Thank you to all who did whatever they can to help

thank you hand

This image is from Facebook. Maraming salamat. After aiding the survivors, the work of rebuilding begins. I hope more people continue to extend a helping hand.


Back in 2009 my family was among those who were severely affected by massive floods caused by heavy rains that lasted way beyond what anyone expected. I managed to get back to Manila a week after the floods and helped with trying to put my family’s life back together. Much later I wrote this poem which is now part of my new book, Sound Before Water. The first word of each line of the poem makes up the title of the musical piece which I continue to listen to when I need some solace.

These Days Every Time It Rains My Mother Trembles
after listening to Djivan Gasparyan’s “I Will Not Be Sad in This World”

I speak to my mother on the other side of the world, and wonder
will she see my eyes again one day? How do I convince her
not to fear the rising waters, my voice trailing on copper?

Be calm, I tell her. She takes nothing but family albums upstairs. No one
sad or afraid in those photos, no one in any frame I can remember is alone.

In minutes the broken marble floor becomes a riverbed. A quickening,
this grip suddenly gone loose. My sister takes her up. Then a raging
world thrashes about. The receiver I hold fills with droning.


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

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 )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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: