poetry and other works

Merlie M. Alunan worked for her Masters Degree in English at Silliman University in Dumaguete City, majoring in Creative Writing and studying under Edilberto K. Tiempo. She was a writing fellow of the Silliman University National Summer Writers Workshop and the UP Creative Writing Center. Most of the poems collected in this blogsite are from her first book collection, Hearthstone, Sacred Tree. The other works have also been published in local newspapers and other publications.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Ondoy Wynn

Unsa kaha to nga nangakimaw man ming tanan
dihang mitungha ka? Nangabakikaw among linihokan,
sayop sa kumpas bisa’g sa mga naandan namong buluhaton.
Mura mi’g nakalimot og hai’y tuo namong kamot o wala.
Nagkayabo-yabo lagi ang init tubig, nangangtod ang linung-ag,
nangapagod ang sinugba. Si Tatay Tonyo nimo
nagkatusok-tusok sa alpiler sa imong lampin.

Ug nangabuhong mi sa imong kahumot,
alimyon sa uhay nga nagkahinog sa tutok nga adlaw inalisngaw sa yuta sa gabing
bag-ong panglin,
ang kaamyon sa tagoangkan sa imong Nanay June.
Baling pangatawa namo, uy!
Kalit nakalimtan ang among mga bun-og, opaw,
piay, rayuma, pangag, punggod, pirat, pati na
ang among buhok nga sinagolan na gyu’g lanot.
Mura kaha mi’g nangabanhaw, nahimong ambongan.
Naalahig sad intawon mi sa imong kabag-o.

Apan way aninipot nga mikidlap sa imong pagsangpot.
Hingudtohon na man gud, hayag na kaayo,
nag-alipaso ang hangin. Hulyo, nag-angat pa lang
ang tingbitay sa iro. Ulan-ulan pa gani, naghulas ang yuta, kamig ang kaadlawon.
Ang abokado sa nataran ni Lola Juliet, nanglamurok, puera buyag. Di pa hinuon
angay pupuon.

Way duda nga ikaw gipaabot.
Ipanghimakak man gani ni unya sa mga tamsi,
unggoy, kabog nga kawatan og saging,
ug sa mga gangis nga tabian kaayo, ayaw gyu’g tuo. Motakilid ug motakilid sa
makadaghan ang kalibotan,
ang imong inahan di gyud makalimot sa imong pulso
nga unang ningpitik duyog sa iyang kasingkasing.
Gidamgo ka namong tanan sa mga gihaysa among kaunoran.
Sa lim-aw sa hayag ug sa ngitngit
nga bulan, karon, ug hangtod sa kahangtoran
ang imong tawag alingawngaw
pagadunggon kanunay sa among kadugoan.

Ang bongalos nga aninipot, pasagdi lang una sila.
Inigmata nimo unya, panahon nga mangitngit na,
basin manungha ra na sila, tagak nga mga bituon,
makab-ot ra sa imong kamot ug mga mata.
Hadlaon ka nila, Ondoy, sa ilang mga siga.


Little Wynn by Merlie M. Alunan(translation)
Why we got all clumsy upon your arrival.
Bungled up everything, our most daily chores,
couldn’t tell our right hand from the left,
scalded ourselves with the hot water,
burnt the rice, the broiled fish turned to charcoal,
your Tatay Tonio, poor fellow,
impaled on your diaper pins.


Oh child, how your fragrance drenched us,
scent of grain ripening in the noon sun,
fragrance of the earth in fresh-dug yams,
perfume of her womb, your mother June’s.
Oooy, our laughter laded the wind
We forgot our bruises, balding pates, the limp
in our steps, the rheumatism, lost teeth, squint eyes,
even the abaca strands in our hair.
We seemed handsomer again, reborn,
Freshened by your newness.


No fireflies flashed when you came though.
It was midday, the sky too bright.
The wind was blowing warm, July at the threshold,
the dog days impending. Random rain, the earth
damp and nippy at dawn. Lola Juliet’s avocados
were fattening on the trees. Still too young to harvest.


Oh you were much awaited.
If the birds, the monkeys, the bats who steal bananas,
and the gossipy crickets say we lie,
don’t believe a word they say.
The earth may turn and turn countless times over,
your mother will always remember your pulse beat
that throbbed first to the rhythm of her heartbeat.
We had dreamed you in every shred of our flesh.
In the pool of light, in the black of the moon,
your faintest call, now and ever after will echo
in the deepest runnels of our veins.


Don’t mind those faithless fireflies now.
Later when it’s dark and you awaken,
they might come then—chips of a star fallen
your hands may reach for, and your eyes.
They will beguile you, child, with their light.

2 Comments:

Blogger Annabeth Weasley said...

Hello, Ms. Alunan! I would just like to know in what context was this poem written. Could you share in what year you wrote this?

12:27 AM  
Blogger Annabeth Weasley said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12:29 AM  

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