Huwebes, Disyembre 23, 2010

Gaano Kita Kamahal

Gaano Kita Kamahal?

(salin sa Sonnet 43: How Do I Love Thee

Elizabeth Barrett Browning)

ni Reya Bato



Gaano kita kamahal? Hayaan mong

ilahad ko ang mga paraan. Minamahal

kita sa lalim, lawak, at lawig

na kayang abutin ng kaluluwa,

kung ang kamalaya’y naglaho na

sa pagwawakas ng Pag-iral at minimithing

Pagpapala. Minamahal kita sa antas

ng pinakabanayad na pangangailangan

ng bawat araw, sa umaga ni sa gabi.

Minamahal kita nang malaya, tulad

ng pakikipagbatá sa Karapatan;

Minamahal kita nang dalisay gaya

ng pagbibigay puri sa Maykapal.

Minamahal kita kalakip ng sidhi

ng mga nakaraang pighati, kasama

ng aking mga pananamplataya sapul

nang pagkabata. Minamahal kita nang

may pag-ibig na tila aking naiwala,

minamahal kita sa bawat hininga, ngiti,

at luha! At kung Kanyang hihirangin,

ikaw ay lalo ko pang iibigin sa oras

na ang buhay ko ay pawiin.





22nd December 2010





Original Text





How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

I love thee to the depth and breadth and height

My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight

For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.

I love thee to the level of everyday's

Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.

I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;

I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.

I love thee with the passion put to use

In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.

I love thee with a love I seemed to lose

With my lost saints,—I love thee with the breath,

Smiles, tears, of all my life!—and, if God choose,

I shall but love thee better after death.

Linggo, Setyembre 26, 2010

Tonight I can write uncertain lines. Write for example,

Tonight I can write uncertain lines. Write for example,

by Reya Bato





Under the gray sky

that is about to cry,

the lady



--whose heart

is rumbled

with thunder

and is ripped

by lightning--



hurries by

to keep herself dry. #





24th September 2010

Sabado, Agosto 28, 2010

A Prose Poetry: Mga Bagay na Hinahangad

A Prose Poetry: Mga Bagay na Hinahangad (salin sa Desiderata)


ni Reya Bato

Ika-25 ng Agosto 2010; 9:52 pm



Mamuhay nang payapa sa gitna ng ingay at pagiging abala. Tandaan: May kapayapaan sa katahimikan. Hangga’t maaari, ipamalagi ang mabuting samahan sa sangkatauhan.

Ipahayag ang katotohanan nang payapa at malinaw; pakinggan ang iba, maging ang mapurol at mangmang ay may istorya. Mangilag sa taong maingay at palaaway. Pagkayamot ng kaluluwa ang dulot nila.

Huwag ihambing ang sarili sa iba, hatid nito ay yabang at pagdaramdam; pagka’t sa tuwina, may makakasalamuha kang mas mababa sa iyo o mas hihigit pa.

Ikalugod ang mga natamong tagumpay at mga nabuong plano. Manatiling interesado sa iyong trabaho, gaano man kababa; ito ay pag-aaring mananatili sa pabago-bagong pag-inog ng palad ng panahon.

Maging listo sa usaping pangnegosyo, sapagkat ang mundo ay puno ng panloloko. Ngunit huwag hayaan takpan nito ang mata mo sa kabutihan; maraming tao ang nagsisikap upang maging dakilang huwaran at kahit saanman ang buhay ay lipos ng kabayanihan.

Magpakatotoo. Huwag magkunwa ng pagsinta. Ni huwag maging mapang-uyam sa pagmamahal, pagka’t sa mukha ng pagkatigang at kabiguan, ito ay wangis ng damong nagtatagal. Unawain ang aral ng mga araw, madingal na ipahinuhod ang sigla ng kabataan.

