Awit Amats – 1 of 14 Love Poems from Baha-bahagdang Karupukan and Alien to Any Skin

awit amats buwan

Awit Amats

Lasing na lasing ngayon sa labis-labis
na kalungkutan ang langit.
Kay pula ng kanyang iisang mata,
dugo lamang ang nakikita.

Walang talim ng bituin
na hindi tumarak at nanatili
sa madilim na kaibuturan
nitong langit.

Ang mga batang nagbalak
magtaguan, pinakaripas pauwi
nitong pasuray-suray na titig
ng buwan.

Kaming mga binigo lamang
ang may lakas-loob
harapin ang katinuang
tinabunan ng hapdi,

Bigkasing pag-ibig
at pag-ibig pa rin
ang nakalalango, nakababaliw,
ang tanging magpapalaya

Sa mga paniking
nakabitin, nagpapabigat
sa mga sanga ng damdamin.

Patawarin ang mga lasing.


This poem appears in Baha-bahagdang Karupukan which was shortlisted for the National Book Award in the Philippines.

This is the first poem in my “14 Love Poems” set for matangmanok readers. 🙂

The following translation was written with the help of poet Jefferson Carter who has a new book out, Get Serious. Thanks, Jefe!

Drunken Song

The sky is reeling drunk.
Its lone red eye sees
nothing but blood.

The stars held back
not a single dagger,
they plunged their blades
into the sky’s dark heart.

The children who wanted
to play hide and seek
were sent running home
by the swaying gaze of the moon.

Only those of us doomed
have the courage
to seek sanity
amid suffering,

to declare that love
and love alone
can intoxicate like this,
make you lose your senses,

the only thing that will free
the bats that weigh heavy
on the branches of feelings.

Forgive them, drunks.


About matangmanok

Jim Pascual Agustin writes and translates poetry. Sometimes he tries his hand at essays and stories. His latest book is BLOODRED DRAGONFLIES, published by Deep South in South Africa. Check out the official blog page for Bloodred Dragonflies. 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 poetry collection, WINGS OF SMOKE, worldwide in February 2017. San Anselmo Publications released HOW TO MAKE A SALAGUBANG HELICOPTER & OTHER POEMS in 2019 followed by CROCODILES IN BELFAST & OTHER POEMS in 2020 - both books can be purchased through their Facebook page. View all posts by matangmanok

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: