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It’s not everyday that I bump into a dear friend online. But what’s more thrilling is that, once I do, I am greeted with such artistic charm and passion. This is what I see in these Baybayin calligraphic impressions intricately penned by alurij_.  Dig into it and admire the beauty of a culture embedded in each delicate stroke.

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Mini musing:  We read ingredients in the same way we read terms and conditions.

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It’s been a while. But I’d like to share this piece I especially wrote for Pluma’s third year anniversary (September 14). Visit Pluma’s official website and blog for more features.

If only the burning of bridges
remains an idiot’s idiom
and we could still dream of flowerbeds

and never hear gunshots
of freedom from a remote uproar

lay the sword to rest –
what powers does it hold under a child’s gaze?
even time halts for mourning
when the sharp edges of tyranny
dug deep down their tiny bellies

Telling them
Told me

why must we smell the flowers?
read people with dead shot eyes

after a while

the trees shall whisper
some so-called heroes’ anthem
who spoiled the soil that fed them

while our ruins
are traded for inorganic memories

or so history went
and thought free verse rhymes
or weaves a synopsis of the future

but we refuse to breathe
the putrid lies
our masked men feed
a gold miner’s poverty

we tread
alongside fragile footsteps.

-Armineonila M., 2016

Mini musing: The pen is mighty until its ink had dried out.

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Sharing my haiku poems published in World of Haiku: Poets of the Philippines by The Haiku Foundation. Browse the digital archive for more haiku from around the world.

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Haiku No. 1:

pabrikang baboy
bahag-haring panaginip-
organiko

Translation:

factory pig
dreams of rainbows—
organic


Haiku No. 2:

kalbong akasya
umampon sa mga bubuyog
wallpaper

Translation:

bald acacia
births hiveless bees
wallpaper

 

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Desert Song
by Armineonila M.

Oh dune,
what’s your alignment
in this arduous soil?
Do roaring decibels
mount your tongue
in the tune of a death march
to squeeze
unto undying armour of hope?
I eat the eyes that swallow you;
corrupt the minds which comfort you;
to feel how much you have grown
short; as stallions’ scavenged zone.
Only as my heart reached harbour
that you planted scimitars here under
your fertile breath, that’s weaving
some tapestry of arid thoughts.
Must I kill the spirits
that breed these lines,
or feed them again
with vintage spoons?
Still,
furnish me an oasis
of aged moons
or sit me amidst
oriental halls
and potent walls,
stirred by obscure hands
from afar.
Let me move at dwarf’s length
to peer at your window
like you peer at mine;
so together, we watch
winged royalties in the sky;
flapping away imported dust
chewed on modern lips
that taste of strange champaign
which poisons the caverns within.
Oh, dune,
upon my frowning lamp
did I meet your faded ornaments;
but let me caress the hollows of your soul
and dent my mind
into you, for once,
as you rouse deep in my skin,
while I glare at your exotic eye
piercing through
my
ignorance.

Published:

Best Poems Encyclopedia, October 2010.
Pag-usapan Po Natin Magazine, Kuwait Philippines Cultural Center, September 2011, p. 7.

____________

Arguing in the Oilfields Again
by Wilfred Waters

We are arguing in the oilfields again.
Not about oil.
About the environment.
The arguments are not so bad this time.
Some have been cataclysmic.
Their guy and our guy going at it like
One Full Metal Jacket drill instructor trying to train another.

Somehow I’m okay with all the
Trauma though.
I always have this reassurance
In the back of my mind
That it’s good we’re taking this so seriously
It ticks all the boxes,
This project,
For living my life as a civil dissident

Doing environment work
In the second largest oil field in the world
Amongst all the gas flares
The burn pits
Spewing forth their black plumes
A kilometre away
Feels like just the right amount of arrogance and audacity.

Was this same sense of
Satisfaction
In the mind of
The man murdered
Over dinner
On the Wara Project in the south last week?

From Korea,
An engineer,
What liberated the mind of the man who stabbed him
From the rationality rammed into it for years
Making every judgement of his subject
To a rational, objective, evidence based approach?
Was it the incessant,
Sand drenched wind?
The kamikaze traffic so
Wildly unregulated compared to the
Military precision of intersections
Back home?

Did this sense of unreality
Lead him away from the restraints
He confronted in normal argument?
Surely yes he wasn’t the only one who thought of stabbing the other
In a heated moment

How would the man stabbed
Have occupied his dying moments?
With thoughts of disbelief
That an argument over
Food had lead to this?
With thoughts perhaps that
He shouldn’t’ve wished he
Could die today because life
Here anyway was just about impossible?
That the work of 3 that one man,
He
Was forced to do without pay for
Overtime
Was another pile of
Meaninglessness?

Whatever went through the minds
Of these two men needs
To not remain a secret

One stabbed another to
Death in an argument
Over the quality of food

No arguments
Support descent into such
Barbarity
The true barbarity here
Then may have been
The conditions they confronted
And our willingness to ignore its effects.

Published:

TravelPod, December 17, 2013.

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“Baybayin (out of the) Box”

This idea came out mainly due to the curiosity of some of my friends on the boxes they see in my comment boxes in forums and social networking sites. In this artwork, the Baybayin scripts are inside the box no more.

Credits:
Featured font is Baybayin Brush Stylized by Christian Cabuay from Baybayin.com

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I enjoy creating miniature sculptures from materials such as terracotta, polymer clay and wood since college and continue doing it in my wee hours until today. However, taking this hobby into another level is more challenging especially when done with our own ancient writing system in the Philippines, the Baybayin. Below are some of the (glazed and unglazed) terracotta moldings I’ve created as inspired by our rich cultural heritage. Enjoy.

 

“Pilas sa Lunok”

Inspired by the lunok or strangler fig and the Baybayin “ᜎ” or “La”, this miniature stands 6cm tall. The lunok is believed to be “mariit” (in Hiligaynon) or resided by unseen entities. “Pilas” is a Hiligaynon term for sugat (in Tagalog) or wound. Read more about the lunok/balete or strangler fig at The News Today.

 

“Ka-kudyapi”

Inspired by the kudyapi (or kudlung in some parts of the Philippines) and the Baybayin “ᜃ” or “Ka”, this piece stands at about 8cm tall. The kudyapi or kudlung is one of the traditional musical instruments played by several ethnic groups in the Philippines. Read more about the kudyapi and other musical instruments at Kipas.

“Kalabaw”

A giveaway, this one (front and back) was inspired by the Baybayin “ᜃ” or “Ka” and stands at about 8cm tall. (to be updated)

@~

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