END IMPUNITY

 

 

English translation attempt. Original Filipino follows – for those who are interested in seeing the random rhymes that got lost in translation.

November 23: No One Can Bury Shadows
remembering those slain in Maguindanao and other places

1
The door is a gaping mouth,
the afternoon’s final gasp
before it goes dark.

Those footsteps
that left this morning
will never again
come knocking. In their place
news of violence
drags the weight
of darkness encroaching.

2
Is it a miracle, a blessing, or a ghastly
burden to escape
the piercing of bullets?

How heavy the echoes of silence
in pursuit of the last
drop of lead?

Pretending to be dead
in order to live.

3
What kind of joy
was set free
by those who pulled the trigger?

Whose voice unleashed
the dogs?

4
Dear President,
I presume you feel
loss such as this?

Your clan bears the stain
of those who usher darkness.

5
Tomorrow, as we turn
the day’s paper,
new names will darken
the pages, our fingers.

-o-

Nobyembre 23: Walang Makapaglilibing sa mga Anino
paggunita sa mga pinaslang sa Maguindanao at iba pang bayan

1
Bukang bibig ang pintuan,
nasa bingit ang huling hininga
ng hapon bago dumilim.

Hindi na kailanman papalapit
ang mga hakbang na pumalayo
kaninang umaga. Sa halip
kaladkad ng marahas na balita
ang mabigat at papalaganap
na karimlan.

2
Himala, biyaya, o malagim
na pasanin kaya ang makaligtas
sa pagtagos ng mga bala?

Gaano kabigat ang alingawngaw ng katahimikan
kasunod ng pagbagsak sa lupa
ng huling tingga?

Pagkukunwaring bangkay
upang mabuhay.

3
Anong uri ng ligaya
ang pinalaya ng mga pumisil
sa gatilyo?

Kaninong tinig ang nagpakawala
sa mga aso?

4
Kagalang-galang na Pangulo,
inaasahan kong dama mo
ang mga ganitong pagyao.

Maging ang iyong angkan
may bahid
ng tagahatid ng karimlan.

5
Bukas, pagbuklat ng pahayagan
iba na namang mga pangalan
ang magpapadilim
sa mga pahina, sa ating mga daliri.

-o-

https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Maguindanao_massacre

Please tell me if the translation works? Or if the poem itself works? The date has been declared International Day to End Impunity – after this massacre.

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About matangmanok

Jim Pascual Agustin writes and translates poetry. Sometimes he tries his hand at essays and stories. In 2011 the University of Santo Tomas Publishing House in Manila released BAHA-BAHAGDANG KARUPUKAN (poems in Filipino) and ALIEN TO ANY SKIN (poems in English). The same publisher released his most recent poetry collections SOUND BEFORE WATER and KALMOT NG PUSA SA TAGILIRAN. In 2015 a new poetry collection in English, A THOUSAND EYES was released. His first collection of short stories in Filipino, SANGA SA BASANG LUPA, was released in 2016. UK publisher The Onslaught Press launches his latest poetry collection, WINGS OF SMOKE, worldwide in February 2017. View all posts by matangmanok

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