Patatagin ang kalooban upang sa pagdating ng kasawian ito ang iyong magiging matibay na pananggalang. Iwasang mabagabag ng madidilim na sapantaha. Karamihan sa pangamba ay nagmumula sa kalungkutan at pagkapatâ.

Sa kabila ng kapaki-pakinabang na disiplina, maging mapagbigay sa iyong sarili. Ikaw ay anak ng santinakpan. Kaparis ng mga puno at mga bituin; ikaw din ay may karapatang mamalagi. Malinaw man sa iyo o hindi, walang alinlangang na ang santinakpan ay namumukadkad ayon sa nakasaad.

Kaya’t maging payapa sa piling ng Maykapal, sinuman Siya sa iyong kamalayan. Anuman ang iyong pagbabatâ at pagnanasa, maging sa ingay ng kaguluhan, ipanatili ang kapayaan sa iyong buhay. Sa gitna ng panlilinlang, pagkapagal, at mga nasirang mithiin, ang ating daigdig ay kaibig-ibig pa rin.

Magalak. Magsumikap maging masaya.#


Orihinal na Teksto:

Desiderata by Max Ehrmann


Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.


Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.


Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.


Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.


Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.


You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.


Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.


With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

Linggo, Agosto 8, 2010

Ang Isda (Halaw sa The Fish ni Elizabeth Bishop)

Ang Isda (Halaw sa The Fish ni Elizabeth Bishop)
ni Reya Bato


Ika-7 ng Agosto 2010
03:47 PM


Mula buntot hanggang ulo
nakadikit ang mahahaba’t
makikitid na piraso
ng kanyang kayumangging
katad, katulad
ng lipas na pilas
ng papel na pandingding,
ang dibuho sa papel
ay kulay San Antonio:
hugis ng madungis na rosas
na namumukadkad, makupad
na pinapawi ng mahabang
sandali. May batik-batik
na mga taliptip, pinong
sabog-sabog na apog,
at pinamumugaran
ng maliliit at puting
kutong-dagat.
May gayak pa itong
dalawa o tatlong
luntiang trapo ng damo.


Excerpt from “The Fish” by Elizabeth Bishop

… Here and there
his brown skin hung in strips
like ancient wallpaper,
and its pattern of darker brown
was like wallpaper:
shapes like full-blown roses
stained and lost through age.
He was speckled with barnacles,
fine rosettes of lime,
and infested
with tiny white sea-lice,
and underneath two or three
rags of green weed hung down…

Linggo, Hulyo 25, 2010

Elpis


Elpis*
by Reya Bato
25th July 2010
3:55 pm


Elpis rose and took a peep
when he saw me roused from
my sleep, he tagged along
when I left my bed and spied
as I toasted my bread, he took
a seat as I read the broadsheet,
and drove with me to the office,
he trailed along as I accomplished
all my duties and responsibilities,
bumping and scuffing as he went
after my track, whispering wishes,
plans, and dreams, offering positive
thinking or prolonging my suffering.
As the day progressed, he was sorely
wounded. The condition remained
unchanged, the universe did not
conspire to acquire the heart's
desire. At the end of the day,
Elpis passed away. Tomorrow,
he would revive again with promises
to rejuvenate my wishes or lies
to conceal the truth that I despise.


*Elpis personifies hope in Greek mythology.

Biyernes, Hulyo 16, 2010

Kwentong Barbero

Kwentong Barbero
(salin sa tula ni Russell Edson)
ni Reya Bato

Hala, ang sabi ng barbero
nang magupit ang tenga ng isang parokyano.

Sa lugon ng buhok ito lumagpak
para tuloy itong sanggol na bagong panganak.
Mabuting tenga ito tiyak
bumagsak nang walang kapugak-pugak

Hindi, sabi ng parokyano,
matutuli ito masyado

Sinubukan ko minsang maglagay ng mitsa
nang makapakinig naman ako ng musika
ngunit nang ito’y sindihan ko na
ulo, singit at kilikili ko ay nasunog
sumiklab pa ang apoy sa magubat na kanunog
pakiramdan ko tuloy isa akong santo
akala naman ng iba ako’y isang henyo.
Sabi ng barbero, buti na lang at nakalusot ako
ngunit di kita mapapauwi na iisa ang tenga
labag ito sa batas ng simetria
kailangan kong tanggalin ang isa pa
pero huwag kang mag-alala
ito rin ay isang disgrasya.

Siguraduhin mong ito’y di mo sinadya
ayokong magupit mo ako nang kusa
baka lalamunan mo ay malaslas kong bigla
pero sisiguraduhin ko ring hindi ko iyon tangka. #

Para sa orihinal na teksto, pakiclick ito.

Huwebes, Hulyo 8, 2010

Different Pair of Shoes




That day she told him of her dream the previous night.

She was surrounded by people in a room filled with gaiety. She could not identify them one-by-one but she was sure she knew them all. She was facing a big mirror. Her hair was put in a bun. Her face was a canvass painted with varied hues – her eyelids were in smoky rose, her cheeks were in naughty pink and her lips were in beautiful red. Her eyes were beaming with happiness.

She was in a happy daze when her mother and two elder sisters lowered the white dress over her head and shoulders. It was not her dream gown but she loved the fit of the dress as it embraced her body.

Everybody was speaking and laughing. They were excited for the grand celebration. It was her wedding day.

Somebody handed a shoe box. She noticed that she was still barefooted. She opened the box. To her surprise, the box contained a different pair of old shoes.

She was awakened.

They were sitting opposite each other at the fast-food table. They just came from a stroll in an art gallery. He just listened to her story and said nothing. Her voice had that convincing tone and her narration was descriptive and well-expressed as if she was reading a story from a book. She was like that when she was engrossed with what she was saying.

“Everything could really happen in a dream,” Ashlyn said.

“I read in a book that dreams are messages from God,” she continued.

Erron could not think of anything to say to what she said, so he said nothing.

Ashlyn was quite a talker if she was in the mood to talk, always putting some of the ideas she got from the books she read and always theorizing. Once she started on a topic, it was so hard to pull her out of it until she extracted all her ideas about it.

“My mother once told me that she dreamt of marrying my father when she was a child. The first time she saw my father, she knew that they would end up together.” Ashlyn went on with her talking.

“Did you see your groom in your dream?” Erron asked.

“No, but I think I know him and I know what he looks like”

“That’s got to be me.” Erron said jokingly.

“No, it isn’t you.” Ashlyn replied seriously.

“Are you sure?”

“Yes.”

Erron sipped his coffee and looked at her with knitted eyebrows. He was studying her face thinking if what she said was just one of her jokes. Ashlyn was good at making someone believes something to be true then when the person was fully convinced that it was true, she would disclose that she was just making up stories. She then would laugh a belly laugh. Erron was waiting for that laugh but it did not come. So he asked another question.

“You did not see the groom in your dream, right? How did you know that it is not me?”

“I don’t know. I just know it is not you.” Ashlyn answered as she toyed with the food on her plate. “Are you angry?”

“I am. I am very angry and because of that I want to break up with you. We will not end up together so why do we still need to continue our relationship?” Erron said jokingly.

They were couples for months now. They met in an art exhibition. Erron’s college friend launched his first art exhibition and he invited him to attend the said event. It was a quiet exhibition, only few people attended.

He had stepped backwards into Ashlyn who was looking thoughtfully at one of the paintings. He apologized to her and Ashlyn made him buy an expensive lunch by way of apology. That was the start of it all.

Ashlyn thought that he was a kind of person who was inclined with arts and he had never been able to convince her that he wasn’t the kind of person she was thinking. On weekends, like that day, Erron would trail behind Ashlyn as they visited art galleries or museums.

He never imagined that they would stay long. They were opposite. But whenever their relationship turned into too routine or monotonous phase, Ashlyn looked for ways to create variety. She would invite him to try new food, new sport, and they would visit new places.

Ashlyn was fond of music, art, and literature. She had a good imagination and an ability to express her thoughts and feelings through composition and poetry. She would write poems and stories and asked Erron to read them. She did not like to show them to anybody except Erron. Sometimes Erron would joke that she had become involved with him just because she needed someone to read and to listen to her stories. Maybe she just needed an audience.

Ashlyn never wrote something related to him or related to them. Sometimes Erron wondered about the origins of her poems and compositions.

There were times, too, when Ashlyn would become reflective and aloof, drawing away from association with other even with him. He hated and could not understand her those times but he learned to give her space during those periods. Aside from that, she had no complaints about her at all. She was sympathetic to the needs of others even giving her last money if she felt it would help someone in need. She was also sweet and thoughtful.

“I think his name is Reve,” Ashlyn seriously said as they were leaving the fast-food.

“Who is ‘he’? Erron asked perplexed. “Who is Reve?”

“The groom in my dream”

“How come you know his name?”

“I remember someone mentioned his name in my dream.”

Erron continued walking and said nothing. He said nothing because he did not know what to say and what to react and he wanted to end that nonsense discussion.

“And I can recognize him when I see him” Ashlyn continued.

“Ashlyn, it is just a dream. Stop thinking about it. Dreams are the opposite of reality.” Erron dismissed the subject.

Ashlyn was quiet inside the car until they reached her home. She told Erron that she was having a headache.

“Do you want to come inside? Mama is inside.” Ashlyn asked him when they reached her home.

“Okay but I will not stay long. I have a basketball game today with my college friends. I will just say ‘hi’ to your Mom.”

They both removed their shoes as they entered Ashlyn’s house. Her house was spacious. A big replica of Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night was hanging in the living room. Ashlyn’s books were scattered on the center piece, on the top of the cabinets, beside the television set, and on the sofa. Ashlyn’s mother was sitting on the big sofa doing cross-stitch.

As planned, Erron did not stay long in Ashlyn’s house. He just greeted her mother and then politely asked to head off. Ashlyn told him that she could not walk with him to his car as she was still having a headache.

As he was about to put on his shoes, he noticed the arrangement of their shoes. His shoes were paired to those of Ashlyn’s. He thought that her pink high heels were a very unlikely pair to his brown leather hulking shoes. He recalled the dream of Ashlyn about the different pair of shoes on her wedding day.

Ashlyn sometimes could be a little odd, he thought.

He remembered his conversation with his college friend last month.

“Why are you still with her?” asked his college friend. “She is eccentric.”

Erron just frowned, “She’s kind and sweet once you get to know her.”

“I am really surprised you are still with her... and until now you are not getting mad.”

He gave another frown.

He gave another frown as he put on his shoes and walked to his car. #



Reya Bato
07th July 2010
10:45 PM

Miyerkules, Hunyo 2, 2010

Tribute to Sudoku




Tribute to Sudoku
by Reya Bato
2nd June 2010


Fill the grid with digits one to nine
Don’t repeat the numbers in each line
Keep these words in mind: scan and assign.

It’s not Algebra or Geometry
Each box solved leads to discovery
Use logic to learn its mystery.

It is frustrating and rewarding
Addiction that is time-consuming
Fixation that I’m really loving!


(*The poem has nine lines and nine syllables in each line.*)

Biyernes, Mayo 21, 2010

Hiver

“A hiver has entered my mind and it is taking over my mind and body making me do something without a sense of right and wrong.”

“What is a hiver?” Kevin asked.

“It is a strange bodiless mind organism that takes over the mind and body of other creature. It reinforces its host to do things they like without conscience,” explained Triste.

The creases on Kevin’s forehead deepened as he tried to grasp her reply.

