Memories of the monsoon trail

On the monsoon trails
On the monsoon trails

we sang on trails then
our throats were quenched by rains.
climbed cattle fences, i recall
i caught your fall, your pain remains.

we danced on bridges,
and struck the moon at midnight.
we starved on hikes, you held my hand
and we survived on starlight.

Licuan, Abra
April 25, 2008
(with revisions October 29, 2013)

A rice paper poem

A rice paper poem
A rice paper poem

sky god dips his brush ever so lightly
into silky clouds, floating softly down
wispy watercolor washes of China gray.
mountain goddess swirls her hair of black
dancing on scrolls and scrolls of rice paper poems
inside my head, such inscrutable calligraphy.

Baguio City
July 24, 2010
(with revisions October 26, 2013)

A precious gift from the Alhambras

Those who stayed for extended periods in the old Kamuning house invariably noticed the books. Four tall book cabinets higher than a grown man (two in the living room, two upstairs), and additional bookshelves scattered all around the house, contained hundreds of titles, when we young siblings still lived together with our parents under one roof.

A gift from the Alhambras
A PRECIOUS GIFT FROM THE ALHAMBRAS. Correction. Make that, literally, a ton of precious gifts from the Alhambras. These three are merely a drop in the great outpouring of affection for books between two families.

This huge assortment of books, pamphlets, monographs, and a Britannica set (1968 edition) even had a name: our parents called it the “Pio Verzola Library” and had the most important volumes stamped and tracked with a card pocket at the back of each book. My mother had some library training, and so we kids were taught that the books at home followed a system similar to what we followed in the school library. Continue reading “A precious gift from the Alhambras”