Water Renders – 8 of 14 Love Poems from Baha-bahagdang Karupukan and Alien to Any Skin

This is poem 8 of 14 Love Poems. The original English is in Alien to Any Skin and I wrote the translation recently. I recorded and made the video some time ago.

Water Renders
for Margaret Christine Ziffo

Our footsteps muffled by moistness
of earth. Soft as prayers
our voices.

I have never spoken like this.
Not even to myself. It is our presence
in this landscape.

Stillness of pine trees veiled
by sheerest mist.
Rice terraces hewn beyond time.

The sound of distant thunder,
so distant it seems
more like a memory shared.

Somewhere else, in centuries
we can no longer recall,
we must have lived this same moment.

Water renders the texture of this earth
to cling to our feet. Reminding us
forever of the caverns beneath Sagada.

Rivers, jagged edges, dark realms we left
unvisited. Perhaps for another time.
For now, we delve into spaces

made intimate by words
and silences. Our breaths
ethereal.

May 2000
-o-

subok-salin ng “Water Renders”

Paghugis ng Tubig
para kay Margaret Christine Ziffo

Kulob ang ating mga hakbang
dahil sa basang lupa. Simpino ng panalangin
ang ating mga tinig.

Hindi kailanman ako nangusap nang ganito.
Maging sa aking sarili. Bunga ng ating
pananatili sa tanglawing ito.

Kawalang-tinag ng mga pinong may belo
ng pinakamanipis na hamog.
Baha-bahagdang palayang inukit sa panahon.

Dagundong ng malayong kulog,
napakalayo na animo
gunitang kapwa dinanas.

Sa ibang lugar, sa siglong
hindi na natin maalala, binuhay marahil
natin ang mismong sandaling ito.

Mga ilog, mga hangganang baku-bako,
madidilim na kahariang ipinagpaliban
natin ang pagdalaw. Sa ibang panahon
na lamang. Sa ngayon, sinasaliksik natin

ang mga puwang na pinagtalik ng mga salita
at katahimikan. Ang ating hininga,
tila alapaap.

-o-

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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

One response to “Water Renders – 8 of 14 Love Poems from Baha-bahagdang Karupukan and Alien to Any Skin

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