One of my projects is to create a collection of poems where I live. This is one of my inspirations.
Ermita in the Rain
It is not the rain that wanly
Sobs its tale across the bay,
Not the sobs of lone acacias
Trembling darkly in the gray,
Not the groans of harried breakers
Flinging tatters on the shore,
But the phantom of your voice that
Stays me dreaming at my door.
Putting up the last three poems that I have of this brilliant woman.
Any Woman Speaks
Half of the world’s true glamour
Is held–you know by whom?
Not by the gilt Four Hundred
Parading in perfume,
Nor by the silvered meteors
That light the celluloid sky–
But by these eyes that called you,
Blind fool who passed me by!
Written by Angela Manalang-Gloria on 31 January 1928.
To A Lost One
I shall haunt you, O my lost one, as the twilight
Haunts a grieving bamboo trail,
And your dreams will linger strangely with the music
Of a phantom lover’s tale
You shall not forget, for I am past forgetting
I shall come to you again
With the starlight, and the scent of wild champakas,
And the melody of rain.
You shall not forget. Dusk will peer into your
Window, tragic-eyed and still,
And unbidden startle you into remembrance
With its hand upon the sill.
Written by Angela Manalang-Gloria on 23 October 1935.
To A Lovely Woman
Shall I compare you to a rainbowed shower
Drawing to earth the very arc of dream,
Or shall I say you are an orchid flower
That fevers men beside a jungle stream?
Shall I compare you to a windy morning
Because you stir the sleeping blood and brain
To rise and follow beauty till beauty, scorning
Desire’s fleet runners, vanishes again?
No, you are more than spectrum, than the find
Of orchid hunters, than ariel dawn on wings.
And I, who know you are the undefined
Reality of all unreal things,
Now wisely set your breathlessness apart
As the unanswered challenge to the dreamer’s art.
I knew I was already wrong the moment I said that. But I can’t take it back. That’s the tragedy of speaking too soon, the folly of wanting to hurt you first before you can hurt me. Can a poem heal all wounds?
I never meant the words I said,
So trouble not your honest head
And never mean the words I write,
But come and kiss me now goodnight.
The words I said break with the thunder
Of billows surging into spray:
Unfathomed depths withhold the wonder
Of all the words I never say.
Written by Angela Manalang-Gloria on 17 November 1935.
To Don Juan
It was not love-why should I love you?-
It was not folly, for I was wise,
Yet when you looked at me, your looking
Opened a kingdom to my eyes,
It was not love, it was not folly,
I have no name to know it by,
I only know one shining instant
You held my earth, you held my sky.