, August 10, 2022

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Mountain Moon


  •   1 min read
Mountain Moon
Busuanga1 by the Master, George Tapan
By Marne Kilates

Must untangle you from the harsh branches
Of balete: grasping arthritic fingers with unkempt
Nails. O Mountain Moon, snagged silver kite.

Whose slack string lost you in mid-flight,
What spoiled flier abandoned you when the first
Drops of the monsoon arrived at March’s end?

Or did a contending flier’s string, bathed in crushed
Glass, glued with starch, snap the long slack, and
You sailed untied, lost, caught by the harsh

Branches of the enchanted tree and its flowing
Roots burrowing into the mulch? The mute night
Breathes with echoes of the past: When did

The pestle of Tungkung Langit touch the sky
As he unhusked the rice in his mortar? And
The sky, annoyed, rose higher beyond reach, not

Even Alunsina could hang her necklaces
Of glistening beads among the clouds.
From then on, the sky became the blue void

And even Mountain Moon vanished
Into its depths. And the monsoon was either
Tardy or too soon inundating the rice fields.

The seedlings drowned. The people starved.
Have mercy, we pray, O Mountain Moon!
Save us! Save our beasts! Spare our humble

Shacks and our vegetable patches you blessed
With your munificence. O Haliya, incarnation
Of Mountain Moon, hear our entreaties!

Bring your brother Bulan to bathe in our
Springs. Restore our bountry! Haliya, Haliya!
Haliya, have mercy! Hail Full of grace!

20 June 2022


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