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Green Dreams
Armineonila M.

I lost your grip
in the thunderstorm, and you,
likewise, lost mine
under the dragon’s breath –
a huge firewall stood
between us – a dead end’s curse,
cirrus clouds loomed
from a distance tainting
the sun’s rays, no illuminated path
the rainbow’s bend dared
deny us a destination.


Lunhaw
Tagalog translation by a friend

Nawala ko ang iyong kapit
nang bumagyo’t nagrilim, at ikaw,
ganoon din, nabitawhan kita
sa lilim ng dambuhalang hininga –
‘sang ga-bituing pader ang poder
nating sangga – sumpang sadya,
malabalahibong ulap ng kilabot
mula sa di-kalayuan ang lumimlim
sa mga sinag ng araw,
naglaho ang daang matuwid
arko ng balangaw ang tumindig
upang ipagkait sa atin ang tagpuan.

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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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Mga Sangkap ng Langis (Ped Xing, KM Writers)

Mga sangkap ng langis

ni Armineonila M.

 

Mga sahog sa pagluto:

Isang ginagad na diploma

Walong sakong ari-arian

Pitong tasang tinimping luha

Tatlong basong pangarap (dinikdik)

Limang pirasong dignidad (tinadtad)

Sampung kilong pawis (sinala)

Isang kurot ng pagkutya

 

Mga hakbang sa paggawa:

 

Tunawin ang galon-galong

kaluluwang nagsakripisyo

para sa pamilya’t bayan,

kaluluwang ikinahon

ng globalisasyon

at nanlilisik na pangil

ng kapitalismo

sa kawaling disyerto;

 

Tustahin ang dating musmos

na hele ng Nanay at Tatay

na nagsibak pa ng panggatong

pangmatrikulang niluto

sa palasyong de-kalawang;

 

Tunawin, haluin, kayurin

hanggang sa lumapot

ang ‘di makatarungan,

ang pag-aalipusta

upang maitayo ang gusali

na’ng siyang hugis ay ganid;

 

Timplahin, lunurin

ang pangakong hindi na

lalayag pa at tatatakan

ang pagkatao ng alyas,

yaong tunog “bayani”

upang hindi malasap

ang pag-alingasaw

ng amoy pang-aalipin;

 

Paulit-ulit na timplahin,

haluin ng kalyuhing palad

ang pagkauhaw ng iba

sa likidong-yaman at parangal

kahit salat sa bayad

na ginhawang pasalubong;

 

Sundin ang patakarang ito

nang walang pag-alma

o pagkuwestiyon man lang,

bente-kwatro oras.

 

 ~o~



Translation:

The Recipe for Oil 
by Armineonila M.

The ingredients:

1 forged diploma
8 sacks of property
7 cups of whimper
3 glasses of ambition (chopped)
5 pcs. Of dignity (shredded)
10 kilos of sweat (filtered)
A pinch of nepotism

The procedure:

Slowly melt a gallon of sacrificed souls
Of family and country
Souls inside the box
Of globalisation
And the piercing fangs
Of capitalism
In the desert pan.

Cook until brownish
The infantile lullaby
Of Mama and Papa
Who chopped a forest
Of tuition fees from
The palace of rust.

Melt, stir, scrape
Until condensed
The unjust, the vilification
Built in a fortress
Of which shape is greed.

Mix and drown
The promise of immobility
That’s impressed in the self
An alias that sounds like “hero”
To cover up the stench
Of subjugation.

Mix over and again
With calloused palm
The thirst of the other
On liquefied riches and recognition
Even by poor earnings
That take home a dream.

Simply follow these steps
Without objection
Nary a question 
24 hours a day.

________________
*The original text in Filipino first appeared in the chapbook published by KM64 (Kilometers 64 Writers Collective) titled Ped Xing: Tula’y Tawiran (First Issue: Labourers), ed. Stum Casia. May 2014, pp. 23-24, Philippines. 

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No Return Address: A collection of poems

Pluma would like to reach out to readers across the globe and share with them this wonderful undertaking of making ends meet. After a long wait, Pluma’s first collection of poems, No Return Address, is finally out in the global market and ready to inform people from all walks of life of the shared experiences of migrants in their journeys.

No Return Address is a fine way to initiate a dialogue wherein people of different cultural orientations may one day find a common ground.

Grab a copy of No Return Address: A collection of poems from Lulu and share reading moments with families and friends.

(Source: Pluma Migrant Writers Guild)

~o~

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No Return Address: A collection of poems by Pluma Migrant Writers Guild

No Return Address: A collection of poems is a chapbook featuring epistolary poems in English written by Pluma Migrant Writers Guild.

The book pulls back the curtain on contemporary migration issues in the Gulf, particularly in Kuwait, digging into the hopes and dreams of migrants through traditional and modern correspondence. It features poems by budding writers namely Nabeel Philip Mohan, GAP Gutierrez, Wilfred Waters, Alliah “Lenzkie” Tabaya, Mujel Hasan, Tammy Sulit, and Armineonila M.

The collection contains letters addressed to the ambassador, the haris, the kafeel, a wasta, a stranger, and people who share a slice of the migrant’s life in Kuwait. Readers interested in cross-cultural themes and intercultural communication in the literary scene who have an appreciation for poetry will swoon over No Return Address: A collection of poems.

