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.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Two Poems for VNS


"Shaman, oh Shaman,
Oh what shall I do?
My dear son refuses
The broths that I brew."

"Squeeze him and tease him
And give him a kiss
And you'll find dear witch,
He'll do as you please."

"Shaman, oh Shaman,
Oh what a big shame!
My old pot he's broken,
He's doused out the flame!

"My bats he has driven,
My spiders he's crushed!
He's poured off my potions,
My phials he's bashed!"

"Well, slap him and kick him,
And tweak at his nose,
And pound him and pinche him,
And learn him who's boss!"

"Oh shaman, sweet shaman,
Now what have I done,
Kicking and pinching
My own lovely son?

"He mumbles and grumble,
He squiggles and sighs,
He squibbles and scribbles
And tries to look wise.

"His language sounds strange,
His eyes they look wild,
Oh Shaman, dear brother,
Would he ever change?"

"Poor wretched witch,
You may talk till you're blue
But I fear your sweet son
Will never be like you.

"He seems quite beyond help
By all witchcraft's art--
You must learn dear sister,
That soon you must part.

"Your son he has taken
To rhyming and verse.
His heart won't be won
By your wiles or your tears.

"But take heart, dear sister,
Do take heed and pray,
He'll make as good a rhymester
As this shaman you see!"


serpent's jawbone
lizard's tail monkey's paw
curse of an aging snake,
frog's croak
distilled in dew
sign omens
gypsy spells--

my friend, this
cluttered landscape
you inhabit
teaches you nothing.

this is all
you need to know:

this old moon
this new moon
that waxes and wanes
waxes and wanes
in the seascape
of your own blood

when it sings
as tide sings
in the strand
hush your croaking frog
your clicking lizards

and listen
oh listen


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