Abyan

Ni Nilyn Gamuza Pacariem
Binalaybay

Isa ikaw ka putahe
maisog ang timplada
nagapanalupsup sa kaundan
ang tagsa ka tinaga
nga ginasimbug,
nagapananam
sa kabug-usan
sang binalaybay,
butang nga ginsundan
kaangay sang mahamot
nga usbong sang
isa ka pagkaon,
ginahandum,
ginapangita.

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Mababasa Rin ang Lupang Tuyo

Ni Luis B. Bahay Jr.
Tula

Mababasa rin ang lupa
Ng pawis
Na tumatagaktak
Mula sa balat na nakabilad
Sa araw, sa kamay na makalyo,
Sa dumi ng mga kuko, sa mga paang pasmado.
Tuloy ang pagtatrabaho.

Mababasa rin ang lupa
Ng mga luhang
Tumatagas
Mula sa mga matang malabo
Ang paningin, sa sikmurang walang
Makain, sa ulam na palaging asin.
Tuloy ang pagtatanim.

Mababasa rin ang lupa
Ng marahas na ulan mula sa umuulang
Bala—
Mga balang dadanak ng dugo,
Mga balang sa bibig isinubo.

Mababasa rin ang lupa
Hindi ng pawis, hindi
Ng luha, hindi ng ulan.
Dugo ang siyang didilig sa
Lupang tuyo.

Fairy Tale

By Roi Marc P. Labasan
Spoken Word

Hey, I’m really sorry to tell you this, but you will never be the fairest, you will never eat a cursed apple, and you will never ever be kissed by some random bastard prince for you to cheat death.

You will never fall into an eternal sleep after you hurt yourself with a spindle. You will never have a prince armed with “the sword of truth” and “shield of virtue” to fight a dragon for you. And a kiss will never ever awake you from an eternal coma. If you’re dying, go get a doctor, not a creepy prince.

You will never have a fairy godmother to dress you up, provide you elegant things from a garden, and make a golden carriage from a pumpkin. You will never be sought by a prince after leaving a glass slipper because of your clumsiness, and you will never ever be queen after you attend some shitty ball and dance with a prince named Charming.

You will never be a mermaid princess bestowed with legs by some crazy female octopus. You’ll never meet a guy named Eric who will battle that octopus for you, and you will never ever fall in love in just three days, for god’s sake!

You will never meet a beast with living “things” as his servants. You’ll never be saved by the huntsman ordered to kill you. You will never ever marry an evil hairy creature who hates Christmas, and accept a rose as a gift from him. A monster will always be a monster.

Lastly, you will never be a girl with magical blond hair and be locked up in a tower; you’ll never meet a good thief nowadays and will never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever have a happily ever after.

When your death is near, you’ll realize that humans don’t even fear death after all. For the real fear of us humans is to realize that after all the years of existence, we have never really lived. So wake up and quit your fucked-up fantasies because life is not a goddamn Disney fairy tale.

When the Old Paints the Youth

By Julius Marc Taborete
Poetry

Youth
wakes up at dawn to sweep
the brown multitudes of the Fall.

Youth plants the fertile soil, reaping
the withered land and pours
spite of rise on gray expanse.

Youth is the pollen of our prime—
disperses through the sky,
never pulled back from ancestral gravity.

Youth
spews parts of our best days;
swooping the flesh of fading ritual
in a feast of the age of rising sun.

Youth
does not heed the silence
of vestige; in scaffolding of the melody
of the Sun and Stars.

Youth
is just our history,
a mirage in distortion of reality; an induction
to the surreal slums of life. Ancestors,
as they would say,

“Youth
is the gift of nature but age
is the work of art.” Hues of

youth
cascade from the canvas of tradition,
depleting the fountain
of the past.

Youth
has not stepped on the shadows
of 1972; the freedom we once
quenched,
now has the brimful of the

youth.
As mirrors reflect the wrinkle
of time, old is still new. Has

youth
been the roots of The fallen bough?
Ah! The dawn has come
and so as the

youth
comes to sweep the last
leaf to plant a
new tree.