Triste answered his inquiring look with a smile. She read about hiver in Terry Pratchett’s fantasy book, “A Hat Full of Sky”. She knew that Kevin did not have even the tiniest idea about it. She hoped that it would end his inquisition.

Triste was shaping that scene in her mind while waiting for the train in Magallanes Station. Kevin called her later that morning asking her to meet him in Glorietta. She knew the reason of his invitation. Rona probably called him and complained about her.

Rona was Kevin’s girlfriend for three years and Triste’s officemate in a small publishing house in Makati. Kevin requested Triste to back up Rona to get the vacant post in her company four months ago. Since Rona joined her company, she became closely attached to her. Anywhere Triste went, Rona trailed at her back.

Rona was a friendly person. Being a chatty and a pleaser, there were no dry moments with her. Maybe that was the reason why she and Kevin stayed together that long. It was the longest relationship that Kevin had.

In contrast, Triste was the kind of person who liked to be alone reading books or listening to epic songs. They sent chills down her spine every time she listened to those songs. She rarely made friends. Kevin was the only person she considered friend. They had been friends since college. They were classmate in one of her literature classes. He was assigned to be her partner in a book report. Triste was fascinated by his ready wit and profound personality while Kevin was captivated by her silence and very reserve nature.

By the end of the book report, they could not be separated. They met after class, ate their lunch together, and exchanged insights about almost everything. Their closeness did not change even after their graduation.

After three months of being with Rona, Triste started to feel suffocated with her presence. She began to fabricate excuses to avoid being with her. Rona noticed her detachment and started to ask questions.

“Do you have a problem?” Rona inquired.

“Nothing,” Triste replied without lifting her head from the article she was reading, “I am just busy these past days.”

“I feel that you are avoiding me. Are you upset with me? Did I do something that made you upset?”

“Nothing. Don’t worry about it.” Triste replied with a smile to assure her that she meant what she said.

“Really?”

“Yeah. Don’t worry, okay?” Triste replied again with a smile.

Oh, that’s good.” Rona said. “I thought we have a problem. I was planning to ask Kevin to speak to you about this. Speaking of Kevin, do you know what he did last night? He invited me to have a dinner in a fancy restaurant. The view was very nice. We really had a good night. He was so sweet...” Rona started her familiar litany of her escapades.

Triste stared at her drowned with her own thoughts. She began to study Rona’s face. There was nothing remarkable in her features. Her eyes grew big when she was engrossed in her conversation. Her nose was small. Her lips curled in variety of shapes when she was talking. What made Kevin fall in love with her?

Rona kept on talking. The sound that was coming out from her mouth seemed an ear-splitting tone from a microphone feedback and it was making Triste dizzy.

“Yes, we have a problem. I want you out of my life because I despise pleasing people that I despise. Off me!” Triste wanted to scream those words but she just kept staring at her.

The following days, she doubled her effort to avoid Rona and today she got a call from Kevin asking her to meet with him.

The sound and sight of the coming train cut her contemplation. The train was not crowded during that time; it was just quarter to three in the afternoon. She filed an under-time so he could meet Kevin. She didn’t even tell Rona that she was going to meet her boyfriend.

Sitting across the aisle from her were couples of boisterous college students. They were talking about a guy they met in the previous night party they attended.

The shrill-witch voices of the students seemed like a fingernails scraping down a blackboard and they were making her head ached.

“Shut your sour cabbage eating mouths up!” shouted Triste at the top of her voice.

The college students along with the other passengers turned their head to her place shocked.

One of the students, who first got by with her surprise gave a remark, “If you are envious with our noise, come and join us,” she said with a sneer.

The other students who by that moment already recovered from shock gave an annoying laugh.

“I wish I had a lower I.Q. so that I could enjoy your company,” Triste retorted.

Those scenes which were running in her head were stopped by the voice from the speaker announcing that the train had reached the Ayala Station.

Kevin was sitting in their favorite spot when she reached their meeting place. He smiled widely when he saw her.

