More from “Like the Molave” by Rafael Zulueta y da Costa (Poet, 1915 – 1990)

Like the Molave was a long poem in eight parts, published 1940:

The little brown brother opens his eyes to the glaring sound of

the Star Spangled;
dreams to the grand tune of the American dream;
is proud to be part of the sweeping American magnitude;
strains his neck upon the rising skyscraper of American
ideals, and on it hinges faith, hope, aspiration;
sings the American epic of souls conceived in liberty;
quivers with longing brotherhood of men created equal;
envisions great visions of the land across the sea where
dwell his strong brothers.

Poetry Monday: “Like the Molave”

Excerpt from Like the Molave

by Rafael Zulueta y da Costa (1915 – 1990)

Note: The molave is a Philippine hardwood, resistant to fire, used frequently in the construction of Philippine churches and dwellings, now extinct in the Islands.


VI

My American friend says:

show me one great Filipino speech to make your people
listen through the centuries;
show me one great Filipino song rich with the soul of your
seven thousand isles;
show me one great Filipino dream, forever sword and
shield —
speech eloquent and simple as our My Country ‘Tis of Thee;
dream age-enduring, sacred as our American democracy!

Friend, our silences are long but we also have our speeches.

Father, with my whole heart, I forgive all.
Believe me, your reverence.

 

Poetry Sunday: Luisa A. Igloria

Cascade

What I want is immediacy, the nub
of the moment processed without doubt
into my side, the tremor that comes
sometimes before sight, before taste
or touch. Whatever might be lost, don’t
take that away from me: stars pouring
out of the firmament, not ever holding
back the flood over my small ladle.

— included in the collection The Buddha Wonders If She Is Having a Mid-Life Crisis (Montreal: Phoenicia Publishing, 2018)

Luisa A. Igloria is a poet, a creative writing professor (Old Dominion University), a 2014 winner of the May Swenson Prize and, most recently, the 2018 winner of the Center for Book Arts’ Letterpress Chapbook Competition.

Simeon Dumdum, Jr: “Cattle Egret”

Excerpt From CATTLE EGRET

— by Simeon Dumdum, Jr.

You’re riding on a carabao
(Oh, what a day and what a life)
As birds would settle on a bough

Light cuts the sky with a long knife
And morning drops its load of dew
(Oh, what a day and what a life)

— from the collection If I Write You This Poem, Will You Make It Fly (Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2010)

Simeon Dumdum, Jr. is a judge in the central Philippine island of Cebu. His other poetry collections are The Gift of Sleep, Third World Opera, and Poems: Selected and New (1982 – 1997)

The white Cattle Egret is found throughout the Philippines. It perches on grazing cattle and rids them of lice. Its native name is: talabong, tabong, tagak kalabaw.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Simeon Dumdum, Jr.: Haiku

Blue-Breasted Quail

by Simeon Dumdum, Jr.

The Blue-Breasted Quail
Flies from my feet and I see
That I have no shoes.

Poet Simeon Dumdum Jr. has written six books, four of which won the Philippines’ National Book Award. He works as a Regional Trial Court Judge in Cebu City.

And self has been to his house!

Stay tuned.

Quote of the Day: Simeon Dumdum, Jr.

“I had a bird-filled childhood.”

If I Write You This Poem, Will You Make It Fly, by Simeon Dumdum, Jr.

Simeon Dumdum, Jr. has written six books, four of which won the National Book Award given by the Manila Critics Circle. He works as a regional trial court judge in Cebu City and lives with his wife and daughter in Mohon, Talisay City, Cebu.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Transtromer: Train Poem for The Hunger Games

Regular readers of this blog know that self is a fan of:

  • Hunger Games/Everlark/fan fiction
  • Shadowhunters/Victorian Steampunk/ anything related to Will Herondale
  • Dystopia
  • Poetry, all kinds (Miguel Hernandez, Tomas Transtromer, Luisa Igloria, R. Z. Linmark being self’s enduring favorites)
  • Fiction (Current faves: Mary Gaitskill and Kurt Vonnegut)

In honor of a deleted scenes from The Hunger Games movies finally crawling its way into the universe (Katniss & Peeta discussing the meaning of throwing bread), here is a train poem from Transtromer. Because self is all about intersecting universes:

Tracks

2 a.m. moonlight. The train has stopped
out in the middle of the plain. Far away, points of light in a town,
flickering coldly at the horizon.

As when someone has fallen into a dream so deep
he’ll never remember having been there
when he comes back to his room.

As when someone has fallen into an illness so deep
everything his days were becomes a few flickering points, a swarm,
cold and tiny on the horizon.

The train is standing quite still.
2 a.m.: bright moonlight, few stars.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Depth 5: About Self’s Attachment to Books

Books, for self, are the ultimate uncharted territory.

The depth of her love for books knows no bounds.

She was running low on her copies of Ginseng and Other Tales From Manila and Going Home to a Landscape: Writings by Filipinas, but her publisher sent a box of those to Mendocino last week and they arrived safely.

Two other books: Mayor of the Roses and The Lost Language, are in Gallery Bookshop on Main Street. Those copies she signed.

Self ordered more copies of her books. They arrived from the publisher last week.

Self ordered more copies of her books. They arrived from the publisher last week.

Gallery Bookshop, Main Street, Mendocino: A shelf in the science fiction section (BATTLE ROYALE meets LORD OF THE RINGS)

Gallery Bookshop, Main Street, Mendocino: A shelf in the science fiction section (BATTLE ROYALE meets LORD OF THE RINGS)

Gallery Bookshop, Main Street, Mendocino

Gallery Bookshop, Main Street, Mendocino

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Personal Library 6

First Bookcase in Dining Room, Shelf # 1:  61 books

Selected Titles:

  • San Francisco Nightlife:  Zagat Survey 2006/07 (“Covering over 615 bars, clubs and lounges”)
  • Natural Selection, by Frederick Barthelme
  • The End of the Class War, by Catherine Brady
  • Dark Hours, by Conchitina Cruz (She was in the Filipino women’s anthology self co-edited with Virginia Cerenio, Going Home to a Landscape )
  • How to Clean Practically Anything, by the Editors of Consumer Reports Books with Edward Kippel
  • The Joys of Motherhood, by Buchi Emecheta
  • English-Tagalog-Visayan Pocket Dictionary, by M. Jacobo Enriquez, Jose A. Bautista, and Francis J. Lamolangue, Jr.
  • The Bread of Salt and Other Stories, by N. V. M. Gonzalez
  • Danger and Beauty, by Jessica Hagedorn
  • Type O Negative, by Joel Barraquial Tan
  • Angry White Pyjamas, by Robert Twigger
  • Another Spring, Darkness, by Anuradha Mahapatra, transl. by Carolyn Wright, with Paramita Banerjee and Jyotirmoy Datta
  • Snow Falling on Cedars, by David Guterson
  • The Elements of Style, by Strunk & White

150 + 61 = 211 Total Books Counted So Far

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Bataan Day/ Discovering a Book List

Bataan Day is tomorrow, April 9.  It is the 70th anniversary of the surrender of combined U.S. and Filipino forces to the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II.

How sad is this day?  The husband’s grandfather, a brigadier general, was one of those who surrendered on the Bataan Peninsula.  He made it as far as Fort Santiago, but disappeared shortly thereafter.  No one knows what befell him.  He was simply gone.  His eldest child, the husband’s father, was 16 years old.

Self was reminded of this very important anniversary by Hyphen Magazine.

Self also discovered this list of novelist Abha Dawesar’s Favorite All-Time Books.  It is a very eclectic list. Self decides to print it out so that she can start reading the books on it.

Towards the bottom of the list, self finds her second collection, Mayor of the Roses.  It follows right after Zack’s second book (after Rolling the R’s), Primetime Apparitions.

Mayor of the Roses, the title story of self’s collection, was published in Hyphen Issue # 6.

The list appeared in Hyphen Issue # 7.  Which must have been some time ago, for now Hyphen‘s current issue is # 24.

Self is tickled pink to be included on a list that begins with:

  • The Symposium, by Plato
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde
  • Notes From the Underground, by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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