Over a year ago, I met Marlinda Angbetic Tan in Cebu. I had “met” her via email, intially, and she was, sight unseen, incredibly warm and supportive of this Sari-Sari Storybooks venture that I was emailing her about. When we finally met in Cebu City in February 2014, I asked her to read a poem for the blog (among my many questions and requests for help).
Marlinda is the former Lifestyle Editor of “The Freeman” (a Cebu City newspaper), as well as a poet and writer. Here she reads “Bomba,” a poem based on a bombing.
sa usa ka pagpislit,
mabungkag ang daghang paglaum;
sa usa ka kidlap,
mahanaw ang kandiisong pahiyum.
nahiti-urok ang kilom-kilom;
nagduha-duha ang kangitngit.
daw di na magpadayon ang kangi-ob
sa pagpandong sa nagbangutan’g langit.
unsa-on pagkugos ang nagupok
nga lawas sa imong masuso’ng anak?
anaa ba’y paagi sa pagbugkos
sa dughan nga nadugmok, nabu-ak?
asa man kuhaa ang bayad
aron mobalik ang hingpit nga kahilum,
nga bisan karon, ang lanog sa bomba
dinhi sa panumduman nagtak-um?
-Marlinda Angbetic Tan
– – – – – –
the mere pressing of a button
splinters a thousand dreams;
in a lightning flash,
bedimpled smiles forever vanish.
dusk stands riveted
to the direction of the light.
Darkness hesitates in mantling
the tear-stained face of Night.
how to cuddle the broken body
of one’s innocent suckling babe?
can one somehow bundle back
a shattered breast, the broken limbs?
how can one afford the price
for the return of ultimate silence
when even now the bomb’s echo
resonates over my remembering?
– Marlinda Angbetic Tan