Edith Tiempo 1: Mga Kagawian ni Fulandan

Karaniwan lámang
Naman si Ingkong.
Kung kayâ’t mula ba saan
Ang mga kuwentong nagsilang
Ng mga mapagbadyang anyo
Sa mauulap na lupain,
Sa mahahamog, di mawaring lawas,
Na marahil dahil sa paglikha o alkimiya,
Paglao’y naging enkantadong bulugan
At mga asong maamo,
Nakangising mga nuno,
Isang kalabaw na may pakpak,
Nagsasalitâng kabayo—
At ang higanteng Fulandan,
Dambuhala, mabalahibo’t hukluban?

Dalawang ulit na binibilot ni Ingkong
Ang kaniyang nganga sa dahong areca,
Binubudburan ng pinulbos na apog,
Nginunguya, nginangata
Upang magdura ng malapot at mapula;
Sariwa’t madagta ang halimuyak
Na humahalo sa umuusok pang kape.

Nakamatyag ang nag-aantok na mata
Ng batà sa kulubuting ápo
Na namnam ang salimbayang kape’t nganga;
Pupungas-pungas pa ang musmos
Subalit húli ng gisíng na tainga
Ang bawat mahiwagang salita,
At ang kaniyang diwa’y kumakapit
Kay Fulundan, kaylaki’t nakahilata
Sa mga alon, mistulang isang islang
Di madadaluyong. Gumagapang ang mga alimango’t
Bubuli sa kaniyang lumuting ilong
At siya’y humaging, minsan, at minsan pa,

At napabahing siya!—at naisinga
Si Ingkong, ang mahihiwagang kuwento,
Ang nganga’t kape
At siya’y umupo sa mesa,
Nagbubunyag ng pantasya, panaginip, at katha.

Fulandan, antigong pintungan
Ng aming mitikong kasaysayan,
Mahal na dambuhala, sumasalalay ang gunita
Sa iyong kolosal na katawang
May banlaw ng dumaraang panahon.
Umaawit ang aming nostalgia
At umaangkas ang tradisyon
Sa along payapa’t maunos,
Ginagambala ang sutil na kasaysayan
Ng mga anyong lipás at mahiwaga,
Ng naparam na misteryo’t
Malong naligtaang hiwaga.

*Talâ ng makata: Si Fulandan ay mitikong higante mula sa alamat na Gaddang na kinatatakutan at kinamamanghaan.

THE WAYS OF FULANDAN

Grandpa was not
A fanciful man.
So from where came
The stories that begot
Those phantom shapes
On cloudy landscapes,
The forms fuzzy and vapory,
By art or alchemy
Soon turned into spellbound boars
And bloodhounds tame,
Grinning goblins,
A carabao with wings,
A talking horse—
And the giant Fulandan,
Huge, hairy, and hoary?

Grandpa had his betel nut chew
Wrapped in areca cress twice folded,
Spiced with powdered limestone,
Chomped, masticated
Into spittle splashy and crimson;
Wild and woodsy the aromas blended
With his steaming coffee brew.

The boy’s drowsy eyes
Spied the shrivelled crone
Spiking the mix of brew and betel;
The droopy eyes stung
But the wakeful ears heard
Every magic word,
And his mind’s eye hung
On Fulandan, massive, sprawled
On the waves like a stable
Island. Crabs and lizards crawled
In his mossy nostril
And he sighed, once, twice,

And he sneezed!—and out flew
Grandpa, his magic stories, his chew
And his coffee brew,
And he sat at the table
Spilling fantasy, dream, and fable.

Fulandan, ancient store
Of our mythic lore,
Fond giant, the memory bounds
To your behemoth form
Laved by time and tides.
Our nostalgia resounds
And tradition rides
In calm, in storm,
Haunting tight history
With shapes archaic and cryptic,
With forfeited mystery
And long-lost magic.

Mula sa Marginal Annotations (2001)

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