Patawad, Ama

Ni Norsalim S. Haron
Tula

Patawad po dahil sa lahat ng robot
na nilikha ninyo ako lang
              ang walang
       kontrol
Isang kabiguan
Sa inyong imbensiyon.

Paumanhin po kung ayaw kong lunukin
Ang pagkaing isinubo ni’yo sa akin
Hindi dahil hindi masarap kundi ayaw
Ko lang sa lasa.

Pasensiya na po kung sa lahat ng tupa
Ako ang laging huli sa uwian,
Sa lahat ng kambing ako
Ang nag-iisang
Hindi takot sa ulan.

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Ode to the World’s Oldest Lullaby

By Marc Jeff Lañada
Poetry

What do I make of all the blue waves that inhabit my memory,
   Waves ridging, crashing, then cut briefly by my dorsal eyes?
    Without human touch, a perpetual instrument was made,
     Wanders across latitudes and beyond the territories of sight:
    World, as it first was, again, rediscovered. Forget the sparrow
   Whistling at dawn, the choir of honking cars, the morning radio;
 Where sand meets the infinite foam lives a melody, weaved of
Words my tongue cannot choreograph. The performance begins,
Whether dawn or dusk is pooling in the ocean, and stays there.
  What do I make of all the blue waves that inhabit my memory,
    Waves ridging, crashing, then cut briefly by my dorsal eyes?

Cautionary Tale

By Jermaine Dela Cruz
Poetry

She was
unsinkable,
or so they thought.
Woods fired, engines chugged,
they sailed her West in fair majestic pride
unknowing of a tragic ending, a harrowing recollections.
In a blink of an eye, she collided with a tip of the ice, a thousand lives and more swallowed by angry tides,
cries of mercy resonating, woes fading into the familiar shuttered countenance one by one.
Debris floating back and forth, a horrifying spectacle of bodies buoyant, breathless,
as salty waters sing a lullaby consoling souls from a sudden departure.
The ship of dreams, the unsinkable, in all her vainglory
a grand exit on her first and final journey, but not
before a farewell kiss pressed on her lips—
She, in a trance, breath withdrawn,
her limbs weak and weary.
Slowly she plunged
but not before
looking back
one last
time.

Lababo

Ni Alvin Pomperada
Tula

Mahirap maghugas ng pinggan. Sa pagkuskos ng espongha paikot sa plato’y nakakatha ng orasyong napapasailalim sa gunita ng isang salusalo ng pamilya: nalito ang ilong sa kakalanghap sa sarap ng putahe. Hindi pa dumampi sa dila ang pagkain, nabusog na ang mga tenga sa nakahaing kuwentuhan. Natakam ang lahat nang sinimulang halukayin ng ate ang asin sa kape. Sinamantala nila ang aking pagkabalat-sibuyas. Nakisawsaw muna ako sa toyo ng utak ni kuya bago kagatin ang malutong na biro ni mama. Naging lantang gulay ako sa panggigisa ng tatay kung ilan na ba ang natikmang talaba. Sagot ko, “Wala kapag ang dagat ay mapula.”

Hindi pa nakakalayo sa bunganga ng kaldero ang ulam, umusling parang kawali na ang mga tiyan namin. Kay dami pang nilulutong kuwento ngunit ayaw paawat sa pagkagat ng sandali ang orasan.

Binanlawan ko na ng mga luha ang mamantika kong damdamin. Kay tagal ko sa lababo. Isang plato lang naman ang hinugasan ko.

Kay hirap ngang maghugas ng pinggan.

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.