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.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Fallen in battle in the mountains of Santa Catalina, Negros Oriental, 1987 A.D., a hill warrior talks to his daughter, three years old, from the trail where his bones lie unburied

Sure I had them in my backpack,
the piyaya, just as i had promised,
and the baye-baye from 'Nay Asyon.
She was asking about
the grandchild she'd never seen.
Also a comb for your mother.

The road from Siaton blew up.
Crossing the valley to our hut
to see you for the last time,
I left no footprints anyone could find.
So many things I couldn't
bring with me-- my gun, my boots,
left behind forever in the hidden trail.
Unseen, I watched your mother
waiting while you slept,
combing her hair by the gaslight
with slow patient fingers.
If they ever come
and cut your mother's hair
and bind her to bed,
run and hide.
Whatever you see, do not cry.
You will grow up, little one,
bearer of this vicious bond--

anger of your daughters,
revenge of your sons.


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