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Poems By Poet RIC S. BASTASA  10/21/2014 10:08:31 AM
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  Best Poems From
  RIC S. BASTASA
 
 

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  1.     

typhoon

typhoons are not that strong
sometimes
they behave like
critics, passing by an
island, saying, hey you
are not an island after
all, you are just a hill
fit for a Bollywood
scene

I am in that island
feeling some itch
of its breeze, but i was too
busy then
climbing one
of the narrative trees
there

and he asks
is there such a thing
as a narrative tree?
i crack the nut
and drink the clouds
there
and he is filled with
so much
awe,
he gets itchy
and scratches
all the skins
and even the bones
he rattles like
a snake
and wants to bite

the narrative tree
has everything
to offer
gentle, and soft
and conversational

but he wants to deny
this kind of tree
saying
there is no such
thing as that
and this

oh my, what a man
he is
structured in his cage
not knowing
that he is meant to
be free
from the shackles of
his verse
from the narrow alleys
of his
rhyme

goodness, we do not
even try
grafting the metaphors

i love it here
this island where i touch
him not
but he touches me
i guess
that is envy.
 
RIC S. BASTASA
   
 

   
   
 

  2.     

An open letter to Filipino Artists by Emmanuel Lacaba

A poet must also learn
how to lead an attack
- Ho Chi Minh

I
Invisible the mountain routes to strangers:
For rushing toes an inch-wide strip on boulders
And for the hand that's free a twig to grasp,
Or else we headlong fall below to rocks
And waterfalls of death so instant that
Too soon they're red with skulls of carabaos.

But patient guides and teachers are the masses:
Of forty mountains and a hundred rivers;
Of plowing, planting, weeding, and the harvest;
And of a dozen dialects that dwarf
This foreign tongue we write each other in
Who must transcend our bourgeois origins.

South Cotabato
May 1,1975

II

You want to know, companions of my youth
How much has changed the wild but shy young poet
Forever writing last poem after last poem;
You hear he's dark as earth, barefoot,
A turban round his head, a bolo at his side,
His ballpen blown up to a long-barreled gun:
Deeper still the struggling change inside.

Like husks of coconut he tears away
The billion layers of his selfishness.
Or learns to cage his longing like the bird
Of legend, fire, and song within his chest.
Now of consequence is his anemia
From lack of sleep: no longer for Bohemia,
The lumpen culturati, but for the people, yes.

He mixes metaphors but values more
A holographic and geometric memory
For mountains: not because they are there
But because the masses are there where
Routes are jigsaw puzzles he must piece together.
Though he has been called a brown Rimbaud,
He is no bandit but a people's warrior.

South Cotabato and Davao del Norte
November 1975

III

We are tribeless and all tribes are ours.
We are homeless and all homes are ours.
We are nameless and all names are ours.
To the fascists we are the faceless enemy
Who come like thieves in the night, angels of death:
The ever moving, shining, secret eye of the storm.

The road less traveled by we've taken-
And that has made all the difference:
The barefoot army of the wilderness
We all should be in time. Awakened, the masses are Messiah.
Here among workers and peasants our lost
Generation has found its true, its only home.

Davao del Norte
January 1976
 
RIC S. BASTASA
   
 

   
   
 

  3.     

a translation of an old poem from bisaya to english

think of me as
the man who went outside
the house
bathing in the rain

it is not because i am
feeling uncomfortable
with the heat of my own
clothes

out there
as the rain falls
you cannot see the flood
of my tears.
 
RIC S. BASTASA
   
 

   
   
 

  4.     

and what about freedom?

sad indeed,

there are other freedoms still
freedom from having no ideas, from this dryness,
freedom from having you
as a poet on forced wit and half-cooked cleverness
freedom from a reader
who has nothing to offer
except his own loneliness
his having nothing to do
freedom from long bored
to death
freedom from having nothing
to say and comment
freedom from this feeling of emptiness
this bigotry
this indigestion of dumb thoughts
freedom from impertinence, immateriality, irrelevance,
freedom from thinking about freedom
freedom from freedom itself
there are more
freedom from pain
is useless now
that you are dead.
 
RIC S. BASTASA
   
 
 

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Poems By Poet RIC S. BASTASA