Barya ’Yan

Ni Kiel Mark C. Guerrero
Tula

(This poem is the winner of the 2018 Sultan Kudarat Poetry Contest.)

Pupunuin ko ng salapi and kawayang may awang sa gitna,
Paunti-unting huhulugan ng mga baryang may tatak ng mga iniidolo ni’yong mga lalaking bayani.
Kalimutan na natin ang mga magiting.
Ipako ninyo ang mga mata sa akin.

Hindi ba’t ako naman ang kumayod?
Ako ang nagbanat ng buto, naghain ng katawan,
Kaya’t magpapakain ako mamayang gabi,
Ihahanda ang sariling laman.

Kailangan ko ng kita.
Barya ’yan, ayoko ng sinsilyo.
Hindi na ito umaga, pinakamababa ko’y isang libo.
May kolorete ako sa hitsura, pero mukha ba akong nagpapatawa?

Hindi ito bugso ng damdamin.
Walang tawag ng laman.
Pero kailangan kong sumalang sa tanghalang
Ang madla’y nanlilisik na mga matang mapanlinlang.

Pinaligiran ng dilim na may banaag ng pulang ilaw
Sa sulok ng makipot na daang walang makikitid na utak.
Ito ang aking palaruan,
Madalas makipaglaro sa mapanuksong kasarinlan.

Tawagin ni’yo na akong tukso,
Pero sa oras na ikaw ay mapikon,
Malipak, tumigas, tumayo,
Dadalhin kita sa nakakahalinang mundo.

Hali na at sumabay sa agos ng kaluguran.
Damhin mo ang bitag ng tuwa.
Panandalian lang ito kaya’t sulitin ang aliw.
Lasapin ang galak at ginhawa bago pa mawala.

Kalimutan ang mga kilay na mapagmataas.
Ako na’ng magpapakababa.
Isusuko ang sariling puri kapalit ang iyong tuwa
At malupit na sampal ng respeto, dangal, at kwarta.

Natutong lumuhod hindi para magdasal.
Hindi ako santo para magpakabanal.
Lahat naman tayo’y makasasala, may kutsilyong nakatutok sa atin,
Ang pinagkaiba lang, ako ang nakakapit sa patalim.

Nag-ipon ng kwarta gamit ang awang sa gitna.
Bibiyakin ang alkansiyang puno ng salapi.
Sa pagbiyak ng kawayan ay libo-libong Adan at nag-iisang Ebang
Tinawag nilang bayaran.

Anak

Ni Grace Nadon–Aprosta
Binalaybay

(This poem is a finalist in the 2018 Sultan Kudarat Poetry Contest.)

Halin sang ako ginbun-ag sa kalibutan
Puro lang kasubo ang akon nabatyagan.
Si Nanay, si Tatay masako pirmi
Kay ang akon bwas damlag ang ila ginapasulabi.

Sang ako isa na ka estudyante
Puro lang pangalipay ang akon ginaintindi
Lagaw didto, ligoy diri bangud kay nagarebelde.
Bantog gid nga ako makiugalingon pirme.

Sang ako hamtong na nga lalaki
Sari-sari nga bisyo ang akon ginsudlan
Babaye, inom, sugal, kag sigarilyo sa akon kamingawan
Bangud lang sang pagpabaya sang akon ginikanan.

Sang ako isa na ka tatay sang akon pamilya
Didto ko lang nahangpan ang ginahimo sang akon ginikanan
Kung diin ulihi na ang tanan
Kay ang akon subang may pagkabanihot man.

Tinted Nails

By Allan Ace Dignadice
Poetry

 

Woke up early
to go

to fall in line
to look for
a name

that should be mine
with hundreds of
people that

I don’t recognize
unfamiliar faces
for the first time

I sat
I pondered

and caught a glimpse
of a sacred ballot

I sat
I pondered

I remembered
the bills
that now are in
my pocket

a kilogram of rice
that will help
my family

my children
to get through
the week

I sat
I wrote his name

I sinned
I don’t—

I didn’t care

if he wins
if they suffer

at least not me
not my family

all we get in
the end is
a couple of bills
and

just tinted nails