Ganoon pa rin ang mga Salita – 3 of 14 Love Poems from Baha-bahagdang Karupukan and Alien to Any Skin

bark eye arty

Ganoon pa rin ang mga Salita

Ganoon pa rin ang mga salita.
Ang pagkadiin ng itim
ng tinta sa dilaw ng papel.

Pagkabasa muli (pang-ilang
ulit na ba?), pagtapat
ng higit na liwanag

Sa likod ng papel, naghahabi-
habi ang mga titik. Nag-uugnay
ang magkabilang panig.

Hindi na mapagsino.

Ngunit paglapag sa mesa,
paglapat ng tamang liwanag,
nanunumbalik ang mga salita.

Mga gunitang dahan-dahang
nagigising. At ikaw.


This poem appears in Baha-bahagdang Karupukan. This is poem 3 of 14 Love Poems.

translation attempt

Words Remain

The words remain the same.
The weight of black ink
as if carved on yellow paper.

After reading it once more (lost
count how many times over), I hold it
against a fiercer light.

The words interweave
on either side of the sheet.

I can no longer tell what’s written.

But laying it down on the table,
letting light strike it as it should,
the words return.

Memories slowly
waken. And you.


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

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