Poetry Tuesday: Simeon Dumdum Jr.

When Is a Poem Already a Poem

from the Likhaan Book of Poetry and Fiction, edited by Jose Y. Dalisay, Jr. and Ricardo M. de Ungria (University of the Philippines, 1996)

I wasn’t listening when you asked that question.
I was looking out the window, at the boat
That was just then leaving the port of Dumaguete.
One more day and already I imagined
Myself on that boat, slumped in a chair,
Holding a book like a cup of coffee,
Hoping that during the passage across
The strait I could read without spilling
A word, but then I remembered I still
Had to send someone to buy me a ticket,
And there was your question, and how far the boat
Had gone out in the poem of the sea, now
That I wished someone there would think of us.
From the boat someone could see the mountains, but not us.
From the boat someone could see the mountains, but not us.
Already we had become the Cuernos de Negros.


Simeon Dumdum Jr. is a Filipino judge on the island of Cebu, and a well-known poet. We met in 2009, at an International PEN Conference. Have loved his poetry ever since.

The Mood, the Sea: THE SUMMER BOOK, p. 67

  • The sea is always subject to unusual events; things drift in or run aground or shift in the night when the wind changes, and keeping track of all this takes experience, imagination, and unflagging watchfulness. It takes a good nose, to put it simply. The big events always take place far out in the skerries, and time is often of the essence. Only small things happen in among the islands, but these, too — the odd jobs that arise from the whims of the summer people — have to be dealt with. One of them wants a ship’s mast mounted on his roof, and another one needs a rock weighing half a ton, and it has to be round. A person can find anything if he takes the time, that is, if he can afford to look.

Such beautiful language. Thank you to Thomas Teal for his limpid translation.

In other news: self saw the documentary RBG today. A few things struck her:

  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg has the greatest sense of style. Love her fishnet gloves. And the intricate judge’s collars.
  • She was so pretty.
  • Her foundation was a rock-solid marriage, which freed her up to focus on doing the law.
  • Her friendship with fellow Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia was the best.
  • When she was nominated for the Supreme Court, it was whispered about that she was too old (She was in her early 60s).
  • Some of her most ground-breaking dissenting opinions were written after she turned 70.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

 

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: The World Through Your Eyes

Philippine Impressionism:  Interior Wall of the Church of San Isidro Labrador

Philippine Impressionism: Interior Wall of the Church of San Isidro Labrador, island of Siquijor, Philippines

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is a tricky one.

The theme is “The World Through Your Eyes.”

From the WordPress Daily Post home page:

It’s that little extra something in a snapshot that transforms a photograph into something more:  a visual interpretation of one’s vision.  A story, captured in a frame.

Hmm, self thinks.  What is the story in the above?  Is there even a story?

It was self’s second time in Siquijor.  This island is a short ferry ride from Dumaguete.  In feeling, it was so old.  Islands do that to self.  She finds Read the rest of this entry »

Views of Interior: Church of San Isidro Labrador, the Town of Lazi in Siquijor

Philippine Impressionism: Interior Wall of the Church of San Isidro Labrador

Hard to believe:  only a week ago, self was in Siquijor.

Stay tuned, dear blog reader.  Stay tuned.

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