Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Lagalog Poetography: Angtomfaw Fern Forest and Pablo Neruda's Lost in the Forest

Lost in the forest, I broke off a dark twig
and lifted its whisper to my thirsty lips:
maybe it was the voice of the rain crying,
a cracked bell, or a torn heart.

Something from far off it seemed
deep and secret to me, hidden by the earth,
a shout muffled by huge autumns,
by the moist half-open darkness of the leaves.

Wakening from the dreaming forest there, the hazel-sprig
sang under my tongue, its drifting fragrance
climbed up through my conscious mind

as if suddenly the roots I had left behind
cried out to me, the land I had lost with my childhood---
and I stopped, wounded by the wandering scent. 


Lost in the Forest
Pablo Neruda

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Maligcong, Bontoc: Graffiti, Red Sky and Heavenly Light Over Mt Fato

Red sky over Mt Fato summit
There were graffiti on the limestone boulders that mark the summit of Mt Fato.  On a light-hearted note, you can call it local color.  On the other hand, they are blemishes that remind one that this landscape is increasingly being visited by locals and outsiders alike. 
 
When I first visited Mt Fato about 2 1/2 years ago with Maligcong friends, Suzette (Chees) and Tina (Sokoken), the site looked pristine with little to no visible signs of visitors.  The ground that stretches to the precipice overlooking Kupapey and to the distant east, the Sleeping Beauty mountain range in Tinglayan, was heavily blanketed by ferns.  Now, the pine trees have grown and obscured quite a bit of scenery below though that's a welcome development as far as nature is concerned.  The fern cover though was running thin, even balding, in places; there were wooden steps leading to the top of the boulders; even a hand-painted signage of Mt. Fato on a west-facing rock face.  The long and winding trail (there's a shorter, steeper trail that's less used by visitors) is rendered very visible even in the fading light after sunset, quite obviously treaded upon by an increasing number of feet.

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