“What kind of sickness entered your brain nowadays?” he asked teasingly.

Triste gave him a feigned confused look.

“Somebody told me that you are acting childish again, eh” he said putting a stress in the word ‘childish’.

“And who is that somebody, huh?”

“Xander told me that you are not answering his calls and you are refusing all his invitations.”

Triste smiled. It was not Rona who complained about her after all. It was Xander.

Kevin introduced Xander to her couple of weeks back. They dated and chatted on the phone but she got fed up of him. She had had enough of his flirtations.

“You promised me that you will try your best to be nice to him and you will give yourself a chance to know him.” Kevin continued.

“I did what I promised.”

Kevin raised an eyebrow.

“I knew him now and I have been nice to him by not telling him that he is a dolt whose only goal in life is to get inside women’s underwear.” There was a hint of annoyance in Triste’s voice.

“Okay, be cool, Bestie. I’ll talk to him tomorrow. I promise that he will not get on your nerves again starting tomorrow.” Kevin put his hand on his shoulder consolingly.

Kevin was fond of calling her Bestie (short for best friend). She hated that term of endearment. She pouted her lips in displeasure.

“How about a coffee, huh?” said Kevin. “My treat.”

They were halfway the nearest café when Kevin’s phone rang. It was Rona asking him to pick her up.

“Bestie, I am so sorry. I need to pick Rona up. I promised her that we will see a movie today.” Kevin explained.

“Can you stay for couple of minutes for our coffee?” Triste wished that Kevin did not notice the pleading in her voice.

Kevin looked at her uncomfortably.

Triste knew that there were clashes of thought going inside his mind whether to stay or to leave. He looked on his wristwatch. Triste knew by then that Rona won, again.

“Sorry, Bestie. Today is Friday. The road will be jammed with traffic. You know that Rona doesn’t have the patience to wait. I promise to make up with you some other time.” Kevin said.

Triste nodded and smiled.

Kevin smiled back apologetically.

She kept looking at him as he took strides away from her.

She kept on looking even she already lost him in the crowd. She forgot to tell him about the hiver. It would make him laugh when he came to know where she got that idea.

She forgot to tell him, too, that the person consumed by the hiver eventually dies insane. #


Reya Bato
20th May 2010
10:28 pm

Sabado, Mayo 8, 2010

Maligayang Pagdating

Maligayang Pagdating
ni Reya Bato

(salin sa Welcome Here ni Liam Wilkinson)
Ika-7 ng Mayo 2010

Pakinggan ang aking pagkasuklam
sa mga bersong lumitaw noong
gabing nagdaan. Hangad nila’y
mangkok ng aking pagkalugod

habang ginagawa nilang kubeta
ang pilas ng papel na inilabas ko
sa kanila. Hayaan ninyong
ibida ko ang alibadbad na

aking nadama sa magdamag
na pag-iiskoba ng duming naiwan
sa sala. Sa bawat singit-singit
ng mga palugit, may mga nakasingit

na hulagway at pagwawangis.
Dinggin ang aking pagdusta
sa aking mga bwisita, sa bahay
ko ay ni wala silang itinira

kundi ang umaalingawngaw
na aliw-iw at nakakaaliw na
mga salitain na animo’y alingasaw
na naiwan sa pahinang palikuran.


Orihinal na Teksto:

dito

Huwebes, Abril 22, 2010

A Story

A Story
by Reya Bato
22nd April 2010


It is said that in death, all the memories you have flash back before your eyes.

It is true.

As I clutch my chest helplessly trying to suck air to fill my lungs, all the memories come rushing before my eyes. It seems that somebody has pushed the rewind button of a movie projector and I am watching the images frantically appear then disappear on an invisible monitor.

There is the two-year old me running from room-to-room of our ancestral house in Tagaytay.

My Mother giving me a huge kiss when I was three years old because I could read the children's book given by my Auntie.

