Gemino “Jimmy” Abad: “Parable of Stones”

The August 2009 issue of Filipinas Magazine contains an article by Yvette Tan on the great Jimmy Abad, one of our foremost poets and teachers. He’s just won the Premio Feronia Citta di Fiano, “Italy’s most prestigious literary prize.” The prize was for an Italian translation of his book, In Ordinary Time (University of the Philippines press, 2004). The translation, published by the Allegorein Cultural Association in Rome, is called Dove le Parole non si SpezzanoWhere No Words Break.

Here’s one of the poems (If self has a little more time later, she’ll try and post the Italian translation)

Parable of Stones

Every time I go into
the world’s morning, my pockets
are full of stones.

You cannot see them
where my hands are hid,
sometimes bruised by their edge.

And a quick and deadly aim
I have, and ask no questions.
My hands are cold.

And few stones left I have
at each day’s end,
and groan as my hands bleed.

My state — who can endure?
As morning breaks, I know again
I have more stones to cast.

You cannot see them
where my hands close
and all my days bleed.

Who will close my morning?
O, who will empty
my pockets of my stones?

— by Gemino H. Abad


  1. June 26, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    I love this poem as it is so like me, taking notes in the morning before my most recent nightmare disappears like mist. Casting stones late in the night.

    Thank you Kanlaon and hope you are doing well,

    Kyi May Kaung

  2. June 27, 2011 at 12:57 am


    I am fine, I decided to let myself go broke in order to see if I have another book in me.

    So far, I have been writing a lot šŸ™‚

    Hope you’re busy writing, too!

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