Friday, March 10, 2017

Dirge of the Pasig River


Dr Abe V Rotor 
Photo by Mary Kathleen Manalastas
Living with Nature School on Blog


An estero of the Pasig River, Pasay, Metro Manila.

I am dying, Mother, my mother whose womb was
     as virgin as the day I was born a rivulet to stream, 
estero to a tributary that feeds the mighty sea,
     as virgin as the Paradise of Milton's dream.

Mother, let me die - or let me sleep then forever,
    for neither can I flow out to sea nor keep in the sun;
let me die with garbage and silently sink in the murk,
    with foul gases, on thickening sludge, silt and sand.

I hear no songs anymore, Abelardo is long dead;
    I see no living garlands, not a bird building nest
among lilies and floating kiapo, among the nilad,
    pride of a race, woven into mats for lovely rest. 


Ahoy there! Two children are staring at my water;
    but they can't see what is inside me, I am as black,
as a dark night, but oh, how my heart longs for them!
    I have lost all things good - even as a mirror I lack.

Mother, let me die, there's no more sense of living,
    for I do not belong to humans anymore, I swear;
I'm no longer a part of creation, I'm but a stranger;
    but my mother doesn't answer, she doesn't answer.~

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