My first day in school, I was about to cry because I could not find my school bus when I saw my brother standing beside me holding a can of soda. Nevertheless, I cried on my way to the bus - tears of joy for the feeling of safety and security.

My elder sister and I playing pirate while riding the cradle in front of our house. The red-gold light of sunset was flowing across the horizon.

I, in a white gala dress, walking in a queue for my first communion.

The image of our house in Pasig also appears followed by the beautiful figurine clock given by my eldest sister. We had a huge fight the night before. I read the note on the card posted on the wrapper: "Sorry. Always study hard. I love you."

The day when my brother-in-law asked for the hand of my eldest sister also flashes on the invisible monitor. He was narrating the first day he met my sister -- he heard chimes of bell when he saw her.

The scene changes. I was in my college auditorium; it was two weeks before the graduation. They were announcing the list of honors. I was fidgeting on my seat. My heart jumped out of my chest when I heard my name. Later that afternoon, I called my Mom crying giving her the good news – tears of joy for the job well done.

The day when you invited me for a dinner seems a very recent past. You rang the bell hanging beside the door on our way out. I recalled the story of my brother-in-law that time.

The next image shows the time I visited an old church. Somebody told me that if it is your first visit to a church, you must knock on its door and make a wish. I prayed for you. I also asked for a sign - a white rose.

The images continue to change rapidly. Most of them happened inside the classroom. The face of my students flashes transiently on the invisible monitor. The fast shifting of each scene does not give me chance to feel nostalgic.

Then, it is you again. We were eating in a cozy restaurant when you handed me a book. I looked at the cover -- a white rose was printed on it.

It is followed by the moments I had with you. Our endless talk on the phone, the contagious laughter that we shared, our leisurely short walks to my house, fancy dinners where you would always hand me a book and I would give you a poem in exchange.

The delightful images are erased by the scene in our backyard. The smoke coming from the burnt paper stung my eyes. I was burning the poems I composed for you. There was a cold, thin feeling growing inside me and it was slowly consuming my heart. It made me hard to breathe.


I cannot breathe. It seems somebody is squeezing the life out of me. I try to gulp air. I even open my mouth wide to suck in air but there is an obstruction in my airway. I try to clutch my chest struggling to remove the tightening pressure on my chest. The numbness starts spreading in my limbs and my palms start to sweat. There is a freezing coldness on my feet. I open my mouth wider and hastily gulp air. I cannot draw in air.

People appear -- my mother, my two sisters, my brother, nurses, doctors -- hovering over me, trying to help.

The doctors and the nurses are like apparitions pacing swiftly back-and-forth. They start giving me life support including defibrillation (that is the administration of an electric shock to the heart).

It is said, too, that in death the last sense to malfunction is the sense of hearing.

Maybe, it is true.

Just before I lose my consciousness, I hear you calling my name.

I cannot make out if you are in the room, though. I read that lack of oxygen in the brain causes tissue death which brings to brain damage. Is my brain already damaged because I can clearly hear you calling my name? I am certain you will not be there. You are not there.

You are calling my name over and over again just like in the last image that is still flickering repeatedly on the invisible monitor.


You were standing near the shadow of the tree. You were waiting for me. You invited me for a walk to my house. The crisp sound of the dried leaves as our feet trampled on them became our parting song as we passed by. The warm ray of the sun bathed our body. Nobody wanted to speak. Halfway to my house, you cut the silence between us. You told me you were sincerely sorry and you begged for my forgiveness. I did not want to hear them. I did not say a word either -- no words would bring you back. I ran away from you. You called my name over and over again. I ran as fast as I could. The short distance seemed never-ending.

