Mountain Province – 6 of 14 Love Poems from Baha-bahagdang Karupukan and Alien to Any Skin

Mountain Province road 1996

Mountain Province

Makinig.  Nangungusap
ang kabundukan sa atin
sa basang lupang
bumubulong sa gilid ng talampas.

Mga sinaunang kaluluwa
ang mga bundok na nakapaligid.
Napakarahan nilang hinahaplos
ang hangin at ulan

araw at buwan at bituin
sa mahamog na panalangin.
At ang mga dagundong
na inuukit ng ating pagdaan

magiging hungkag.
Dahil kusang kumikilos
ang mga bundok na ito.
Ang kanilang wika

ay higit na matanda
kaysa atin. Kapag yumanig
sila, gagapang at magbubungkal
at mag-iipon muli tayo
ng lupa sa ating katawan

na gapos-lupa.


Mountain Province

Listen. The mountains
speak to us
with moistened earth
whispering down a slope.

These trees encircling
are ancient spirits.
Very slowly they caress
wind and rain

sun and moon and star
in misty prayer.
And the rumblings
we carve for our passage

become futile.
For these mountains
move by themselves.
Their language is

much older than ours.
When they shudder
we crawl and claw and regather
earth in our earth-

bound bodies.

August 1993

This poem, 6 of 14 Love Poems appears both in Baha-bahagdang Karupukan and Alien to Any Skin. They were written pretty much at the same time, so I don’t consider either of them a translation.



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

One response to “Mountain Province – 6 of 14 Love Poems from Baha-bahagdang Karupukan and Alien to Any Skin

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