March 17, 2011


And would it have been worth it, after all,
After the pain, the solitude, the sea,
The wranglings with one’s muse, the bitter coffee,
Would it have been worth while,  
To have sweated on the hardships of a rhyme,
To have cursed the universe, cursed the war,
Again and yet again to ask The question, any question,
To say, ‘I am the prophet, I shall tell you all,
I have come to tell you all’-
Would it have been worth while,
If one, scavenging at a magazine stall,
Should see one’s deathless verse beside a Kotex ad,
            And say:  ‘That is not what I wrote at all,
            That is not it, at all.’

                                                   -  Lorena Barros
                                                      October 26, 1968; Philippine Free Press; p.31

March 14, 2011


today my heart is heavy
as Bulusan mountain
remembering red roses
   plucked too soon...
beyond the barred windows
the hills of Sorsogon
call to me yearningly
in my dreams i reach out
to stroke their lovely waves,
dear and dark in the night
like my beloved’s hair
oh stranger!  if you should see
my old father
tell him someday for sure
i shall be home again.

            - Solita
  February 21, 1974