El Nido ( Poem II of Versos Del Nido)

And the wind 

                    in the woods, 

No burgeoning red 

of a late autumn.

but green like the fern, 

                   almost eternal.

The sun

                   showering sparks;

A white egret 

on a low-hanging sky.

 

In the embracing waves

of the sea, 

Blue El Nido,

A hundred boats adrift,

A hundred swarthy faces, 

A hundred commercial boards 

exotic

on a street speaking little English. 

A hundred coconut trees,

A hundred shapes of seashells,

A hundred still blooming flowers

quiet

on the sand soft as milk.

 

I’m one of many

                  unworthy tourists 

walking

into a tropical bliss, 

           lotophagi, 

黃泉,

no time and space

saved

when a boy comes running, 

his voice 

               grey 

in a land of many colors;

his words in Tagalog, 

               meaning home. 

 

*published on Anak Sastra, where you can read the full poem about El Nido

First Snow

The weight of winter, hard on every cloud

dropping low on this city, and soon

shredded, 

                     ground 

                                   and falling white 

from a vulnerable sky, 

                        breeding

the first shade of darkness 

                        prolonging the night.

A soft wavering voice 

                          Against the wind —

Melancholy.

 

 

published at Thirty West Publishing House

无题

一湾三泉五重楼,

半水半月半江山。

吴歌声起秋深处,

一片归心待月圆

 

Untitled

Three brooks merge into the distant bay, and off it 

some buildings come into view;

The moon half in her veil spills down her silvery light,

half the bay is lit, and half the world too.

 

In Autumn’s deep grove, a song is heard, 

a song in its local Wu dialect ,

and my heart that longs for a home , though suddenly, 

remembers that it’s almost time for another full moon.

 

Note: written on the mid-autumn festival 2018 ( 24th September, a typical day for family reunion when the mid-year moon in full ) in Chinese, in the style of ancient Chinese poems in rhymes, which is difficult to translate into English, well I’ve tried my best where the rhymes are missing, I supplement with clear-cut imagery.