As the typhoon raged the worst storm on record my heart went out, we have friends whose family live in Cebu it all has happened so close to the earthquake last month.
Back in  1970 Gemino H Abad a great fillipino poet wrote How Our Towns Drown and i place a copy here for you to read, and send prayers, donate try to do whatever you can it all helps , keep Republika ng Pilipinas in our hearts as they recover.

How Our Towns Drown

how in the downpour
downstream of doom we are returned
houses and pigs in ceaseless procession
as skies boom and fall thundering spears
to beat down all curses and tears to tide
among driftwood, seaweed and water hyacinth’s
prayer wreaths for the dead and drowned

downstream of doom we are returned
tottering over manholes shivering in the blast
of a blind monsoon it’s hollow howl
the rolling dreariness of our emptied hills
our feet doubt the ground where streets
vanish in the gorge of swill and slime
to flood at last we are flotsam and scum

houses and pigs in ceaseless procession
and rushing past our brethren those lovelorn
cats and cockroaches among floating roofs
lumbering cadavers of cherished scrap
our naked brats scamper and gambol
over scavenged loot of murky things
tires and handbags , bottles and shoes

as skies fall boom and fall thundering spears
on Cherry Hill slumping down it’s slope
and shoveling homes in one boulder swoop
landfill of families in moaning mud
so sudden their screams no echoes bear
abducted to questioning rage of memory
by what “state of calamity” or “act of god”

to beat down all curses and tears to tides
Antipolo to Pangasinan the earth rivers
and shoves down Pinatubo’s  renegade ooze
to our paddies swelling to ocean of muck
fish ponds collapsing to swamp
for bridges are down and mountains too far
to flle and shelter from water’s gore

among seaweed , driftwood and water hyacinth’s
what word , what route, what water world
for breathing space, the floors of our dreams
but shiver their fittings and leak their gloom
clutch of seaweed for hair
driftwood for limbs , hyacinth’s for cloaks
what new indigene  only survivor  to offer

prayer wreath’s for the dead and drowned
requiescat  in peace .. vitam aeternam
so cradle the infant , swaddled in rubble grime
just now excavated and no mother to hush
it’s lost wail no father no sibling
surely now their wreck is deaf to cranes
or fingers digging, to what any change

how in the downpour our towns drown

phi8llipines

phillipines

philippines-typhoon-haiyan

poetry , poem, poet

Gemino H Abad

 

 

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Comments
  1. In this difficult situation, the Filipino people will always be survivors and will remain resilient amid the grief and pain so many were going through, having lost so much. Filipinos are strong and will rise again. I truly believe that the Filipino spirit is stronger than any tropical storm.

  2. Here in Mexico have recently experienced a similar tragedy (and still is not completely resolved) due to two simultaneously hurricanes (both in the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean); so this incredible poem could not better construe such sorrow.

    Warm greetings, Chris.

    • clawfish says:

      I heard of the dual coast hurricanes which hit Mexico which is horrific , nature can unleash some brutality at times, and really this poem from Gemino could convey for any disaster as it is powerful without being overly caught up in emotion, all the best and hope all is good

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