Miyerkules, Pebrero 24, 2010

Ako ay Buhay sa mga Sandaling

Ako ay Buhay sa mga Sandaling

Salin ni Reya Bato

Ako ay buhay sa mga sandaling
kasiping ko ang kanyang katawan
na unti-unting nagkakamalay
at tuluyang ginigising ng pithaya
ng laman. Kinakagat ko ang kanyang
balikat hanggang sa maabot namin
ang halimuyak ng Tagsibol --
napakasidhi, napakalaki, iisa
sa makulay na sandali.


Kalugod-lugod na takot
ang naghahari sa paglilimayon
ng kanyang mga labi (at mula
sa pagitan ng kanyang mga hita
na kumikibot at humihingal,
isang nag-uumigpaw na ulan
ang dumidilig sa bulaklak
na sumasayaw sa bawat
kumpas ng aking balakang)


Orihinal na Teksto:

Sometimes I Am Alive Because With
by E.E. Cummings

Sometimes I am alive because with
me her alert treelike body sleeps
which I will feel slowly sharpening
becoming distinct with love slowly,
who in my shoulder sinks sweetly teeth
until we shall attain the Springsmelling
intense large together coloured instant

the moment pleasantly frightful

when, her mouth suddenly rising, wholly
begins with mine fiercely to fool
(and from my thighs which shrug and pant
a murdering rain leapingly reaches the upward singular deepest flower which she
carries in a gesture of her hips)

Sabado, Pebrero 13, 2010

Aking Pagsinta, Lilimutin Natin Siya!

Aking Pagsinta, Lilimutin Natin Siya!

(salin sa tula ni Emily Dickinson na Heart, We Will Forget Him!)

Aking pagsinta, lilimutin natin siya!
Ikaw at ako, ngayong gabing ito!
Lilimutin mo ang bigay niyang init
Aapulahin ko naman ang ningas niyang hatid.

Kung nangyari na, ipaalam mo sa akin
Upang ang aking alaala ay magdilim;
Dali! Ako ay nababahala na sa iyong pagkaantala,
Ako ay mangulila at alaala niya ay hindi mawala!

(orihinal na teksto)

Heart, we will forget him!
You and I, tonight!
You may forget the warmth he gave,
I will forget the light.

When you have done, pray tell me
That I my thoughts may dim;
Haste! lest while you're lagging.
I may remember him!

Sabado, Enero 16, 2010

Ako, na Ipinanganak na Babae at Nangangamba

Edna Saint Vincent Millay

Ako, na Ipinanganak na Babae at Nangangamba



(halaw sa I, Being Born a Woman and Distressed
ni Edna St. Vincent Millay)


Ako, na ipinanganak na babae at nangangamba

sa pangangailangan ng aking kauri at aming sapantaha,

ay nahikayat ng iyong kalapitan para makaunawa

sa karik’tan ng iyong pagkatao, at damhin ang pihong ligaya




habang nakapatong ang bigat mo sa akin katawan:

Napakarupok ng hininga ng buhay, nilaan

upang linawin ang tibok at guluhin ang isipan,

at iwan mo ulit akong kulang, sarili ay hindi kamtan.




Wag mong isipin, gayunman, ang abang kataksilan

ng aking mapusok na dugo laban sa aking tulirong isipan,

iisipin kita nang may pagmamahal, o kaya’y rekaduhan

ang aking pangungutya ng awa, -- hayaan




mong linawin ko ito sa katwirang:

Tanto kong ito ay kahibangan at alanganing dahilan

ng ating pag-uusap sa muli nating pag-uulayaw.





Orihinal na Teksto:


I, being born a woman and distressed

By all the needs and notions of my kind,

Am urged by your propinquity to find

Your person fair, and feel a certain zest

To bear your body's weight upon my breast:

So subtly is the fume of life, designed

To clarify the pulse and cloud the mind,

And leave me once again undone, possessed.

Think not for this, however, the poor treason

Of my stout blood against my staggering brain,

I shall remember you with love, or season

My scorn with pity, -- let me make it plain:

I find this frenzy insufficient reason

For conversation when we meet again.