I had seen in a dream

By Almira Caryl Jane A. Calvo

To recreate that which I had seen in a dream,
I’m going to paint the skies with a stroke of my pen,
Write trees and line them with thoughts from my brush,
Canvas the seas with iridescent hues of sand,
And fold flowers from thin sheets of rain.

Cut the stars with mud and clay,
Shape and mold the mountains with scissors,
Pry the light from day—I’ll use my fingers
And stick the warmth to cold with glue.

I will

Weigh the Sun and Moon,
Measure the vastness of the universe,
I’ll trace the air we breathe,
And count the number of stars through a cup.

I will do it all in one sitting,
Filing all in the clattering of labelled buttons,
In one millionth speed it shall end,
And, like a star gone nova, I’ll realize.

Antler Series

Julius Marc Taborete

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.
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
And Once stood
in the middle of the River
has gone with the wave,
ebbing in His own
swirling pool, saying
“It’s Alright.”


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
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
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
mock those
with Brown skins
pursuing the beatdown
I was once flying for.
It is the Call.



“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
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
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,
for spare bats of my eyelids
She has escaped astray,
The Antler has run away.