And, finally, we came up with a more compound one, attempting to study, if not defy, the limits of style, structure, and media, thus, departing from the margins while keeping space, as we know it, undefined, so to speak. With the book’s dynamic approach to an age when we are all subject to compartmentalized outlooks and fed with a prepackaged sense of identity, it’s a challenge to insist on finding meaning and value in ubiquity.
Continue reading here.
Piso pa rin ba?
O mas malamig pa sa piseta?
Ang agahan, pananghalian
at hapunan na pinagkasya
isang maliit kakarampot na supot
para ipagpalit sa pangarap
na papsikel, tutunawin lang
nang panandalian, isisikmurang
sa paparating na pantawid sa tag-init.
Pabili po ng ice candy…
Piso pa rin ba?
-Armineonila M., 2017
A shelter of robins, his heart
breathes into mine flowerbeds
of ballads not thorned nor pitted
heartbreaks upon which spikes
may delay the casting of spring
when seasons run miles apart
to dance rivers with our thoughts
our fountains, deep in the roots
will meet among the shadows…
Now, if only…
these words were so a garden of ours
as if I were a Wordsworth, rhymed
and you, a village his, a path shared
with the daffodils in a dream without
but we are no such garden, still, under
the metal clouds, wired with gavels
silver chains to our roots, rust a staple
and time, our enemy, is a wall sprouted
by shallow ponds, pawns to vultures
for within its arms we’ll one day wither
and settle unto grounds, craving for rain.
Half-empty words wash away
the narratives, spilt favours,
modern fatigue —
we owe the landowners —
as our worn out pleas
flee in silence.
Our kins rode the wings of fate
in begging fashion,
shoveling their own
craving for death.
We mourn for old debts,
for we are tiny pebbles
in a shore of gluttons.
What purpose do our lips serve
when we speak pass the clouds?
While we cease to embrace
the pen with our tongues?
We dug out the snare, fist and spine.
They fed on our spirit.
-Armineonila M., 2016
I lost your grip
in the thunderstorm, and you,
likewise, lost mine
under the dragon’s breath –
a huge firewall stood
between us – a dead end’s curse,
cirrus clouds loomed
from a distance tainting
the sun’s rays, no illuminated path
the rainbow’s bend dared
deny us a destination.
Tagalog translation by a friend
Nawala ko ang iyong kapit
nang bumagyo’t nagrilim, at ikaw,
ganoon din, nabitawhan kita
sa lilim ng dambuhalang hininga –
‘sang ga-bituing pader ang poder
nating sangga – sumpang sadya,
malabalahibong ulap ng kilabot
mula sa di-kalayuan ang lumimlim
sa mga sinag ng araw,
naglaho ang daang matuwid
arko ng balangaw ang tumindig
upang ipagkait sa atin ang tagpuan.
If only the burning of bridges
remains an idiot’s idiom
and we could still dream of flowerbeds
and never hear gunshots
of freedom from a remote uproar
lay the sword to rest –
what powers does it hold under a child’s gaze?
even time halts for mourning
when the sharp edges of tyranny
dug deep down their tiny bellies
why must we smell the flowers?
read people with dead shot eyes
after a while
the trees shall whisper
some so-called heroes’ anthem
who spoiled the soil that fed them
while our ruins
are traded for inorganic memories
or so history went
and thought free verse rhymes
or weaves a synopsis of the future
but we refuse to breathe
the putrid lies
our masked men feed
a gold miner’s poverty
alongside fragile footsteps.
-Armineonila M., 2016
Mini musing: The pen is mighty until its ink had dried out.
Speak wide. Mouth of a tunnel.
Brush shoulders like we’re comrades.
Beat the beats of cult fiction.
Believe friendship is a staple.
It’s a dirt we share.
Ever barefooted the huddles of the city?
Our eyes both swallowed the disease.
“Life is a currency, yes?” Experts say.
“Agony is business.” Ibid.
Let’s talk culture and drink beer.
VIPs don’t buy words. Not from copper pages.
A brown woman is a brown woman.
A black woman is a black woman.
The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog.
It’s a rhetoric they teach.
And yet, we brush shoulders. Anisometric.
Like when we’re tots. You are winter. I am summer.
Eyes fixed on one TV screen – Big Bird groupies.
Fastforward to adulthood – export materials.
A stock market ice cream cart.
Give me a tree to trust. A forest.
Who knows who’s on top of the food chain.
Words are taxed with blood. Or enjambment.
Our silence is their weapon, anyway.
Or maybe just encode another poem.
On bed bugs.
Armineonila M. 2015