No Return Address: A collection of poems is published by
Pluma Migrant Writers Guild
ISBN: 9789996605956
Publication date: August 4, 2014

Available at
Better Books and Café Kuwait

Pluma (Migrant Writers Guild) is a group of literary writers whose works highlight migration narratives. The guild also holds cross-cultural discussions and presentations on various migration topics in the Gulf regions and across the globe. For more info, kindly visit plumamigrantlit.wordpress.com.

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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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PLUMA – Literary Migrant Writers’ Guild (Kuwait) is a support group for literary writers in Kuwait that seeks to accommodate poets, short story writers, novelists, and essayists alike who view Literature as a vehicle in shaping societies and weaving cultural values. Established in September 14, 2013, this team of dynamic and creative migrants will soon explore a plethora of individual struggles and personalities from various walks of life.

PLUMA Featured Members Profile

Ellen Alliah Tabaya (Nickname:  LenzKie)

LenzKie is from Buayan, Mlang, North, Cotabato. She studied Bachelor of Technology Education at the University of Southern Mindanao, Kidapawan City. A member and poetry contributor to the school paper magazine in 1996, she was also a University athlete medalist and was a Milo Marathon university participant at the Municipality of Kidapawan, Kidapawan City. She was also awarded Math Wizards Certificates in 1999.

LenzKie earned jobs as factory worker, machine operator, production operator, and personal secretary. She is also a business woman and owner of a general merchandise in Cainta Rizal.  An OFW in Doha, Qatar and currently Kuwait, this young poet also helped distressed OFWs in the country.  LenzKie is also an administrator of the Otusa TV Internet – Facebook Television of Manny Calpito, and the Manggagawang Migrante ng Kuwait (MMK). She submitted tribute poems to the Pilipino Bloggers Magazine and to Doc Penpen Takipsilim’s Pentasi B.

***

Armineonila M.  (Nickname:  Armie)

Armie is a native of Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo, Philippines and an OFW. She studied Comparative Literature in the University of the Philippines in the Visayas, and was a member of the UP Miag-ao Experimental Theatre (UPMET). She has submitted paintings to Museo Iloilo in 2005. A member of the Filipino Cultural Club (FCC) Kuwait since 2004, she is currently the Executive Secretary of the Filipino Association for Culture and the Arts in Kuwait (FCAK), 2012.  She was elected as President of the OFW Gitarizta Family online group of songwriters and musicians worldwide in 2010.

Armie is a feature story writer and opinion writer in English on Kuwait Times Daily and Friday Times since 2005. She also writes her weekly column titled “Kikay’s Ukay-ukay” since 2008, and submitted the weekly comic strips titled “Pat en Tero” in 2009 for the Filipino Panorama, Kuwait Times. She has contributed poems to Kuwait Philippines Cultural Centre (KPCC) Pag-usapan Po Natin monthly magazine in 2011 and short stories to The Filipino Magazine in Kuwait (TFM), in 2011. Her poems appeared in Best Poems Encyclopedia in 2010.

Armie is also an advocate of the Philippine’s prehistoric system of writing, the Baybayin. An animal rights advocate, vegan, and volunteer at the Protecting Animal Welfare Society – Kuwait (PAWS-Kuwait) since 2011, she has established various advocacy groups such as Animal Rights Advocacy Philippines – ARAP, Vegan Kuwait (support group for vegans in Kuwait), Gitarizta ng Bayan (supporters of the Original Pilipino Music), and Digital Literature and New Media (study group on contemporary Literature).

***

 

GAP Gutierrez  (Nickname: GAP)

GAP is currently employed as a nurse in Kuwait. He claims he has never been a member of any writing group before Pluma. He once won 2nd place in an essay writing competition on his 4th grade, which he believes as his highest achievement in writing so far. GAP has a small collection of books and graphic novels and believes that “art will not really save mankind, but it will make our stay in this world worth its while”. Furthermore, he doesn’t like to talk about himself in third person.

***

Tammy Sulit  (Nickname: Tammy)

A registered nurse, Tammy graduated in Ateneo de Davao University in 2008. She started writing poems during her high school years where she was also the photojournalist of the school publication. In college, she became a member of the Literary Writers Guild.

Tammy is always fascinated with life’s beauty and mysteries, thus, making these as sources of her creative outputs. Aside from writing, she also loves theater arts, visual arts, and dancing (which is so far her most honed talent).

She has always been an active advocate of nurturing creativity. For her, an artist will always be an artist whatever medium one uses to create the craft. The creativity will subtly blend on the masterpieces molded.

Presently, Tammy is honing both her photography skills and writing skills here in Kuwait, being it as her new home, hoping that someday she will be able to share the quirkiness inside her head to the readers of PLUMA.

***

Mujel Hasan (Nickname:  Mujel)

Born on the 13th of June and is currently working as a nurse, Mujel loves to read in his free time. He claims to have had no firm background in Literature, however, he once served as editorial assistant in the college school organ. For Mujel, any form of writing is an awakening. It’s a tool where everyone can discover and learn many valuable things. He believes that “the ultimate purpose of Literature is to empower the human mind to act rightly and judiciously with compassion, to pursue God’s path towards society’s lasting existence and redemption”.

***

Wilfred Waters (Nickname: Wil)

Wil is from Australia. He has been making maps for an environmental project in Kuwait since April 2013. When he was a kid growing up, everyone always told him he had talent as a writer. Of course this meant he spend the first 10 years of adulthood doing something completely unrelated, just to prove everyone wrong. Now, after a decade of bitter unhappiness and sorrow, the pen is again in hand and putting flame to paper.

***

 

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