Loving, Leaving, Letting Go in Spoken Poetry

I was a member (and eventually, an officer) of SALEM, a literary club in Ateneo de Davao University. Our club accomplished many firsts in Ateneo, including holding Loving, Leaving, & Letting Goa spoken poetry event. I have never tried spoken poetry until this event was organized, and I planned on converting some written poems to spoken poetry, but I opted to stick to the written format instead. You see, writing for the eyes is different from writing for the ear. This poem is a closing poem from my “Heartbreak Series.”

It’s called Letting Go.

I’m letting go of you
the way the moon stops chasing the sun
at the crack of dawn

I’m letting you go
like how the dew drops roll off the leaves
in the morning after the rain

I’m letting you
leave my thoughts
the way the shoreline pushes away the sea

Go
Until I stop seeing you
in the moon, nor in the sun
in teardrops on leaves
in the swirl of the sea
or in the sky at midnight’s hour

and in the words of my poetry.

-On “Letting Go” from the Heartbreak Series
02-10-2016 at the Loving, Leaving & Letting Go Spoken Poetry Event by The Society of Ateneo Literature and English Majors – SALEM

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Red Light

I was inside the jeepney, waiting on a red light, when this kid came and sang for money.

“Red light” is inspired by the street children who wait on cars, especially jeepneys, during heavy traffic. They hop up on the entrance and sing songs, begging for money. This scene always strikes a cord in me. When my editor in Atenews asked if I could submit a poem for “Habi” which is a collaborative folio of Jesuit schools, I wrote this one.

Ang kulay ng langit ay pinag-aagawan ng asul at pula
habang si Dodong ay naglalakad na naka-paa
nakadukong binibilang ang hawak na mga barya

The dusk turned the blue sky red
while barefoot, Dodong walked
counting the money in his hands

Kinse lang ang kaniyang kinita
sa buong araw na pagkanta
sa mga dyip na naka-para

A whole day of singing in jeepneys
was only 15 pesos worth

Walang maramdamang init ang makukubal na mga paa
ramdam lang ang umiinit na mukha
sa tuwing kumakalabit siya
sa dyip na sakay ay pamilya

Dodong’s calloused feet didn’t heed the pavement’s heat
but his face always burned in shame
whenever he hops on a jeepney with a family 

Tuwang-tuwa sa isa’t-isa
Tingin lang ang ibibigay sa kaniya

Sharing laughter
but will only spare him a glance, maybe two

Si Dodong ay bababa
Magihihintay na muling umilaw
ang bilog na kulay pula

Dodong will hop off the jeepney
and wait for them to stop again
when the light goes red.

Red Light

This poem was inspired by the kids who climb up the jeepney to sing for pennies when the traffic light is red.
This poem was inspired by the kids who climb up the jeepney to sing for pennies when the traffic light is red.

Ang kulay ng langit ay pinag-aagawan ng asul at pula

habang si Dodong ay naglalakad na naka-paa

nakadukong binibilang anghawak na mga barya

Kinse lang ang kaniyang kinita

Sa buong araw na pagkanta

sa mga dyip na naka-para

Walang maramdamang init ang makukubal na mga paa

ramdam lang ang umiinit na mukha

sa tuwing kumakalabit siya

sa dyip na sakay ay pamilya

Tuwang-tuwa sa isa’t-isa

Tingin lang ang ibibigay sa kaniya

Si Dodong ay bababa

Magihihintay na muling umilaw

ang bilog na kulay pula